Ina Scharrenbach Copyright: © MHKBG / F. Berger Ina Scharrenbach, NRW Minister for Regional Identity, Communities and Local Government, Building and Gender Equality

The excellent research results achieved by RWTH Aachen University can – and should – be a catalyst for structural change in the Rhenish mining area. Science also has a responsibility to communicate to the public, and this holds particularly true for the environment in which the University is located. The region has just begun a far-reaching structural transformation process to prepare the economy, society, education, and culture for the future. In this mammoth task, we need science and research, and we need it to provide practical and applicable solutions.

That's why I was very happy to take on the role of patron of this year’s Structural Change focus area of the newly established Knowledge Hub. The more complex the challenges, the more important becomes effective communication. This is what the Knowledge Hub stands for: it makes the relevance of research results visible, it connects researchers with each other and with stakeholders and businesses in the region.

Scientific findings are the basis for innovation and development. They support decision making by providing expert knowledge for forward-looking technologies and innovative action. The economy, society, and individual citizens benefit when research findings are translated into new products and processes.

The Knowledge Hub provides a boost to the dialogue and exchange between research and application. This is essential for generating ideas and for initiating productive collaboration.

Ina Scharrenbach
Minister for Regional Identity, Communities and Local Government,
Building and Gender Equality of the Federal State of North Rhine-Westphalia.