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German Research Foundation Seeks to Expand Relationship with NCI September/October 2009
Applications of scientific research to solve
real-world problems could be a key initiative
Impressed by the research taking place at NCI’s San Francisco Scientific Station during a three-day visit to southern Ecuador, the president of the German Research Foundation (DFG), Dr. Ing Matthias Kleiner, is seeking to broaden the foundation’s future relationship with NCI and local universities. The DFG, which has been investigating the megadiverse mountain ecosystems of southern Ecuador at the Scientific Station since 1997, has an annual budget of $3 billion, and its program at the Station is one of the largest research programs of the German Government outside its territory. The current DFG program in southern Ecuador ends in 2013, and one of the goals during the president’s visit was to meet with representatives from national government, NCI and other local institutions to determine the most effective ways to move forward in the future. One potential initiative could be the crucial work of applying the knowledge and scientific results compiled at the station to a host of real world conservation and sustainable development projects on a large scale. The combination of the DFG’s research knowledgebase and NCI’s extensive experience working with local communities would make this project particularly effective. Another interesting possibility is that NCI, DFG and local universities could cooperate in a long-term biodiversity monitoring project, which would help to understand how and why the region’s biodiversity is changing. Both NCI and the DFG are excited about the prospect of strengthening their relationship and working together to promote cutting-edge research, conservation, and sustainable development activities in southern Ecuador.