Knowledge Transfer of Tomorrow



Concepts and Strategies

for the Future of

Knowledge Based Economies 


On February 15, 2023 the German University Alliance, the New York-based office of the Freie Universität Berlin and Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München, was co-organizer of a joint international conference on knowledge transfer in the 21st century. The conference was organized in conjunction with the German University Liaison Offices in New York German University Liaison Offices in New York and the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars and took place at the Woodrow Wilson Center in Washington, D.C. The event built a platform for international scholars, policy makers, businesses, and institutions of higher learning to discuss concepts and strategies for the future of knowledge-based economies. 

Together with leading figures in academia, the private sectors, and policy sectors, we explored fundamental questions of knowledge transfer from how to foster a culture of innovation to globalization, finance, and the role of higher education vis-à-vis society and industry.  On February 15th, 2007, the Woodrow Wilson Center was host to a comparative dialogue regarding the knowledge transfer landscape from a transatlantic perspective.  The conference explored the future prospects for competitiveness in the knowledge-based economy of tomorrow and worked to form comprehensive policy strategies in an increasingly globalized world. 

The German University Alliance was represented by:

Prof. Dr. Volker Erdmann, Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry at the Freie Universität Berlin.  He currently serves as both CEO of the RiNA e.V. within the network for RNA technologies and Managing Director of the Institute of Biochemistry at at the Freie Universität Berlin. Having received his Bachelor’s degree in chemistry at the University of New Hampshire, Durham, N. H., Dr. Erdmann went on to earn his Master of Science in Biochemistry and to enjoy a fellowship under Dr. Masayasu Nomura with the National Institutes of Health.  From 1980 to 1984, he acted as Managing Director of the Institute of Biochemistry at FUB, followed by a three-year period as Dean of the Faculty of Chemistry.  He then went on to win the Gottfried-Wilhelm-Leibniz-award of the German Science Foundation (Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft) in 1987.  In 1990, Dr. Erdmann became Speaker of the Special Research Field (No. 344) “Regulationsstrukturen von Nukleinsäuren und Proteinen” of the German Science Foundation (Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft).  In addition, Dr. Erdmann is a member of many national and international academies and associations of science, among others the Berlin Brandenburg Academy of Sciences. His additional activities include positions on numerous advisory councils, committees, prize and award committees, and expert groups.


Prof. Dr. Dietmar Harhoff, Professor of Business Administration at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität (LMU) Munich. He is the Director of the Institute of Innovation Research, Technology Management and Entrepreneurship (INNO-tec) and a Co-Director of the ODEON Center for Entrepreneurship at LMU. After graduating with a diploma degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Dortmund, Dietmar Harhoff began his professional career as a research engineer in Great Britain and Germany. From 1985 to 1987, he was a McCloy Scholar at Harvard University and graduated with an M.P.A. degree in 1987. He concluded his Ph.D. studies at MIT in 1991 with a dissertation on research incentives and voluntary information revelation. He then joined the Center for European Economic Research (ZEW) in Mannheim and became the Associate Scientific Director of ZEW in 1995. In 1998 he joined LMU’s School of Management in his current position. Dietmar Harhoff’s research focuses on issues in innovation and entrepreneurship research, industrial economics, and technology management and has been published extensively.  He serves as an advisor to public and private organizations, e.g., as a member of the Group of Economic Advisors to the European Patent Office (EPO), as a member of the Scientific Advisory Council at the Federal Ministry for Economics and Technology (BMWA) and as a member of the Forschungsunion für Wirtschaft und Wissenschaft at the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF). 

In addition, the Liaison Office for the Transfer of Research and Knowledge at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München (represented by Mr. Christoph Zinser and Ms. Julia Güßgen) presented its current projects and outreach beyond the boundaries of the university as part of the University of Munich’s approach to innovation in higher education.

The event was kindly sponsored by the German Federal Ministry for Education and Research (BMBF) and the German University Liaison Offices in New York City.




Concepts and Strategies for the Future of Knowledge Based Economies


Conference Agenda


Thursday, February 15th, 2007

Washington, D.C.




7:30 – 8:15           Registration and Continental breakfast


8:15 – 8:30           Opening Remarks

                Woodrow Wilson Center Representative

                German University Liaison Offices Representative – Ralph Blessing


8:30 – 9:30           Opening Addresses

Congressman Vernon Ehlers

The Honorable Sherwood Boehlert (invited)


9:30 – 10:30         Panel I: Fundamental Questions of Technology Transfer, Creating a Culture of Innovation


Robert Cresanti, United States Undersecretary of Commerce for Technology

Volker A. Erdmann, Institute for Chemistry/Biochemistry, Freie Universität Berlin

Merrilea J. Mayo, Director, Government- University- Industry Research Roundtable (GUIRR), National Academies



Norbert Jesse, Computer Science Department, University of Dortmund

Co-founder and Managing Director of QuinScape GmbH


10:30 – 11:00      General Discussion/Q & A


11:00 – 11:15      Coffee Break


11:15 – 12:15      Panel II: Globalization of Science and Economy


Michael Ryan, Director, Creative and Innovative Economy Center, George Washington University School of Law

Alfred Schillert, Managing Director, PROvendis

Gerrit Stratmann, Coordinator, Technology Transfer Network Hessen, Hessen Agentur GmbH

Carl Dahlman, Georgetown University (invited)



Ludger Viehoff, Head of Department, Fundamental Questions of International Cooperation, German Federal Ministry of Education and Research


12:15 – 12:45      General Discussion/Q & A


12:45 – 13:45      Luncheon Address

                                                Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison (invited)


14:00 – 15:00      Panel III: Financing of Technology Transfer


Lita Nelsen, Director, Technology Licensing Office, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Michael Anton, Transfer & IPR Office, Wiesbaden,

Dietmar Harhoff, Director, Institute for Innovation Research and Technology Management (INNO-tec), Ludwig Maximilian University, Munich

Dr. Kesh Narayanan, Director of the Industrial Innovation and Partnerships Division, National Science Foundation



Tony Stanco, Director, Council of Entrepreneurial Tech Transfer and Commercialization, The George Washington University


15:00 – 15:30      General Discussion/Q & A


15:30 – 15:45      Coffee Break


15:45 – 16:45      Panel IV: The Role of Higher Education in Knowledge Transfer: A Policy Question


                Rainer Janisch, Präsident, Fachhochschule Brandenburg

                José Luis Encarnação, INI-GraphicsNet, Darmstadt, Hessen

Christopher Mustain, Governmental Programs, IBM



                Hans Jürgen Prömel, Vice President for Research, Humboldt Universität, Berlin


16:45 – 17:15      General Discussion/Q & A


17:15 – 17:30      Summary Remarks

Gudrun Maaß, Department for North and Latin America, German Federal

                Ministry for Education and Research


17:30 – 19:00      Reception
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