4 May 2021
One Topic, Many DisciplinesUniversität Hamburg Presents Varied Range of Coronavirus Research
The coronavirus pandemic has once again made the significance of knowledge transfer and exchange between researchers and society at large abundantly clear. Universität Hamburg has now put the area of transfer on new footing. Among other things, it has founded a Transfer Agency to coordinate all transfer activities. One of its first projects is an online collection of coronavirus research at Universität Hamburg illuminating the phenomenon from manifold perspectives.
For example, the team under Prof. Dr. Chris Meier and Dr. Johanna Huchting from the Department of Chemistry is looking at how the coronavirus proliferates and what agents might accelerate mutations in order to stop proliferation.
Another cooperation project under the aegis of the Hamburg Center for Health Economics (HCHE) is looking at the opinions, concerns, and expectations Europeans have held during the coronavirus pandemic. Every 2 months, more than 7,000 people in 7 European countries are surveyed on issues such as vaccination acceptance and their view of the coronavirus measures.
The “coronarchiv” provides a different perspective on the experience of the pandemic. The public history project, coordinated by the Department of History, is collecting and documenting everyday pandemic experiences from members of the public, who are being asked to submit found objects, pictures, and stories. There is now also an opportunity for Spanish and Portuguese speakers to contribute alongside German and English-speaking users.
These are only 3 of 38 projects in the new and steadily growing online portfolio of coronavirus research at Universität Hamburg. It contains descriptions, contact details, and links and it also reveals the great breadth of research approaches to the topic—from the fields of history and political science to the natural sciences and informatics.
The new Transfer Agency
The University’s new Transfer Agency was founded on 1 January 2021. It is the first port of call for people outside the University interested in transfer activities and for University staff. “At Universität Hamburg, we have had many exciting projects and offers in this area for years, but so far, we have not made them sufficiently visible,” explains Prof. Dr. Jetta Frost, vice president responsible for transfer activities. Intensifying exchange with society at large is one of the 5 main goals in a concept that led to Universität Hamburg’s success in the Excellence Strategy of the Federal and State Governments.
“The term ‘transfer’ covers very different areas: from start-ups, continuing education, and student projects such as #UHHengagiert to citizen science projects, any number of ideas, offers, and projects are conceivable,” says Prof. Dr. Sabine Maasen, academic director of the Transfer Agency. For example, one new initiative, the special fund Mehr Weitblick nach der Coronavirus-Krise, was established last year as a special fund to provide short-term funding for smaller projects dedicated to thinking beyond the corona crisis. Many of the 13 funded projects are now also in the coronavirus portfolio.
You can find an exemplary brief description of 3 projects in the University’s Newsroom. For all information about the coronavirus portfolio and further transfer activities, see the new website of the Transfer Agency.