Russian Federation

Cooperation in education, research and technology is an essential pillar of German-Russian relations. In July 2009, the 1987 agreement with the USSR on scientific and technological cooperation was amended. In December 2018, the research ministries of both countries agreed on a strategy for cooperation until 2028 with the 'German-Russian Roadmap for Cooperation in Education, Science, Research and Innovation'.

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Lomonosov University © Dmitry Mordvintsev / Thinkstock

Funding opportunities

As a general rule, non-refundable grants awarded as part of current announcements for the bilateral cooperation in education and research between Germany and Russia can be granted upon application.

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Political framework

In addition to the 'Agreement on Scientific and Technical Cooperation' (STC), the objectives of cooperation with Russia are also set out in the 'Joint Statement on the German-Russian Strategic Partnership in Education, Research and Innovation' signed in April 2005. Both place a strong focus on building collaborative relationships between universities, independent research institutions and scientific organisations, intensifying bilateral cooperation between German and Russian companies within innovation-oriented applied research, encouraging co-operation within vocational education, fostering the exchange of young researchers, as well as jointly funding research and innovation structures.

The 'German-Russian Roadmap for Cooperation in Education, Science, Research and Innovation' signed in December 2018 represents the first joint strategy that aims at better exploiting the potential for cooperation and further extending its scientific excellence over a period of ten years.

Highlights of the bilateral cooperation

Themed around a 'Partnership of ideas', the German-Russian Year of Education, Science and Innovation in 2011/12 expressed the variety and excellence of German-Russian cooperation in education and research. In addition, it created important impetus for joint sustainable initiatives.

The EU-Russia Year of Science 2014 was officially announced by Commission President Barroso at the EU-Russia summit in Brussels in December 2012. This Year of Science was an initiative implemented at the request and instigation of the European Commission. The activities were performed via the EU project Bilat RUS Advanced under the management of the International Bureau at the DLR Project Management Agency (also the coordinator of the project).

The drafting of the bilateral roadmap signed in December 2018 was based on an thematically open bottom-up process involving the research, funding and intermediary organisations of both countries. Following an extensive review and a roadmapping workshop moderated by the DLR Project Management Agency in September 2017, a joint paper with 30 suggestions for action was prepared under the auspices of the Helmholtz Association. In November 2017, a working meeting of the relevant organisations of both countries took place in Berlin, where the respective proposals were joined in a statement that was handed over to the ministries in the context of a high-level conference the following day. 

Cooperation priorities

The cross-overs between Germany’s research interests are expressed in specialised agreements, which have set out important cooperation priorities since 1992.

  • Development and application of accelerator-based photon sources
  • Optical technologies
  • Marine and polar research
  • Innovation strategies and technologies for sustainable environmental protection and the rational use of natural resources
  • Biological research and biotechnology

Based on the 'Strategic Partnership' existing between Germany and Russia, the promotion of German-Russian cooperation in the field of applied, industry-related and innovative research and development has continually been expanded by the BMBF (and implemented by the International Bureau).

The 'Roadmap' structures the focal points of cooperation for the period up to 2028 in four 'pillars':

  • I. Cooperation in the development of large research infrastructures
  • II. Joint research projects in the areas of scientific and technological cooperation prioritised by both countries
  • III. Promotion of junior scientists and talents in higher education and vocational training in both countries
  • IV. Science and research to bridge science, society and economy of both countries.

Worth mentioning in a multilateral context is the strategic initiative ERA.Net RUS Plus 'Further linking Russia to the ERA: Coordination of MS/AC S&T programmes towards and with Russia', which the BMBF launched to support the research cooperation with Russia in a multilateral environment. The DLR Project Management Agency coordinates this EU project, which represents the biggest geographical ERA.Net. With research funding provided by both Russian and European funding organisations (including ministries such as the BMBF und MON), ERA.Net RUS Plus implemented 2 Joint Calls for transnational and scientifically excellent research projects in 2014 and 2017. Both were execeptionally successful. In 2018, the European Comission decided to extend the project period of ERA.Net RUS Plus.

Successful projects with the Russian Federation