For the eighth time the “Green Talents – International Forum for High Potentials in Sustainable Development” culminated in a festive award ceremony at which the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research honoured the newest 25 awardees for their innovative green ideas from various fields of research and promoted an international exchange. Musaida Mercy Manyuchi, 33, from Zimbabwe conducted her PhD in Chemical Engineering at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology where her research focused on the production of bio-coal for larger domestic purposes using an integrated process.
This year’s award ceremony formed part of the largest Green Talents Alumni meeting to date. More than 250 attendants from Germany’s research landscape, former “Green Talents”, politicians and other distinguished members followed the opening speech of Research Minister Professor Johanna Wanka and the panel discussions with participants from science, politics and industry. Participants also exchanged ideas in workshops related to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Minister Wanka’s speech emphasized the importance of international collaboration to solve the pressing sustainability questions of our time, claiming: “We need programmes like “Green Talents” to enable exchange between relevant fields of science, experts and young talents from all over the world. One country or one research discipline alone cannot identify a holistic solution for further environmental protection and the sustainability challenges which lie ahead.”
A recently published alumni survey proves that the goal to create cooperation between Green Talents and German research institutes has been achieved. 96% of awardees see their career positively influenced by being part of Green Talents. 84% of alumni and participating experts indicated they were still in contact with the Green Talents network. The German research landscape also benefits from being part of the programme: 80% of the researchers who hosted a fully funded research stay which the Green Talents are invited to complete within the year after the award are still in contact with the awardee they coached.