Aug 042014
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Ludwig Kammesheidt

Project Agency International Bureau at DLR e. V.

1 Introduction

Funding programs for science & technology (S&T) collaboration of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) with countries in Asia and Oceania have focused so far on the heavyweights in the region such as India, China, Japan, and South-Korea, emerging countries, particularly Indonesia and Vietnam, and also, to a lesser extent, on industrialized countries like Singapore, Australia, and New-Zealand. Developing countries, depending on natural resource exploitation and low labor costs (“factordriven”) for economic growth, have not been considered as S&T partners until the recent past. These countries typically allocate little budget to higher education and research and development (R&D), resulting, among others, in poor infrastructure and a low number of researchers who lack incentives to engage in science. However, developing countries have to cope with a number of challenges such as natural resource depletion, environmental pollution, urbanization, climate change, and health problems, to name a few issues which can only be solved by conducting S&T. Moreover, these countries can offer access to a wide range of unique natural resources, e.g. biodiversity. Both, challenges of global scale as well as interesting subjects in the area of natural resource management and ecosystem research, make developing countries attractive as S&T partners in international cooperation projects.

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