Further 7.8 million in funding for incubator projects

Media Supply in the Digital Age – Technologies for Scholarly Publications on the Internet – Concepts for Corporate Health Management

Lüneburg. The focus areas of Digital Media and Health within the scope of the Innovation Incubator of Leuphana University of Lüneburg will be extended by three new research projects. This was decided upon yesterday by a Structural Committee chaired by Dr. Josef Lange, State Secretary in the Lower Saxony Ministry for Science and Culture. The relevant decision-taking body of the Federal State of Lower Saxony decided to support the research projects by providing about 7.8 million euros in the next three years. Up to now, projects including about 95 percent of the funding volume have been initiated. Within the scope of the Digital Media focus area, researchers will look at hybrid publishing, involving new technologies for web-based scholarly publications. Another project is centered on media supply in the Digital Age. In view of more and more young people turning their back on traditional forms of broadcast media, researchers will explore how to ensure basic supply of moving image formats in the future. The focus area of Health will be extended by launching a new project on corporate health management in psycho-social illnesses. The Lüneburg Innovation Incubator has a funding volume of nearly 100 million euros. It aims to accelerate knowledge transfer from the University to regional business and, as a result, to create new jobs. The Incubator project is being strongly funded by the European Union.

Hybrid Publishing and Basic Supply 2.0

The Hybrid Publishing research project deals with changing conditions in scholarly exchange and continuing education in the Digital Age: “Nowadays, scholars exchange their ideas not only in research laboratories, lecture halls and scholarly journals, but more and more through digital media, such as blogs, list servers and scholarly platforms,” Prof. Martin Warnke comments on the current situation. He supervises the new project jointly with his colleague, Prof. Timon Beyes. Instead of using books or magazines, scholars are increasingly using e-journals, e-books or videos of lectures and symposia, according to Warnke. This will result in using different formats for publishing scholarly findings and course offerings of continuing education. The academic publishing industry is therefore facing new challenges. The researchers involved in this project will collaborate with publishers and software developers to explore new technologies in so-called digital publishing and to develop, among other aspects, a viable business model for a digital university press. At the same time, they wish to fulfill the requirement of free access to knowledge, science and research.
Prof. Claus Pias from the Institute of Culture and Aesthetics of Digital Media at Leuphana University is managing the second project in the field of Digital Media, namely the “Basic Supply 2.0” project. He is strongly convinced that basic media supply in the field of moving image formats is no longer up to date. He refers to the generation born after 1980, which increasingly prefers the Internet to traditional broadcast media. “ARD and ZDF have been experiencing a loss of generation for no less than 20 years, that is the loss of a common media experience among generations using public television,” says the media expert. In collaboration with his colleague Prof. Timon Beyes as well as other scholars and experts from the field of business, he wants to explore, among other aspects, new forms of financing and organization in digital culture.

Supported Employment – “SEplus”

Within the scope of the Health focus area, the new SEplus project deals with corporate health management and the integration of people with psychosocial illnesses into working life. The research team headed by the psychiatrist Prof. Wulf Rössler will initiate measures in companies that help employers prevent mental disorders among their employees, such as coaching and counseling sessions. Another component of “SEplus” will be to provide concepts for reintegrating formerly ill employees into the labor market. These concepts will be specifically tailored to the needs of small and medium-sized enterprises in the region. Both approaches will be reviewed by the research team in terms of their effectiveness. The project aims to safeguard existing jobs and to reduce times of absence of employees with mental disorders. By addressing the topics of psychosocial illnesses and corporate health management, the “SEplus” project builds a bridge to three existing Incubator projects in the field of health research. Apart from State Secretary Lange, the Structural Committee has the following members: Frank- Jürgen Weise, Head of the German Federal Labor Agency; Dieter Imboden, Professor for Environmental Physics at the ETH Zurich and President of the National Research Council of the Swiss National Fund; Manfred Prenzel, Professor for Education and Educational Psychology and recipient of the Susanne Klatten Foundation Professorship for Empirical Educational Research at the Technical University of Munich as well as national project manager of PISA studies in 2003 and 2006; Jürgen Kluge, Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Haniel & Cie. GmbH; Sir Peter Jonas, Cultural Manager and Director of Opera as well as State Director of the Bavarian State Opera in Munich from 1993 to 2006.