Foundation Profile

Aims of the foundation:

The support of interdisciplinary cooperation and mutual stimulation among different fields of knowledge. Included are not only academic disciplines, but also the arts and crafts, cultural and social practices as well as traditional knowledge and skills. We want to encourage our grant recipients to overcome boundaries of knowledge and specialization, in particular among areas far removed from one another.

We wish to implement our interdisciplinary requirements through concentration on issues of sustainability. We believe that this is the most important problem facing civilization. In this we are not alone.  With this in mind we therefore wish to focus our work on the support of projects concerned with what we call fringe ecosystems. By this we mean areas where different biotopes come in contact with one another interact. Examples would include moores, swamps, mangrove forests, savannahs, tidelands/mudflats, brackwaters and similar phenomena.

We also wish to emphasize that we are not interested in purely bio- or ecological issues but insist on the inclusion of cultural, economic, financial and social dimensions. Many of these areas can look back on a rich historic background. It is in this combination that interdisciplinarity comes to the fore.

All this specifically includes non-academic work and projects.

To clarify: We expect interdisciplinary projects in which the Area of Emphasis plays a significant role. Projects that do not touch upon the AoE will only be considered in rare cases, for example if they constitute important contributions to the general theory, practice and management of interdisciplinary work.

Our aims are to combine different ways of thinking and of work methods with the goal of developing new approaches, techniques and turns of mind that will range outside traditional fields and hierarchies or conventional thinking, thus opening access to new and often unexpected results and understanding. The focus is on the identification and realization of interdisciplinary potentials, not the support of specific disciplines, fields or institutions.

We expect our activities to lead to the establishment and support of a dialogue forum, support for projects in science and research, advanced scholarships, the granting of an award for interdisciplinary excellence as well as the public dissemination of the obtained results, understanding, knowledge and experience in interdisciplinary work.