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26 Apr 2022, 12:40
Edgar Meza

Ideas for large research centres in former coal mining states take shape

Tagesspiegel

Long-term plans to transform Germany’s brown coal (lignite) mining regions are taking shape, with investments being prepared for the establishment of two scientific research centres that could focus on improving climate protection and are envisaged to create thousands of new jobs, Tagesspiegel reports. Billions in federal and state funding have already been earmarked for the establishment of scientific research centres in the mining regions of the eastern states of Brandenburg, Saxony-Anhalt and Saxony, with leading non-university research organisations overseeing the plans and six projects still in the running. The Max Planck Institute of Colloids and Interfaces is developing plans for ChemResilienz that would focus on creating a resilient chemical economy that instead of using crude oil and gas, would establish a circular economy of products with renewable raw materials. Another candidate, the Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research aims to establish the Centre for Climate Action and Innovation - Research and Engineering (CLAIRE), which would bundle climate data and knowledge and create digital twins of ecosystems in order to develop options in improving climate protection by focusing on agriculture and forestry, water, urban planning, energy supply, health and mobility. Other research centre proposals in the running are focusing on sustainable building materials and space stations on the Moon and Mars. The decision which of the six contestants receives funding will be taken in September. The establishement of similar sized research centres abroad, for example the Glenn Research Center in the U.S. state of Ohio, has created more than 7,000 jobs and increased peoples’ income in the state considerably, Tagesspiegel writes.

Federal and state governments agreed in 2020 to provide 40 billion euros in support for areas affected by Germany’s planned exit of coal-fired power generation by 2038 at the latest.

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