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Paid science : How universities can be of companies to the cleaners

Facebook-funded at the TU München (TUM) Institute, and, of all things, to the ethical aspects of Artificial intelligence – that brought the University to the beginning of the year, a lot of criticism. TUM sold some of their academic freedom, to the bad reputation of the Internet giant?, was asked. Since then, the University is not tired to declare that it was not a cooperation agreement, but merely a "donation" of Facebook, the research with the money going to be completely free.
rarely cooperation between universities and business are widely discussed, other examples of the 20 professors, the Discounter, Lidl, sponsors of the TUM or the cooperation of the University of Cologne, Bayer. It would seem to give hardly a large University in Germany, not private funds, too. About two billion euros flow annually from foundations and corporations, to institutions of higher education. But most of the time the Partner holding the modalities of the cooperation secret. It remains in the dark as to whether the cooperation is moving in the wish dimension values of cross-fertilization or the Unis of the company across the table.

report: The University of Mainz had allowed the agreement to not get involved

the Latter was in cooperation between the University of Mainz and the Boehringer Ingelheim Foundation seem to be the case. The cooperation agreements would have violated the fundamental right of the freedom of Science in a number of points, stated in a report of the Bonn Jura-Professor Klaus F. Gärditz, which he has made on behalf of the society for freedom rights. The Uni should have been on the co-operation agreements from the years 2009 and 2012 not at all involved. Gärditz in the Mainz procedure, only an instructive case example, because he assumes that many of the Unis have similar closed questionable agreements.
In 2009, agreed to the Boehringer Ingelheim Foundation, with the University of Mainz, a purpose-built Institute of Molecular biology, with a total sum of 100 million euros to promote for over ten years. The Foundation secured extensive powers, which they, according to Gärditz in the year of 2012 intensified the calls for appointments were to be drawn up in Consultation with the Foundation, the selection Committee was so busy, that the Foundation may Lodge would have certain seekers to your Veto.

The parties have agreed strict confidentiality

in addition, the Foundation received over the economic management of the "extensive information and control rights", as Gärditz in the 172-pages long, the report writes. This would not suitable conveyor branches simply swipe. Also on the conditions of employment of the Foundation have had undue influence. Therefore the University had violated their obligations towards the employees. Furthermore, the parties agreed on the strict confidentiality of the contract. Press releases and all other publications From the required and the consent of both sides.
However, the pressure on the Parties increased, as Gärditz investigative commitment, "a high school teacher and a journalist writes," (meaning Christian Kreiß, author of the book " - Purchased research. Science in the service of the corporations“ and the late chief reporter of the SWR, Thomas Leif). Lawsuits against the University of Mainz, with whom critics have wanted to in the year 2015 with insight into the contracts to enforce, but remained unsuccessful.

state universities are not businesses

Gärditz, whose opinion is based on the finally, the Internet leaked contracts, on the other hand emphasises the high value of the freedom of information and sees this in secrecy by the University of Mainz injured. State universities have no business to be. Therefore, your cooperation contracts were also trade secrets, "but the Act of public violence, and to justify to the public". The would accept private partners of universities.

The University of Mainz have failed as a democratic Public authority responsible. Themselves have brought to the University by the exclusion of the Public the Chance to be weak of their agreement to be able to fix and build trust through transparency.

Whether or not the Foundation has intervened in the research of the University of in fact, has not examined Gärditz. But he notes that even if join all Parties "voluntarily" and "honest intentions", in the agreement, there is no "unfair influence paths" opened. Otherwise, researchers may have oriented researchers to "hypothetical" requirements of the Funding provider – so "a pair of scissors in the head".

state institutions of higher education must not, by "usability" legitimize

at All is the logic of the "recoverability" in case of a cooperation with a state University out of place: The state to Finance free research and teaching to the contrary, "to enable an independent as well as critical counter-public to the social production of knowledge which is legitimized precisely through actionable results"

What could do the legislators

The legislature Gärditz calls for a concrete framework for cooperation. In addition, the state should equip the universities so that they are not forced, increasingly, offers the industry cooperation to adopt, "to effectively investigate". The society for freedom rights, announced, "in the future, specifically the legal disputes surrounding the publication of relevant cooperation agreements and pushing forward" support.
Until may 2018 – Gärditz of the University of Mainz, spoke of an "amazing Unruliness" – replaced the Partner of the old agreement by a new one. In it, she curtailed the powers of the Foundation. The country and the Foundation have extended the period of eligibility of the Institute in the year 2027. A further 106 million euros should flow EUR 52 million from Foundation funds.
the University of Mainz Looks of your error? The answer to this question doesn't sound like it. Influence of the Foundation on the research at the University have taken place "at any time" and was never intended to be, explains the University succinctly: "This is the current, revised contractual agreements explicitly clear. This can be viewed.“

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