In publica commoda

Press release: Setting course for the future

Nr. 71/2017 - 20.04.2017

Niedersachsen is funding a Welcome Centre for the region – backed by more than 40 cooperation partners

(pug) Welcoming researchers and qualified professionals to Southern Lower Saxony – that’s the core mission of the region’s future Welcome Centre. The project is backed by more than 40 partners, including universities, commercial enterprises, central associations and municipalities from the districts of Göttingen and Northeim as well as the districts themselves. This innovative research and development project aims to combine and expand on existing concepts offered by the University of Göttingen and the Southern Lower Saxony Foundation “SüdniedersachsenStiftung”, as well as to develop, test and evaluate new opportunities for support and collaboration. Scientists, scholars, trained professionals and executives arriving in the region should be more specifically tended to. The state of Lower Saxony will be funding the project for the next two years with around € 350,000 earmarked from the European Social Fund. The partner network will be contributing over € 600,000 in equity capital to the project.

“As a poster child project, the Welcome Centre can make an important contribution to sustainably attracting and retaining qualified professionals for the Göttingen Campus and the region of Southern Lower Saxony,” says Olaf Lies, Lower Saxony Minister for Economics, Labour and Transportation. “The project will foster the region’s welcoming culture and gain excellent brains from Germany and abroad for the region. This is even more important given the lack of specialists in individual industries; this situation has particularly applied to small- and medium-sized businesses for a while now and will continue to be exacerbated by demographic changes.”

“By establishing a region-based Welcome Centre, we are creating an important foundation to build on the accommodating and welcoming programmes already available in Southern Lower Saxony,” explains project manager Professor Hiltraud Casper-Hehne, Vice President for International Affairs at Göttingen University. “By offering services and support to qualified professionals, researchers, scientists and scholars from Germany, Europe and all over the world, we are setting an important course for the future, whilst counteracting certain demographic changes Southern Lower Saxony is undergoing.“

“The University of Göttingen and the SüdniedersachsenStiftung have a long track record of fostering relations with incoming qualified professionals and executives to the region,” states Klaus Hoffmann, Chairman of the SüdniedersachsenStiftung. “Through the direct participation of nearby mid-level and basic centres, the Welcome Centre currently under development and financed by the federal state with the help of the “Fachkräftebündnis” – a regional alliance of qualified professionals in Southern Lower Saxony coordinated by the foundation – combines these activities and closely ties them with the entire region. The main aim is to support small- and medium-sized businesses and institutions of higher education and science in efficiently attracting new professionals with all levels of qualifications leading into the future.“

Alongside Casper-Hehne and Hoffmann, the project’s steering team is constituted of Dr. Martin Rudolph, Manager of the Göttingen Business Offices of the Chamber of Industry and Commerce (IHK) Hannover. The Welcome Centre will offer services like help with contacting governmental offices and authorities, finding a flat, a workplace for a spouse or childcare. The offerings in Göttingen will be linked with and expanded by those of companies and municipalities as well as decentralised contact persons at the mid-level centres in the region. Over the long term, the Welcome Centre’s facilities will move to the Göttingen train station, where a “Welcome Lounge” will be set up as the first point of contact.

Further information is available at

Professor Hiltraud Casper-Hehne
Georg-August-Universität Göttingen
Vice President for International Affairs
Wilhelmsplatz 1, 37073 Göttingen, Germany
Phone +49 (0)551 39-13110