Future agenda for science funding in Lower Saxony presented

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The title of the new program for the promotion of research and education in Lower Saxony is “zukunft.niedersachsen”. Thanks to additional funding of 580 million euros, three future fields are to be massively developed in order to make Lower Saxony visible as a research location, also internationally.

The special dividend from the IPO of Porsche AG opens up new scope for the future-oriented promotion of research and teaching in Lower Saxony. An additional 576.3 million euros are available for the next few years. In addition, there is the income on shares in Volkswagen AG, primarily dividends, which will continue to be granted annually to Lower Saxony by the Board of Trustees of the Volkswagen Foundation.

This budget makes it possible to fundamentally realign science funding in the state. The framework program “zukunft.niedersachsen”, which aims to achieve this, was jointly presented today in Hanover by Lower Saxony’s Minister of Science Falko Mohrs, the Secretary General of the Volkswagen Foundation Georg Schütte and the Chairwoman of the State University Conference Susanne Menzel Riedel.

Zwei Männer und eine Frau halten ein Schild mit dem Aufdruck "zukunft.niedersachsen" in die Kamera

Dr. Georg Schütte, Secretary General of the Volkswagen Foundation, Falko Mohrs, Lower Saxony's Minister of Science, Prof. Dr. Susanne Menzel-Riedl, Chairwoman of the State University Conference (f.l.)

The future orientation will focus on three future fields: Transformation, digitality and cutting-edge research.


Based on recommendations from the Academic Advisory Commission of Lower Saxony, strategic funding will be provided for thematic priorities that are oriented toward the major transformation topics and the strengths and potential of Lower Saxony’s scientific community:

  • Energy and mobility transformation
  • Resource-conserving economy
  • Healthy living – healthy living spaces
  • Competence and knowledge

300 million euros will be allocated to the future field of transformation in the coming years.


There is an opportunity to establish Lower Saxony as a digital science location of national significance. The umbrella initiative “Hochschule.digital Niedersachsen” already provides a statewide structure for joint action by all Lower Saxony universities to this end. The focus of the funding is on investments in future-oriented, digital teaching, learning and examination formats. Research in the field of artificial intelligence, quantum computing and research data management as a key resource for future value creation will be linked with users in business, administration and culture and jointly promoted.

150 million will be used for the future field of digitality.

cutting-edge research

Lower Saxony wants to be at the forefront of the excellence strategy once again. Therefore, an immediate program will support those university locations in Lower Saxony that have the potential to convince with outstanding research concepts also in international competition. In addition, funds will continue to be made available in the future to attract the best researchers from Germany and abroad to Lower Saxony in defined fields. 125 million will be used for the development field of cutting-edge research.

We want Lower Saxony to be even better perceived in Germany and beyond as a location for creative and first-class science.

Dr. Georg Schütte

The Volkswagen Foundation and Lower Saxony’s Ministry of Science are working closely together on the design and implementation of the new “zukunft.niedersachsen” funding program. The process is being accompanied by, among others, a strategy advisory board with renowned researchers. The common goal is to identify promising fields of innovation in research and teaching and to develop them in a profile-building manner. Selection processes are designed to be transparent and quality-assured.

A policy paper coordinated by the Volkswagen Foundation and the state government of Lower Saxony contains more information on the “zukunft.niedersachsen” program.