University of Bayreuth, Press Release No. 113/2022 - 13 July 2022
Budget committee gives green light for Africa research building and new E&I building at the University of Bayreuth
In its meeting on 13 July 2022, the Budget Committee of the Bavarian State Parliament set the course for two important building projects at the University of Bayreuth. According to current plans, construction preparations for the Research Centre Society, Technology and Ecology in Africa (FZA) can begin as early as September 2022, and those for the Institute for Entrepreneurship and Innovation will start in October 2024.
University President Prof. Dr. Stefan Leible welcomes the decision. "This will allow us to provide sufficient space for two important topics of the University of Bayreuth - our expertise in African research and our commitment as a start-up university. I expect this to give a significant boost to these areas." University Provost Dr. Nicole Kaiser thanks all those involved at the State Building Authority, in government and also in the University Governing Board for the professional preparation of this decision. She stresses, "We will get buildings with modern interior concepts, we’ll strengthen our collaboration, and we’ll be thinking ahead with their flexible use. In this way, both buildings will set benchmarks on campus."
Research Centre Society, Technology and Ecology in Africa
The decision in the Budget Committee today concerned the Research Centre Society, Technology and Ecology in Africa (FZA) on the campus of the University of Bayreuth. The central idea behind this is to promote inter- and transdisciplinary cooperation between the diverse subjects of African research in Bayreuth. As a unique location for African research in Germany - with the Institute of African Studies (IAS) and its units, the Cluster of Excellence Africa Multiple, the international graduate school BIGSAS (Bayreuth Graduate School of African Studies), and the Iwalewahaus - FZA, as another unit of IAS, is intended to bring the University of Bayreuth closer to its goal of becoming a leading global think tank in African research. "The University of Bayreuth's high and continuously growing reputation in African studies is to be expanded by bundling professional expertise in FZA," says Prof. Dr. Cyrus Samimi, spokesperson of FZA. "If we wish to productively address the social and ecological challenges of the 21st century, we must both cooperate in an interdisciplinary manner and raise global awareness of Africa's role in the world," emphasises Prof. Dr Eva Spies, spokesperson of the IAS.
The new building will allow for a mix of open, flexible (open creative labs, open conference room), and closed working areas (study rooms, seminar/meeting rooms). The aim is to thereby create innovative and stimulating research infrastructure, which will open up new dimensions of African research through the intensity of collaboration and international networking.
In making the new building reality, the plan is to award the contract to a general contractor. The invitation to tender for the total contractor service has already been issued, and the State Building Authority in Bayreuth has decided on the awarding of the contract in a two-stage procedure. The resulting project planning has now been confirmed by the budget committee. The research building will have a usable floor space of just under 3,000 square metres, for which construction preparations are to begin as early as this autumn, and completion is planned for December 2024. The project is financed by the Free State of Bavaria and the Federal Government.
Institute for Entrepreneurship & Innovation
In the future, the Institute for Entrepreneurship & Innovation will also have its own building. The tender for the total contractor service can now proceed, seeing as the project document has meanwhile been approved in the budget committee by the Bayreuth State Building Authority. Project planning should then be completed by the end of 2023, so that the final presentation to the budget committee seems likely at the beginning of 2024. The building with around 1700 square metres of usable space could well be put into operation as early as in 2026.
Not only intended entrepreneurship research and teaching on campus benefit from this, the new building also has special significance for the region. It is to be associated with the Regional Start-up and Innovation Centre of the City of Bayreuth and district. In order to achieve the desired synergy effects, both facilities will be built in the immediate vicinity and with a direct structural relationship to each other. "We see ourselves as an important part of a regional innovation ecosystem, as an innovation driver, as a driver of innovative ventures and projects, and as a reliable contact and recipient of ideas from business and society," says Dr Petra Beermann, Managing Director of the Institute for Entrepreneurship & Innovation, "the new building gives this concept a home." The institute building is intended to be an incubator and experimental workshop for all those daring to create a start-up. The premises are to be versatile and flexible in use and have their own open and creative character. At the same time, constructive and concentrated work will be possible for the staff of the research groups and the institute. The house will provide the infrastructure to implement concrete projects together with non-university players, and it will be a central contact point for regional companies, among other things, to support them in their strategic innovation management through consulting, workshops, and coaching.