Bonn is the centre for one of six new “Advanced Research Groups” (Fortschrittskolleg) set up by the State of North-Rhine Westphalia. Over the next five years doctoral students will work together in interdisciplinary research areas to analyze complex problems. The global issues of nutrition and health are the central focus for the Bonn “One Health” Advanced Research Group. This group was established by the University of Bonn in conjunction with the Bonn-Rhein-Sieg University of Applied Sciences and the United Nations University Institute for Environment and Human Security (UNU-EHS). The Ministry of Innovation, Science and Research of the State of North-Rhine Westphalia (MIWF) has made available funding for the project worth 2.3 million euros and the University of Bonn has contributed a further 250,000 euros.
The “One Health” Advanced Research Group places special emphasis on interconnected systems in the fields of human health, environmental health and agricultural production. Today, greater nutritional security and functioning healthcare systems are a global social challenge. The “One Health” Advanced Research Group aims to highlight the risks and to concentrate on devising sustainable solutions. The experts define “One Health” as the holistic and multi-disciplinary study of the interrelations between humans, animals, the environment and health. The project’s full title is “One Health and Urban Transformation – Identifying the Risks, Devising Sustainable Solutions. The transformation of health-related systems in the Ruhr region in comparison to metropolitan regions in South America, Africa and Asia”.
Prof. Dr Christian Borgemeister, Director of the Centre for Development Research (ZEF) of the University of Bonn, is acting as the group’s spokesperson. He explains, “During the years ahead we can advance interdisciplinary research on the subject of ‘one health’ together with internal and regional partners. Thanks to our long-standing international research efforts we can further consolidate our collaborative work with partners in South America, Africa and Asia.” The participating academics are from São Paulo (Brazil), Accra (Ghana) and Ahmedabad (India).
The Rector of the University of Bonn, Prof. Dr Michael Hoch, welcomed the funding decision: “Procuring the Advanced Research Group is a pleasing success for the entire Bonn/Rhein-Sieg academic region because it not only reinforces research and training for young academics, but also helps to intensify the collaborative effort of the institutions concerned.”
The Advanced Research Group (Fortschrittskolleg NRW) is the research strategy of the State of North-Rhine Westphalia. A jury of experts proposed the six projects that are currently under consideration. According to the NRW Minister of Science and Research, Svenja Schulze, the Advanced Research Groups support the collaborative work of academics from various disciplines in conjunction with individuals involved with civic society initiatives. “More awareness of views beyond the academic’s specialist research interest boosts the chances of finding solutions to the major social challenges”, comments Minister Schulze. The funding support is effective from 1 July 2016.
Janine Kandel, Media Officer
United Nations University, Institute for Environment and Human Security
Phone: +49 228 815 0219