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Matchmaking with strategy: the International Bureau

Consulting and networking across borders
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How can international cooperation on climate change or artificial intelligence be made sustainable and effective? We advise politics, research and business, develop strategies and measures for global networking with them – and implement them.

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Global challenges such as climate change or digitalisation can only be mastered internationally. Germany is actively involved – also with the help of the International Bureau (IB) of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), which has been based at DLR Projektträger (DLR-PT) for over 20 years.

From strategy to cooperation with partner countries

In the IB, we develop strategic approaches based on analyses, evaluations and foresight processes in order to cooperate with partner countries and regions worldwide. This also includes helping to shape the political strategies and concepts of the Federal Government – above all the strategy for the internationalisation of education, science and research.
In cooperation with European and multinational organisations such as the OECD and UNESCO, we advise the BMBF at committee meetings on education and research.

We also offer advisory services for scientific institutions and companies wishing to implement international cooperation projects.

Strong in communication – international campaigns

Furthermore, our tasks include communication and dialogue measures. For the International Future Laboratories Artificial Intelligence, we implement public relations work on behalf of the BMBF, e.g. with a website, explanatory and information films and press work. Under the Research in Germany brand, we have also implemented international campaigns for the BMBF (social media, communication training, online talks, etc.), for example, following on from the BMBF Science Years on topics such as Work 4.0 or Future City. Another example is the Brussels Future Talks – a new series of political talks by our Brussels office that started in June 2021 and addresses topics such as Strategic Foresight and Science Diplomacy.

Research cooperation with Africa and Russia

Other examples of our work include the BMBF's Africa Strategy and the German-Russian Roadmap, which we are implementing and elaborating.

The aim of the Africa Strategy is to promote sustainable development opportunities on that continent. Among other things, the focus is on promoting innovation and young scientists. We contribute to this, for example, by designing the German-African Innovation Promotion Prize, which is financed by the BMBF.

With the German-Russian Roadmap, a joint strategy was agreed for the first time in 2018, which aims to improve cooperation and increase academic excellence over a ten-year period. To this end, we are implementing funding programmes on behalf of the BMBF, for example to improve the mobility of researchers in thematic areas such as innovative production technologies or the environment and sustainability.

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Background information: Internationalisation Strategy

In 2008, Germany was an international pioneer with the adoption of its first internationalisation strategy. Since then, new trends and challenges have emerged, such as increasing digitisation, the further development of the European Research Area and the growing importance of international vocational education and training (VET) cooperation. Global challenges such as climate change, sustainable energy supply, food security or migration do not stop at national borders. Against this backdrop, the internationalisation strategy adopted in February 2017 needed to be further developed in line with the times. In this process, we supported the BMBF as the lead Federal ministry in terms of content and organisation.

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Main and Other Contacts

Contact at DLR Projektträger



Dr Olaf Heilmayer

Dr Olaf Heilmayer

Head of Department
Third Countries and International Organisations
European and International Cooperation
+49 228 3821 1443