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German Federal President Visits Forschungszentrum Jülich

Horst Köhler convinces himself on location of the performance of German world-class research

[26. März 2009]

The President visited Peter Grünberg's laboratory at the Jülich Institute of Solid State Research. "Science needs persistence. Forschungszentrum Jülich gives me heart that we will continue to make constant progress in the scientific area," said Köhler. "My aim is to help ensure that the framework conditions are right for conducting research in Germany." In 1998, Grünberg was awarded the German Future Prize "the Federal President's Award for Technology and Innovation "for his discovery of giant magnetoresistance. The prize which has been awarded twelve times already has meanwhile gained a reputation as a German "Oscar for Innovation".

Prof. Achim Bachem, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Forschungszentrum Jülich, emphasised the good conditions for innovative research at Jülich: "We offer an excellent infrastructure and the necessary cooperation with industry. It is also important for us that research has a very strong interdisciplinary orientation. This ensures that the best minds can develop their expertise at Jülich."

The fact that excellent research offers Parkinson's patients and their families a better quality of life was explained to the President by Prof. Peter Tass. The scientist developed a new technology for deep brain pacemakers. This device enables an efficient treatment with considerably fewer side effects than before. In the long run, neurons in the brain could even forget their diseased behaviour for good with the aid of this method. The implant will be introduced on the market within the next year. To this end, Tass established the company ANM together with his research partner Prof. Volker Sturm. Federal President Horst Köhler: "This is research the result of which leads to improvements in a relatively fast manner. The great majority of the German population should know why this research is important."

Horst Köhler also gained insights into the innovative forms of information processing when he visited the "nano-spintronics cluster tools" of Prof. Claus Michael Schneider. This apparatus serves to study the structure of magnetic layer systems. Researchers hope to considerably reduce the energy consumption of information technology in future. The aim is, for example, to produce smaller, economical, but more powerful processors for notebooks or mobile phones.

President Köhler was accompanied by Thomas Rachel (Member of the German Bundestag), Parliamentary State Secretary in the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research, and by Dr. Michael Stückradt, State Secretary from the Ministry of Innovation, Science, Research and Technology of North Rhine-Westphalia. The Helmholtz Association of German Research Centres of which Forschungszentrum Jülich is a member was represented by its President Prof. Jürgen Mlynek.


At the welcome reception by Prof. Achim Bachem, Federal President Horst Köhler said a few words to the guests.


From left to right: Thomas Rachel (Parliamentary State Secretary in the Federal Ministry of Education and Research), Prof. Jürgen Mlynek (President of the Helmholtz Association), Prof. Achim Bachem (Chairman of the Board of Directors of Forschungszentrum Jülich), Federal President Horst Köhler, Prof. Peter Grünberg, Heinrich Stommel (mayor of the city of Jülich).


Federal President Horst Köhler with Prof. Achim Bachem (left) and Nobel Laureate in Physics Prof. Peter Grünberg (right).


Federal President Horst Köhler visiting Peter Grünberg's laboratory at the Jülich Institute of Solid State Research.


Federal President Horst Köhler writes in the "Golden Book" of the city of Jülich. Photographs: Forschungszentrum Jülich

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