International Activities


Kooperationen_Europa zugeschnitten

Partner universities on European level 


The Ostfalia has an outstanding expertise due to the seven focus research areas and takes part in many international research and other projects.

Ostfalia cooperates with both companies and the public sector. The projects develop new, broad-based solutions for regional and national needs. Ostfalia is a member of FHnet, a network bringing together all the 23 universities of applied sciences that participate in the EU-Strategie-FH programme.

Here is an overview of Ostfalia's current international operations in all their variety:



Exchange on future opportunities for EU research funding for universities of applied sciences in Brussels

"Opportunities of universities of applied sciences in the new research framework program Horizon Europe" was the topic of an event of the network FHnet on 4th and 5th April in Brussels. The network had invited representatives of its member universities to an open exchange – Gert Bikker and Kai Hillebrecht followed the invitation to Brussels on the part of Ostfalia university.

FHnet is a nationwide network of German universities of applied sciences. The FHnet universities want to improve their strategic position regarding European research topics and increase the visibility of the universities of applied sciences in Europe. The aim is to attract more EU research projects, particularly under the research framework program "Horizon 2020" and the follow-up program "Horizon Europe". The network has been funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) since 2017.

The event in Brussels was carried out with assistance of the EU Cooperation Agency of Science Organizations. About 50 participants deepened their knowledge of EU funding opportunities for applied research projects. Speakers from the European Commission, industry and academic associations as well as strategic university networks were present. Together with the representatives of the FHnet member universities they discussed the current state of negotiations on Horizon Europe and possibilities for the participation of universities of applied sciences in Horizon 2020 and the successor program.


FHnet Brussels

Thomas Estermann (European University Association), Jens-Peter Gaul (German Rectors' Conference), Dr. Henning Gädeke (Permanent Representation of the Federal Republic of Germany to the EU), Birte Schöpfer (FHnet / Hochschule Bremen), Dr. Ing. Torsten Fischer (EU Cooperation Office of the Scientific Organizations)


Especially in collaborative research there will continue to be good opportunities for participation in universities of applied sciences.

This is one of the conclusions of the event. For the universities of applied sciences, with their practice-oriented research, this also offers the best prerequisites for an ongoing successful cooperation with the proven partners from the region. The possibility of European funding for innovative start-ups was also discussed during the two-day visit to Brussels, as the universities support the spin-offs of students and employees.



Please contact Kai Hillebrecht for more information on this international activity.

Cooperation with Sochi State University

It is already several years since the Karl-Scharfenberg Faculty at Ostfalia set up the partnership with Sochi State University. In autumn 2018, representatives of the Faculty of Transport-Sports-Tourism-Media made their first trip to the Black Sea to intensify the exchange between the institutions. Stefan Küblböck (professor of tourism management) and Harald Rau (professor of communications management) aimed to conduct intensive talks and discussions with various officials and faculties.

Sochi University

Sochi State University.

A particular goal was to initiate a lecturer exchange programme (each phase lasting two weeks, held in English) and to invite students with knowledge of Russian to take part in exchanges in the area of media management and communication. Ostfalia also had an opportunity to present the chair’s international research strategies in Sochi in addition to its research in the field of location-based services (LBS). LBS applications (apps) run on mobile devices and are designed to create added value for its users through localisation.

In particular, placing the focus on the tourism industry – both in Salzgitter and Sochi – served to make the cooperation of interest to both parties. The two universities are currently engaged in raising funding for an Erasmus Plus project, the aim of which is to enable an intensive exchange between courses of study in the tourism sector. The trip undertaken to further the universities' cooperation also gave Ostfalia the opportunity to present the faculty's main areas of research in front of a large audience at a university auditorium in Sochi. Stefan Küblböck explained the background of a study looking into the quality of training and the market situation in the field of hotels and catering in the Braunschweig region; this produced findings that were of international interest. Harald Rau presented the extensive research project funded by third-party sponsorship entitled "Location-based services in regional media communication" along with its initial findings, as well as giving a presentation on the subject of click-baiting – motivated by media economics and media-critically realised. All presentations met with great appreciation.

Prof. Rau in Sochi

Prof. Rau giving a speech at Sochi State University.

For the purpose of squaring differences and drawing parallels, the professors from Ostfalia held very concrete discussions with the presidential board on the following themes in the course of the cooperation talks:
How is research awarded for scientists? How are activities in internationalisation supported by faculty - facing the single researcher? How can staff be prepared for international science and research projects? How could work be published? How is research coordinated and monitored? How is success in research communicated (internally and externally)?



Please contact Prof. Dr. Harald Rau for more information on this international activity.



University of Jönköping: A special kind of research cooperation

The Media Management Transfer Center (MMTC) and the communication management chair at Ostfalia are currently intensifying their cooperation. The MMTC is a world-renowned research institution at the University of Jönköping, where it is domiciled within the Jönköping Business School. It is a major player not only in Europe but also internationally. The Business School recently advertised new doctoral positions in the field of media management, in which successful candidates are able to conduct their research and teach in employee positions for a period of five years while preparing their doctoral dissertation (PhD).

Annika Ehlers, member of the EFRE research project team: "Location-based services (LBS) in regional media communication", successfully fended off 108 other applicants to gain one of the highly desirable places. LBS applications (apps) run on mobile devices and are designed to create added value for its users through localisation. Annika Ehlers has meanwhile arrived in Sweden, and according to Professor Leona Achtenhagen, head of the MMTC, she is making extremely good progress in the Business School's team. What is special about this is that Annika Ehlers, who studied media management at Ostfalia, obtained a master's degree in communication science (IJK Hannover) as well as in business management (University of Hagen), continues to work in the LBS project at Ostfalia.

Prof. Rau and Ms. Ehlers

Prof. Dr. Harald Rau (professor of communications management, Ostfalia) and Annika Ehlers (Ostfalia/University of Jönköping) during one of the last face-to-face project meetings at the Karl-Scharfenberg faculty. Meanwhile, they are communicating exclusively via social media and IP telephony.

This is all thanks to the endeavours towards internationalisation made by the Karl-Scharfenberg faculty. The LBS project team additionally benefits from the international integration and especially from having a contact in the Scandinavian region; it was in northern Europe that the first research into localised journalistic offers took place. The cooperation with the MMTC was expanded at the beginning of 2019; on the basis of a common positive experience, the University of Jönköping is now on board as an important international partner in direct cooperation with the communications management chair at Ostfalia, as a result of an application to the Lower Saxony doctoral programme, which was jointly initiated by the TU Braunschweig and Ostfalia.



Please contact Prof. Dr. Harald Rau for more information on this international activity.



New FHnet homepage is now online

New FHnet homepage is now online

By publishing the cooperative web presence, an important milestone is being reached. With a fresh and modern design and an orderly structure, the homepage facilitates a quick overview of the FHnet network and the running EU-Strategie-FH projects at the participating universities. Furthermore, the page informs about the research projects of the FHnet members which are being financed by the EU funding programme Horizon 2020.


  To Ostfalia's web page within FHnet












"Digital dabei" – Joint Research in Lower Saxony and South Africa

"Digital dabei" is a research project initiated by the Faculty of Social Work at the Ostfalia University of Applied Sciences that aims to determine the educational requirements of people with disabilities in Lower Saxony and in the Eastern Cape province of South Africa. The partners in the project are Lebenshilfe Lower Saxony, Nelson Mandela University and the Eastern Cape Disability Economic Empowerment Trust in South Africa. The project is supported by the State of Lower Saxony.

Representatives of the partner institutions from Lower Saxony and South Africa met on Wednesday, 28 November at Nelson Mandela University in Port Elisabeth. The meeting focused on the findings of the education survey conducted by the project manager, Prof. Dr. Ludger Kolhoff of the Faculty of Social Work of the Ostfalia University of Applied Sciences, between 2016 and 2017. The aim of the research was to determine the educational requirements of disabled people in northern Germany. The following topics were considered: Digital media (social media and using software), dealing with money (avoiding debt, appreciating the value of money, saving), social skills (friendships and partnerships, handling conflicts, dealing with authorities), work and education (writing applications, external workplaces, handling work equipment), leisure and knowledge (finding out information about regional offers and animals & plants, learning languages), independence (mobility, housekeeping, travelling), and health and nutrition (healthy diet, easy-to-understand cooking, dealing with stress).

digital dabei

Meeting at Nelson Mandela University in Port Elisabeth (left to right): Prof. Dr. Ludger Kolhoff (Ostfalia), Natalie Mansvelt (Nelson Mandela University), Uwe Hiltner (director of the Lebenshilfe Lower Saxony, and the Association of Sheltered Workshops North), Prof. Louise Stroud, Dr. Aldene Luck and Prof. Dr. Zoleka Soji (Nelson Mandela University).

In addition, digital educational offers such as explanatory videos and digital self-study units were presented by Professor Kolhoff of Ostfalia, Uwe Hiltner, director of the Lebenshilfe Lower Saxony, and the Association of Sheltered Workshops (North); these were specifically developed by the "Digital dabei" research club at Ostfalia and the Association of Sheltered Workshops (North) for the target group of people with disabilities.

For its part, Nelson Mandela University will devise a supplementary educational study in South Africa to determine the particular educational needs of people with disabilities in the Eastern Cape. The educational offers will be based on those developed in Lower Saxony. They also aim to develop their own educational courses.

"The 'Digital dabei' project not only makes an important contribution to the professional training and social inclusion of disabled people but also promotes cultural and social dialogue as well as training and further education in Germany and South Africa. The exchange between the countries will serve to promote global learning and create new perspectives in further education", says Professor Kolhoff.

Implementing these further education courses in digital form will give users significant benefits. For example, they can be used in rural areas that are not connected to the transport network – thanks to the existence of dense mobile phone networks both in South Africa and Germany. Moreover, the courses can be adapted to the specific needs of people with sensory impairments or worded in a simple language style. The aim is to simplify the learning process and to increase users' independence in their daily lives.



Please contact Prof. Dr. Ludger Kolhoff for more information on this international activity.



Establishing foreign contacts in Latin America for the Faculty of Trade and Social Work

International university contacts and cooperations in Brazil, Argentina and Chile for the Faculty of Trade and Social Work in Suderburg and for the research projects "E-Learning", "Digital Trust and Teamwork" and "Intuition" of Prof. Dr. Markus Launer.

Targets of the international visit

The overall target of the international visit was to further advance the internationalisation of the Faculty of Trade and Social Work in Suderburg by the following means:

  • Students should be able to study abroad at partner universities
  • Professors should be able to participate in international conferences
  • Professors should be able to teach abroad, e.g. as visiting professor
  • Professors should be able to research abroad and take part in international research projects and participate in academic conferences abroad
  • Scientific staff should be able to internationalise their research work and participate in international research projects.

In addition, for the EFRE research project "Digital Trust and Teamwork" international partners who transfer their know-how to the district of Uelzen should be won.

Preliminary Work

Prof. Dr. Markus Launer, chair of Business Administration with a focus on Service Management, had made contact with universities in Latin America. The universities were selected systematically by publicly available rankings. The highest rated university of a country was targeted. First contact was established via email and personal contacts from previous private trips. In the in-depth mail exchange, information on possible cooperations and joint research projects was exchanged with the respective offices for international linkages. As a result, Prof. Launer was invited to conduct personal discussions with various academic departments and selected scientists.

Research Process

Firstly, personal contact with the offices for international linkages was established by Prof. Launer as described above. The respective heads of the offices were connected with Holger Zimpel, head of the International Relations Office at Ostfalia, and Prof. Dr. Dirk Plickat, international officer for the Faculty of Trade and Social Work. As a result, a memorandum of understanding will be exchanged as a basis for future collaborations.

The following specific academic activities were implemented for Prof. Launer’s research projects:

  • E-Learning: Ongoing research on didactics and technical implementation of e-learning were discussed. In particular, specific work was done with professors on the implementation of the empirical survey in Brazil, Argentina and Chile. In Brazil, Prof. Dr. Marco Krebs from the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro takes over the study. At the University of Buenos Aires the study should be taken over by Prof. Miguel A. Marzullo. A suitable contact person is currently being sought by Prof. Erich Spencer, head of the international office at the University of Santiago de Chile. The study will be completed by April 2019 and will be presented in an international symposium "International Lectures".
  • Digital Trust and Teamwork: The EFRE research project will be internationalised at the beginning of 2019 (study 1). Therefore, preliminary discussions were conducted with faculties of Business and Computer Science, asking how the empirical study could be implemented in Brazil, Argentina and Chile. In Brazil, the study will be supported by Prof. Dr. Marco Krebs from the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro. The University of Buenos Aires (Prof. Luis Perez van Morlegan) and the University of Santiago de Chile (Prof. Erich Spencer) are currently looking for suitable contacts.
  • Intuition: The EFRE research project Intuition will be internationalised at the end of 2019. This is to carry out the experiments on site in Brazil, Argentina and Chile with students and companies. Therefore, contacts were established with the faculties of Sociology and Psychology. In Brazil, Prof. Roberto Ivo from the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro was excited to cooperate on the project and transfer his knowledge to the district of Uelzen.


In addition, future joint research projects were discussed.


University of Santiago de Chile

Meeting at the University of Santiago de Chile: Prof. Dr. Eduard Kohler (project partner), Stephanie Dazin (International Linkages), Prof. Dr. Markus Launer (Ostfalia) and Prof. Dr. Erich Spencer (International Relations).


Implementation of results

The journey was successful especially concerning the establishment of contacts and the planning of common research. All set targets have been reached.

  • The research on e-learning has already started in Brazil, together with Prof. Markus Krebs. First results are available. The next steps will be interviews in Argentina and Chile.
  • The implementation of research for "Digital Trust and Teamwork" has also begun. In 2019, national studies will be carried out together with the partners.
  • The ground work and theory building for the research "Intuition" has already begun. The project starts officially on October 1, 2018.
  • The respective professors will now be invited for November 2018 to the second Service Management Congress in Suderburg/Uelzen.



Please contact Prof. Dr. Markus A. Launer for more information on this international activity.



Development and Enhancement of Preventive Resources for Professions with High Stress Experience

Development and Enhancement of Preventive Resources for Professions with High Stress Experience

The project investigates the preventive resources (protective facotors) for social workers and counselors and aims for an enhancement of these resources. In this context, the term "resources" refers to competences, relationships or other tools protecting against stress.

The researchers examine what kind of factors are already taking effect during the first working experiences of students and also later on during their working life. They investigate how these resources can be strengthened effectively, so that the consequences of stress experience on health can be reduced.

Cooperations exist with the Duale Hochschule Baden-Württemberg and the University of North Carolina at Charlotte (UNCC), USA. 


Please contact Prof. Dr. Andrea Schwanzer for more information on this international activity.



Tuning environmental competences in Asian fishery education for sustainable development (TUNASIA)

Tuning environmental competences in Asian fishery education for sustainable development (TUNASIA))

The project focuses on the modernization and development of curricula for the qualification students in transdisciplinary education system in the network with companies, research institutions and stakeholders of the region. The project strengthens European cooperation in transdisciplinary education and internationalization, which has been rather limited due to the strong scientific traditions in HE-education systems. This makes it possible to transfer knowledge about the transdisciplinary model to higher education and therefor enable the future generation of scientists and employees in enterprises to draw on synergies from different scientific directions. This seems necessary since environmental problems are rather complex and therefore need even more complex answers. Empirical studies on the needs analysis in the labor market are conducted in the participating PCs and competency catalogs are compiled. On the basis of the catalogs, curricula for the BA level are modernized by the development of modular thematic clusters, the curriculum for the transdisciplinary MA course "Environmental Management of Fishery Enterprises" is developed, modularized distance learning courses for continuing education of employees in the fishery sector are developed and the MA course is adapted for online-teaching. A centre of excellence for transdisciplinary env. education and vocational guidance (with eLabs as an innovative element) will be set up at PU for the highly debt-oriented design of the curriculum, training courses for university staff, professional orientation and networking in the local education landscape. Through measures for dissemination and sustainability, the model character of the transdisciplinaryl education in fisheries is supported and the transfer of the project results is ensured nationwide and internationally. The evaluation of the curricula of internal and external experts contributes to effective quality control.


Erasmus Project Visitors from Asia



Please contact Prof. Dr. Thomas Potempa for more information on this international activity.



"GrowIn 4.0" promotes digitization in SMEs – in the Peine district, too

"GrowIn 4.0" promotes digitization in SMEs – in the Peine district, too

An interview regarding the project "GrowIn 4.0 - Growing into Industry 4.0"

Structural change and digital transformation create competitive pressure, especially for small and medium-sized enterprises. This is because they lack the capacity to deal with digitalization. As part of the "GrowIn 4.0" project, 15 partners from Belgium, Denmark, Germany, England and the Netherlands are developing innovative methodologies, tools, and concepts for these companies, in order to facilitate the developments. In close cooperation with the Ostfalia University of Applied Sciences, wito gmbh is hoping to increase the innovation and competitiveness of local companies. In an interview with editor Melanie Stallmann, wito managing director Günter Eckhardt, and the Ostfalia University of Applied Sciences' Prof. Dr.-Ing. Diederich Wermser, Professor Dr.-Ing. Gert Bikker and Dipl.-Biol. Kai Hillebrecht talk about the enormous opportunities presented to the companies as a result of the collaboration.


What exactly does the "GrowIn 4.0" project involve, and what benefit does it entail for companies?

Bikker: We want to provide targeted support to small and medium-sized enterprises on their road towards digitalization. On the one hand, we're investigating the effects of digitalization on existing business concepts in terms of strategy development and business-model development. On the other, the project aims to promote technology transfer between research institutes, universities and business – in all economic sectors.


What does this mean exactly?

Wermser: Today, every company – whatever the size – has enterprise software which handles, for example, personnel management, accounting, inventory management, and much more. In addition, there are production tools via which the machines are operated and controlled. However, there is a gap between these two, where many tasks are still done manually in a time-consuming manner. Our goal is to digitize the entire chain from top to bottom. Amazon's power, for example, lies in the fact that from the very top (when you order something) until the very bottom (where the last car is monitored), each step is digitized. There is not a single stage where a human has to write on paper or read anything.


But can small enterprises manage to do what the larger ones are putting into practice?

Bikker: Of course. Although of course each company must decide itself on data-transfer matters. We can advise and support them in how to collect and use this data first of all, and then in how to do so in an affordable manner. Because, technically speaking, anything is possible. For this reason, it's all the more important to get some advice. It's very important in the process chain that you gather a lot of information. No-one wants to tell the outside world, though, why they produce products at lightning speed. It can be seen as very practical however, for example, if a supplier can automatically learn from production-chain experiences how much of which materials is needed and when.


Following your first encounters, where do you feel is the greatest need for advice in the companies that you have visited so far in the Peine district?

Wermser: The interests and issues around Digitization and Industry 4.0 were as varied as the sectors in which the companies operate. Primarily, it is a question of possibilities in terms of materials and production, and the corresponding staffing requirements.


What does the subsequent collaboration between business and the University look like?

Hillebrecht: If asked to do so, we can determine the requirements directly in situ and see how we can fulfil them in the form of projects. In this respect, we work with individually tailored, targeted solutions taken from all areas of the digitization field.

Wermser: One advantage for companies is that we know about the University's technical innovations, and can combine – or even promote – them, depending on the needs and wishes of the companies.


What role does wito gmbh play in this collaboration?

Eckhardt: We know the companies, make contact and organise workshops on the topic. Ostfalia's experts then give their opinion on a variety of topics, and make the companies aware of the possibilities offered by the digitization.


How open have SMEs been to new ideas to date?

Wermser: For many, the topic is completely uncharted territory, because for a long time digitization took place based on economies of scale, and has not therefore been affordable for SMEs. Recently though, technological developments have come so far that digitization is much more flexible thanks to open standards, and can be achieved with far lower cost and effort. Compared to other European nations, we also enjoy the luxury that digitization projects within smaller companies can be facilitated through various funding programmes. And that's exactly what the companies should be taking advantage of.

Eckhardt: Because anyone shying away from digitization will eventually disappear from the market. It must be said though, that even the smallest of businesses in the Peine district are mostly already equipped with modern technology, and are therefore essentially sympathetic towards digitalization. However, many people feel somewhat inhibited about contacting universities with a view to taking advantage of research contracts or projects. But this is precisely what we want to change.


Text: Peiner Wirtschaftsspiegel, 04/2018 (Edition 2/2018) Link: to article from Peiner Wirtschaftsspiegel publication



Please contact Dennis Haarmeyer for more information on this international activity.



TraCIM and ValTraC projects

TraCIM and ValTraC projects

A part of computer science has its roots in the field of applied mathematics. The term "computer" of course comes from the verb "to [mathematically] compute". As a calculator, a computer nowadays usually fulfils basic arithmetic operations at a hardware level, and further functions – such as trigonometric functions – are implemented in the standard libraries of programming languages, such as FORTRAN, C or Java. There are also libraries for more complex functions, but not for all such functions. Certain functions and procedures must therefore be programmed explicitly, whereby the verification of the correctness of the calculation process can be very complicated and extensive, once the calculation is beyond a certain level of complexity.

One area of application of such complex procedures comprises coordinate-measuring machines, which are used in industrial production, for example, to check manufacturing tolerances. The sensors take recordings at measuring points, and the length, area or volume of the object to be measured is calculated by software-implemented procedures. The sensors operate using tactile, optical and even x-ray-tomography measures, down to the level of micrometres. One such well-known calculation method is the method of least-squares, based on foundations laid by Carl Friedrich Gauss as far back as 1795, and is thus about 200 years old.

The research project TraCIM (Traceability for Computational-Intensive Metrology) ran from June 2012 to May 2015 in the framework of the European Metrology Research Program (EMRP), with the aim of, for example, validating and certifying the method of least-squares, which is used by software in coordinate-measuring machines. Public-authority certificates are issued by national metrology institutes (NMIs). Within the scope of the TraCIM project, the national metrology institutes of Germany (PTB), the United Kingdom (NPL), the Czech Republic (CMI), Italy (INRIM), Slovenia (UM) and the Netherlands (VSL) worked on this type of certification question.

Other project partners were the University of Huddersfield, University of Applied Sciences Zwickau, the University of York, as well as the Ostfalia. At the Ostfalia, the work was undertaken at the Institute for Software Engineering within the Faculty of Computer Science/IT, under the direction of Prof. Dr. Bernd Müller. The Ostfalia was responsible for the entirety of the software-side solution, while the metrology institutes and the other universities worked on the mathematical issues. TraCIM's partners from the world of industry were Hexagon, Mitutoyo, Werth and Zeiss – the global market leader in the field of coordinate-measuring machines.


Tracim The modell of the server application


The server application developed by Ostfalia consists of an administration core and "expert extensions", which effect the respective mathematical methods. The architecture is shown in the figure. The application, which has been productively operated at the Physikalisch Technische Bundesanstalt in Braunschweig, Germany since 2014, currently presents the procedures of Gauss and Chebyshev. In addition, an inter-comparison procedure was prepared using the three appropriate expert extensions. The typical use of the system is as follows: a coordinate-measuring-machine manufacturer, using standard Internet protocols, requests the relevant test data for one of the three procedures. After checking the administrative and economic boundary conditions, it receives the corresponding test data and uses this as input data for its software to be certified. The result of the calculation is sent back to the PTB, where the corresponding expert extension compares the submitted results with those expected. If, in a specific tolerance report, the results are in agreement with each other, the device manufacturer receives a certificate for the tested version of its software.  In the meantime, all four coordinate-measuring-machine manufacturers involved in the project have had several versions of their software certified in this way. The number of other certifications is in the high double digits.

In the follow-up project, ValTraC (Validation of Software Development and Analysis Tools using TraCIM, also funded by EMPR), the Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt (PTB), the National Physical Laboratory (NPL), the Ostfalia and National Instruments (as a partner from the industrial sector) worked on validating and certifying further mathematical procedures, independent of issues around coordinate-measuring machines. The project ran from July 2016 to December 2017 and allows the NPL to offer commercial certification involving 6 calculation methods to date, which can be used for example by National Instruments for LabVIEW.



Please contact Prof. Dr. Bernd Müller for more information on this international activity.



REMEDI - Bioremediation of organic pollutant contamination in industrial waste water

REMEDI - Bioremediation of organic pollutant contamination in industrial waste water

A Project within the EU Framework Program for Research and Innovation Horizon 2020 with partners from North and South America

The project is placed within the EU Framework Program for Research and Innovation Horizon 2020 with partners from North and South America. Main objective  is the development of a bioremediation process (filter module) for the removal of the dye rhodamine B used in the agate processing industry of southern Brazil with microalgae species as adsorbent, involving researchers from Ostfalia (Dr. Sander), University of Wisconsin at Parkside (Prof. Skalbeck) and Universidad Federal de Santa María (Prof. Carissimi). Preliminary results found, that the filter materials designed to support the process are effective in treating heavy metal contaminated waters. Bioremediation processes developed should preventively protect the public from the health risks posed by the dyes used in the agate processing industry and, in further steps, organic pollutants and improve water quality.

The environmentally friendly and cost-effective process approach for wastewater treatment should have the potential to cost-effectively enable residue-free decontamination of other organic pollutants in wastewater also within the EU (waste water treatment, 4th stage of purification). Thus, continued work with an extended circle pf partners from TAMK, Tampere, Finland and others within Horizon 2020 is planned.


SM BR 2 Cultivation of endemic algal species for test on bioremediation efficiency



REMEDI Meeting

A first meeting on the 10th Decembre connected the international projectpartners of the Researchproject "Bioremediation of contaminated waters with organic pollutants REMEDI)". 15 investigators from Germany, Finnland, Poland, Brazil and the USA met to dicuss the collaboration as well as fitting foundations to finance the project.

Following points among others have been part of the meeting:

  • Presentations oft the latest status of measures to fight contamination throu Rhodamine B in Brazil and studies about filter materials and their absorbtion powers and reusability
  • Discussion in the plenum about measures and investigations. Suggestions from the participants on possible future actions. Work packages and possible synergies have been talked about. Experiences from different areas have been exchanged and have been used in the planing of the project.
  • Formal and organisational aspects of the project and possible supports and national as well as international collaborations have been talked about. Different options have been compared.

  Remedi meeting



Please contact Dr. agr. Hedda Sander for more information on this international activity.



International conference addresses the issue of digitization in medium-sized businesses

International conference addresses the issue of digitization in medium-sized businesses

Cooperation sealed by partners with contract signing

In Braunschweig, on Wednesday and Thursday of this week, 15 project partners from Germany, Denmark, Great Britain, Belgium and the Netherlands discussed the shift to digital in small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Allianz für die Region GmbH and the Ostfalia University of Applied Sciences also attended. In an international cooperation project, "GrowIn 4.0", they are working on supporting SMEs on their way to digitization, with demand-led offerings. Recently, Allianz für die Region GmbH, Ostfalia University and the Braunschweig Ministry for Regional Development signed a corresponding cooperation agreement. It contractually stipulates the final details of the project cooperation and fulfils all the preconditions for benefiting from the international exchange of knowledge and for being able to develop targeted solutions for SMEs.

Digitization and Industry 4.0 hold great opportunities for the region. However, it is small and medium-sized enterprises in particular which often have a limited capacity to deal with the complexity of the opportunities presented by digitization. "Here we have a project where we analyse individual needs and requirements together with selected companies, in order to develop offerings for the region, along with the participating European partners," said Oliver Syring, managing director of Allianz für die Region. The trans-national exchange makes it possible to learn best practices from the partner regions and to adapt them for the region. It also makes it possible to provide impetus in the other direction.

The local partner is the Ostfalia University of Applied Sciences. For many years now, it has been researching technologies which are relevant to Industry 4.0 and has formed an interdisciplinary research area. "Against this backdrop, we were pleased to be able to take on the management of the sub-project "Optimised use of technologies and development of new products". The project accelerates the transfer of practical knowledge to the producing medium-sized enterprises in the region," said Prof. Dr. Gert Bikker, Ostfalia's Vice President for Research, Development and Technology Transfer.

Matthias Wunderling-Weilbier, Braunschweig Commissioner for Regional Development welcomed the collaboration by Allianz für die Region and the Ostfalia University of Applied Sciences within the scope of the project "GrowIn 4.0": "Work must follow on from knowledge, and progress and innovation must be carried out for the benefit of the people. We're looking beyond our own backyard: we're taking part in the developments of other economically innovative regions in Europe and strengthening the competitiveness and economic growth in our region."


International exchange in Braunschweig

At this two-day conference, the participants were first of all told about the political relevance, opportunities and risks of digitization, as well as the funding opportunities around it. The participants were also able to see in situ, during a visit to Simtec Systems GmbH, how companies are making the shift to digital. "Especially with regard to our rapidly growing company, which is both hoping to welcome in many new employees, and to make the production process more efficient and high-quality, the innovative ideas of progressive digitization is a crucial step into the future," is how Philipp Hellwig, head of administration at Simtec Systems, described the situation at the company.

On the second day the partners exchanged views on the progress of the project and how it would proceed further. The emphasis was on a benchmark analysis, something on which the partners are not currently working. The focus was on the collection and evaluation of best-practice projects on the themes of business models, technology and skills. "GrowIn 4.0" started on 1 August 2017 and is due to run for three years. Since mid-2017, more than a dozen partners – from Belgium, Denmark, Germany, England and the Netherlands – have been working together. The project is embedded in European regional policy via the Interreg North Sea programme and is funded by the European Regional Development Fund. The European Union's intention with the Interreg programmes is to extend trans-national cooperation, and to improve the efficiency of regional policies by means of a cooperative approach to regional development. Support goes to projects working on solving common challenges (including those "across borders") in transnational partnerships. The areas of innovation, the environment and mobility comprise the main themes. The Braunschweig Office for Regional Development looks after regional partner acquisition and partner support on a local level.


Text: Allianz für die Region



Please contact Dennis Haarmeyer for more information on this international activity.



International sustainability conference in Kerala

International sustainability conference in Kerala

Ostfalia is one of the founding universities of the International Association for Sustainable Globalization

Presentation of the conference proceedings of the International Association for Sustainable Globalization (organising committee with guest from left to right: Dr. Hedda Sander, Ostfalia University of Applied Sciences, Germany, Prof. Dr. Thomas Sabu, Mahatma Gandhi University, Kerala, India, Prof. Dr. Abey Kuruvilla, University of Wisconsin at Parkside, Dr. Deborah Ford, Chancellor of the University of Wisconsin at Parkside, Prof. Dr. Robinet Jacob, Mahatma Gandhi University, Kerala, India.

The first organisation of an International Conference for Sustainable Globalization (ICSG), held from 11th to 13th January 2018 in Kochi, Kerala, India, was held by four universities in a partnership cooperation far beyond European bounds: Dr. Hedda Sander, Ostfalia University of Applied Sciences, Germany, Review Committee Chair, Prof. Dr. Abey Kuruvilla, University of Wisconsin at Parkside, Program Chair, Prof. Dr. Robinet Jacob, Mahatma Gandhi University, Kerala, India, Organizing Chair, and Prof. Dr. Mario Konecki, University of Zagreb, Croatia, formed the organising committee and determined the direction taken by this conference.

The conference and connected workshops offered four topics related to sustainable globalisation: education, IT, tourism and sustainable development were discussed by audiences of international experts.

The approach was new in that as well as scientific experts, participants from the fields of business and administration were invited, so as to facilitate the direct transfer of possible solutions into reality, such that subsequent projects arising from the workshops could involve these fields and have an effect beyond the scientific and technical level.

The range of delegates from various regions, such as Russia, Greece, USA, India, Brazil, Germany and elsewhere, were impressed with the approach to such an extent that the conference led to the establishment of an International Association for Sustainable Globalization in order to continue these activities. The Association's first ever board was formed by the aforementioned members of the founding universities, Dr. Sander, Ostfalia University, Prof. Dr. Kuruvilla, University of Wisconsin at Parkside, Prof. Dr. Jacob, Mahatma Gandhi University, and Prof. Dr. Konecki, University of Zagreb. The Association will make it their business to ensure the practical and technical implementation of sustainability approaches in society, with the help of scientific support, the development of administrative framework conditions for projects, and financial realisation.



Please contact Dr. agr. Hedda Sander for more information on this international activity.





Tourism electromobility in Mallorca

Tourism electromobility in Mallorca

As part of a research project, the current state of electromobility in the tourism sector is to be examined on the Spanish holiday island of Mallorca and future perspectives explored. Electromobility in Mallorca is expected to undergo a dynamic evolution. Due to the excessive number of hours of sunshine, the island has considerable potential with respect to regenerative, climate-friendly energy generation. Therefore, there is a chance to increase the sustainability of electromobility in Mallorca. However, the tourism demand will place high requirements on electromobility in terms of price, infrastructure and range. The price of electric vehicles, the availability of a charging infrastructure and the range of the vehicles are widely considered to be the main obstacles to purchasing an electric vehicle.

The research project examines the special framework conditions in Mallorca, taking into consideration the peculiarities and requirements of tourism. This includes examining in greater detail the car hire business, an important player in tourism mobility. The use of hire cars for tourism on the relatively large island, under the special climatic conditions, will mean increased requirements for the range of electric vehicles. The car hire business will expect electric vehicles to be profitable. At the same time, tourists as users of the vehicles will expect a sufficient, functioning and easy-to-use charging infrastructure as well as comfortable, simple and reasonably priced vehicles. During the project, profitability, climate advantages and the use of electric vehicles for tourism will be investigated in theory and practice.


Key findings of the project

The number of electric vehicles from car hire companies is between approx. 60,000 and 100,000 vehicles during the peak season. Since active marketing rarely takes place, few tourists are aware of the offer, even though interest in electromobility is very high among tourists.

Electric vehicles such as the BMW i3 and the Renault Zoe, with a range of 200 km, are now being used in Mallorca. The charging infrastructure is also well distributed on the island, enabling longer trip routes.


DC quick charge station of local energy provider Endesa DC quick charge station of local energy provider Endesa


A public charging infrastructure as well as private charging options are vitally important for the use of electric vehicles, so that cars can be charged overnight. So far only one provider, a German company called "Auf nach Mallorca", has its own charging stations. On the company’s website, the option "e-auto charging station" can be selected. Hotels in Mallorca do not currently offer charging stations and are not interested in this topic. The use of such vehicles is not economical enough for the hire companies because the purchase prices are too high and the residual values are low due to the rapidly advancing technology (higher energy density, more range, lower battery prices). An oversupply of vehicles also makes profitability more difficult.

Electric vehicles are expected to emit less CO 2 than vehicles with a combustion engine. The way that electricity is generated has a major impact on this. Electricity generation in Mallorca is based on fossil fuels. If you consider the electricity consumed, the electricity supplied by an undersea cable from the Spanish mainland, which contains up to 40% renewable energy, must be included. As a result, the electricity in Mallorca is "greener", and the emissions factor in CO 2/kWh improves significantly.



Currently, the supply of e-cars in Mallorca is still low, but the level of interest from tourists is high. The supply is expected to increase in the coming years. In addition, car manufacturers will be introducing numerous electric vehicles on the market in the next three years. This will increase the manufacturers’ interest in marketing the vehicles, especially through car hire companies. In this respect, the residual value problem will be solved automatically, and car hire companies will increasingly use electric vehicles under profitable conditions.

For tourists who are familiar with handling electric vehicles, pure electric driving is already possible on the island without any considerable problems and is a great pleasure. If the recommended actions for the stakeholders of electric mobility are observed and implemented, use should also be problem-free and comfortable for those tourists who are driving an electric vehicle for the first time.

The expansion of the regenerative energy supply is a long-term challenge. However, there is no way around it now because Mallorca wants to become more sustainable and in particular make tourism more sustainable.

An online survey is currently being conducted about the use of electric hire cars. The objective of it is to examine customer satisfaction of the whole system of electromobility for the stakeholders. It is not just satisfaction but enthusiasm that makes a success story.



Please contact Prof. Dr. Thomas M. Cerbe for more information on this international activity.



Ostfalia visits Tampere University of Applied Sciences in Finland

Ostfalia visits Tampere University of Applied Sciences in Finland

Tampere University of Applied Sciences
  Tampere University of Applied Sciences

Ostfalia University of Applied Sciences is very active at the European level. This applies not only to the student exchange programmes but also to research activities with partner universities in Europe. The EU Strategy FH project, led by the Federal Ministry for Education and Research (BMBF), promotes the strategic positioning with regard to European research topics at Ostfalia.

A European workshop on innovation and entrepreneurship at Ostfalia formed the start of the second project phase. Four European universities participated in order to develop joint transfer and cooperation projects. Amongst those visiting in Wolfenbüttel was Tampere University of Applied Sciences (TAMK), which already has close ties with Ostfalia in the area of teaching.

Building on this workshop, Prof. Dr. Gert Bikker, Vice President of Research, Development and Technology Transfer at Ostfalia, and the EU Strategy FH project team visited Tampere University of Applied Sciences from 28 to 31 August, 2017.

The objective of this delegation trip to Finland was to build cross-border networks, intensify cooperation by expanding student and researcher exchange programmes and develop joint project ideas in the field of innovation management. In this framework, successful talks about joint activities in the area of promoting research and innovation were held between Dr. Marja Sutela, Vice President of TAMK, and Prof. Gert Bikker. Bikker explained: "We are very excited to further intensify our partnership with TAMK. Not only do our students benefit from this partnership, but also our researchers. Joint research proposals are currently being developed in order to bundle knowledge at the European level and to tackle social challenges together in the future. We see a great need, particularly in the area of innovation and digitisation, and look forward to joint research projects with our Finnish partner university."



Please contact Kai Hillebrecht for more information on this international activity.



Ostfalia University continues to expand its research at the European level

Ostfalia University continues to expand its research at the European level

Through its EU Strategy FH project, the Federal Ministry for Education and Research (BMBF) aims to strategically position and increase the visibility of universities of applied sciences, with regard to European research topics.

Ostfalia University of Applied Sciences is one of ten German universities to receive funding of €150,000 in the first project phase (from 2015 to 2017). The project was extended by an additional two years, until 2019, for all ten universities. In this context, Ostfalia received an additional €150,000 in funding. Ostfalia University aims to strengthen the appeal of research by increasing its presence and visibility in the European research area, and to offer attractive conditions to researchers in their individual fields of research in order to increase research activities in the European research area. To accomplish this, the European research area should be developed, partnerships at the European level strengthened and identified potential exploited.

The kick-off event for the second project phase – the 29th annual conference of the European Liaison Office of German Research Organisations (KoWi) for promoting/funding research and innovation in the EU – provides representatives of the funded universities a forum in which to exchange information, opinions and experiences on the EU research and innovation programme "Horizon 2020".

A European workshop on innovation and entrepreneurship at Ostfalia University formed the start of the second project phase. Representatives from five different countries (Germany, Finland, Great Britain, Portugal and Slovenia) participated in the workshop, the objective of which was to develop the potential of common European networks as well as transfer and cooperation projects. In addition to coordination meetings on concrete project approaches, the programme also included the announcement of the "Startup Ecosystem" in Braunschweig and a two-day trip to Berlin to visit partner universities, co-working spaces and the project sponser ptj (EXIST, research at universities of applied sciences etc.) of the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi) and the Federal Ministry for Education and Research (BMBF). A delegation visit to Finland for further project development is still planned for this year. Further delegation visits to Slovenia, the UK and Portugal will follow in the next few years.



Please contact Kai Hillebrecht for more information on this international activity.



What possibilities are offered by digitisation and Industry 4.0 for small and medium-sized enterprises?

What possibilities are offered by digitisation and Industry 4.0 for small and medium-sized enterprises?

Ostfalia and Allianz für die Region GmbH are partners in the European project "GrowIn 4.0"

Industry 4.0 is the theme of the GrowIn 4.0 project, which was launched at a kick-off event in Aarhus, Denmark. More than 30 representatives from 15 project partners in Germany, Denmark, Great Britain, Belgium and the Netherlands met on 9th and 10th October 2017 in the European Capital of Culture, Aarhus, to work on the specific content and activities within the scope of the project.

The total volume of the project amounts to €3.8mil and will run until February 2021. The Ostfalia University of Applied Sciences and Allianz für die Region GmbH are responsible for more than €600,000 of the project volume.

The aim of the project is to support the development of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the selection and implementation of Industry 4.0 technologies, and the exchange of international knowledge and strategies in the implementation of digitisation and Industry 4.0 technologies and systems in SMEs.

Prof Dr Diederich Wermser teaches and researches at Ostfalia's Faculty of Electrical Engineering. He'll be leading – in cooperation with his team and Ostfalia's department for knowledge and technology transfer – the work package entitled "Optimised use of technologies and development of new products". Up to 60 companies from the partner regions are expected to participate in the work-package activities. Allianz für die Region GmbH is taking on cross-sectional tasks in the work packages "New business models and strategy development" and "Skills and attracting specialists". The company is supporting the project as an interface for regional companies in the field of public relations, and of the implementation and realisation of innovative instruments for the introduction and use of Industry 4.0

Companies in the region have the opportunity of participating actively in all project work packages.

The next international partner conference will take place under the auspices of Allianz für die Region GmbH in Braunschweig, Germany on 14th and 15th March 2018. Amongst other things, the plan is to sponsor the transnational exchange between companies, universities and industry partners from the North Sea region, within the framework of concrete company visits.


GrowIn4.0-Team The project partners in Aarhus



Suderburg supports Nepal

Suderburg supports Nepal

€ 5,088.33 collected

2016_Nepal Nepal


The major earthquake in Nepal in April/May 2015 is already forgotten in Germany. But the people of Nepal will be busy rebuilding their country for some time to come. The earthquake and following aftershocks resulted in the deaths of around 8,000 people in Nepal. The Suderburg Campus of Ostfalia University of Applied Sciences is closely connected to Nepal as more than 25 Nepalese students have completed their Master’s degree there over the years. Suderburg graduate Kamal Khadka reported from his former home region of Sindhulpalchok, one of the hardest hit of the 14 regions affected in Nepal. 277,000 people live there in 66,600 homes – this is the equivalent of roughly three times the population of the District of Uelzen. 96% of the homes there were completely destroyed and 3,788 people were killed, 1.4% of the population. Practically everyone in Sindhulpalchok is now homeless. At the initiative of some Suderburg graduates, the "Suderburg supports Nepal" campaign was started immediately following the earthquake. Both faculties of the Suderburg campus (the faculty of Civil and Environmental Engineering and the faculty of Trade and Social Work) and the people of Suderburg got involved in the campaign in a variety of ways. Appeals for donations were made at the annual meeting of the Karl-Hillmer-Gesellschaft, the Hydraulic Engineering Conference of Erica engineers and the Rieselwiese Festival. Local businesses in Suderburg also contributed with donations of money and supplies. For the Rieselwiese Festival, which was organized by the Suderburg community and the Erica Fraternity, students and university employees baked and sold cakes to raise money for Nepal. All proceeds were donated to the "Suderburg supports Nepal" campaign. At family parties, donations were collected instead of gifts. In total, the fundraisers were able to collect € 5,088.33, and thus the goal of financing a complete drinking water treatment system for Nepal was achieved.


Guneshwar Mahato
Guneshwar Mahato (light blue T-shirt) provides water to people in the village of Sanosirubari and to children from the Sidhi Ganesh Higher Secondary School in Sindhupalchowk District, Nepal. The fresh water was supplied by Trunz Water’s Survivor 300 water treatment system. The machine was paid for by donations from Suderburg.


The water treatment system delivers 180 litres of water per hour and runs on solar power, so it doesn’t require any additional infrastructure. It was purchased shortly thereafter. Suderburg graduate Guneshwar Mahato picked the system up in Switzerland and brought it to Nepal in early November 2015. In doing so, additional costs and time delays could be avoided. However, it still took some time before the system could be used because there wasn’t enough gasoline to transport it further into the country due to disputes between Nepal and India.

The system eventually arrived in the village of Sanosirubari, where it supplies the residents there as well as the children who attend Sidhi Ganesh Higher Secondary School. The Sindhupalchowk District is one of the regions in Nepal that was most severely affected by the earthquakes on 25 April and 12 May 2015. 300 homes were completely destroyed here and water supply and disposal systems were heavily damaged. Many families continue to live in tents and temporary shelters.

After installation of the Survivor 300 water treatment system that was provided by Suderburg, 125 residents in 25 homes and 450 school children had access to clean drinking water. Each family receives 40 litres per day, and each school child 2.5 litres. Ultrafiltration ensures that the water has a high standard of hygiene. Guneshwar Mahato set up the system and showed the residents how to use it, so that the system is guaranteed to work faultlessly for the long term.

Prof. Dr.-Ing. Klaus Röttcher, who supported the students and coordinated the campaign, is very satisfied with the result: "At the beginning of the campaign, I did not think it would be possible to pay for a complete system. But then a lot of people worked together and that is how it eventually worked out. The cooperation of the university and the Suderburg residents, as well as the numerous alumni who feel as strongly as ever connected to the university in Suderburg, was particularly successful. Thank you to all who contributed to this a great experience."



Please contact Prof. Dr.-Ing. Klaus Röttcher for more information on this international activity.



20 Iranian water experts visit Ostfalia University in Suderburg

20 Iranian water experts visit Ostfalia University in Suderburg

From the 21st to 31st of August, 20 water experts from Iran will be taking part in an expert visit in the District of Uelzen which has been organised by the Ostfalia University of Applied Sciences, Suderburg Campus. This visit is the result of a long-time cooperation between Sari University (Northern Iran) and Ostfalia, a cooperation that has included three summer academies in Suderburg and two excursions to Iran in the last 5 years. What all of these events have in common is the professional and cultural exchange between Iran and Germany. The Iranian participants of the expert visit include the president of Sari University as well as water management experts who are responsible for managing Iran’s very limited supply of water at the provincial level and supplying a sufficient amount of irrigation water. This is why the irrigation region around Uelzen was also selected as an excursion destination in Germany. In addition to visiting the irrigation region, the excursion will also include visits to dams in the Harz, Hitzacker’s flood protection, the Elbe Side Canal and the VW factory.

On Friday, the 26 th of August, a few companies are staging a small trade fair together with the university, in order to present various products from the water sector. The vice president of Ostfalia, Prof. Dr. Gert Bikker, will greet the participants in the university in Suderburg. The participants will enjoy an evening together with a barbecue dinner in the Erica Haus. Here, the mayor of Suderburg, Hans-Hermann Hoff, will welcome the guests.

Prof. Dr. Klaus Röttcher, who has organised the various German-Iranian meetings, hopes that the expert visit with participants from the fields of science, economics and administration will lead to an expansion in cooperation and new mutual areas of research.


Visitors from Iran Visitors from Iran (photo: Klaus Röttcher)



Please contact Prof. Dr.-Ing. Klaus Röttcher for more information on this international activity.



International Relations Office

The International Relations Office is responsible for the coordination of international relations and the development and implementation of projects with international partners. Please contact the office for cooperation agreement with partner universities. 


Please contact Kai Hillebrecht if you are interested in cooperating with the Ostfalia in the field of international research projects.

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