A delegation from the German city of Jena, in the “green heart” of Germany, paid a visit to sister city Berkeley this week. The group was welcomed on the UC Berkeley campus by Tsu-Jae King Liu, vice provost for academic and space planning, and professor Jeroen Dewulf, director of the Institute of European Studies.
Among the visitors were Wolfgang Tiefensee, the Thuringian minister for economic affairs, science and digital society and Jena Mayor Albrecht Schröter, as well as Berkeley Mayo Jesse Arreguin. The delegation also included German corporate CEOs and representatives, mainly from the optics, photonics, laser, and IT industries, as well as people from German universities and research institutes.
Like Berkeley, Jena is a university city and a center of education and research. One of the best-known universities in Jena, Friedrich Schiller University (FSU), was represented by Claudia Hillinger, head of FSU’s International Office. Hillinger spoke highly of the UC Berkeley Institute of European Studies (IES) and the FSU Jena Pre-Dissertation and Dissertation Research Fellowship, which was established in 2011 to intensify the collaboration between FSU and UC Berkeley by supporting Berkeley graduate students to pursue research opportunities at FSU.
Both the Germans and Americans affirmed the importance of international collaboration to maintaining excellence in research, despite recent U.S. government calls for tighter borders.