April 22, 2014

Regional advisory council aims to increase collaboration with Germany

Chan Wirasinghe from Schulich provides expertise

The German regional advisory council was formed as part of the University of Calgary’s International Strategy.

The newly formed German Regional Advisory Council recently convened to review current partnerships in Germany and determine strategic areas of focus to further deepen the educational and research collaboration between the two countries.  

The new council is chaired by Ed McCauley, vice-president (research), and brings together faculty members from different research areas and business leaders with vast experience working in Germany. “Alberta and Saxony are sister regions,” says McCauley. “Our universities have long collaborated and each of us has valuable assets to bring to the table.”  

Germany is one of six countries of emphasis under the Eyes High International Strategy launched in 2013. It is Canada’s fifth largest supplier and a close ally in promoting many international development areas such as human rights, democracy, international peace and co-operation.

Council participants reviewed the university’s presence and initiatives in the region and then focused on how our strengths in the areas of global health, energy, and smart city technologies could be leveraged to advance our international objectives.

“These councils bring university, industry and student experts to the table to provide insight and help us advance our internationalization efforts,” says Janaka Ruwanpura, vice-provost (international). “We already have a solid base of ongoing activity and relationships in Germany. We just need to identify the best opportunities and come up with a strategy to tackle them.”

The University of Calgary has many ties to Germany – 17 institutional partnerships and 20 research agreements, 39 faculty members with at least one degree from a German university, and many German students and alumni.

Alberta is closely linked to Germany; about 20 per cent of Albertans have German ancestry. The Alberta Germany office in Munich helps Albertan citizens and businesses pursue business relationships in Germany, while the Alberta government supports the Alberta-Saxony International Internship Program, which supports Alberta students who work in Saxony and Saxon students who work in Alberta.

Members of the German Regional Advisory Council:

  • Edward McCauley, vice-president (research)
  • Janaka Ruwanpura, vice-provost (international)
  • Frank Maurer, representative of the vice-president (research)
  • Sam Weiss, professor, Faculty of Medicine
  • Bernhard Mayer, professor, Faculty of Medicine
  • Florentine Strzelczyk, professor, Faculty of Arts
  • Chan Wirasinghe, professor, Schulich School of Engineering
  • Walter Herzog, professor, Faculty of Kinesiology
  • Stephanie Czub, professor, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine
  • Marek Drywa, chief financial officer and director, business development, ILF Consultants
  • Hagen Schultes, president and chief executive officer, Baymag Inc. and vice-chairman, Canadian German Chamber of Industry and Commerce
  • Robert Koch, director, sales and business development, Air Liquide (Lurgi) – Global E&C Solutions
  • Stefan Hoppner, associate professor, Faculty of Arts (guest)
  • Harro Dittmar, graduate student, Faculty of Science
  • Glynn Hunter, International representative
  • Colleen Packer, International representative