Lifelong Learning

The idea to establish an English-speaking only International University in Bremen is under severe pressure. Unlike the US-model where a private University has 1/3 capital stock returns, 1/3 fees income and 1/3 Alumni contributions and donations is only feasible with very substantial start-up funding. Twenty years of subsidies to replace the missing returns on capital stock and young millionaires (IUB-Alumni are only in their mid to late 30s in 2020) cannot yet fill the gap. The missing finances would need to come from private sector donations. Big companies, however, keep complaining about skill gaps and lack of engineers and students with intercultural competence, but the willingness to fund substantially a university which delivers exatly this, has been too scarce. Instead, mutiple cheap copies of the IUB-model have arisen in Germany, without really delivering the uniqueness of the international campus learning community and proven quality of its programs in international competition. Thinking in terms of long-term investments is difficult in times of health, economic and financial crises. After BREXIT we image even Europe differently. (http://imagine4d.de/fr) The show must go on
More on this at https://schoemann.org/

Society and battery technology

In summer time even the Financial Times turns to social topics for passing time. In mid August the concern was for example with the heavy dependence of the electric vehicle market on batteries making use of Cobalt. As this comes mainly form the not so democratic republic of Congo, this is a tricky issue. All social and environment friendly investment enters into a moral dilemma here. More electric cars yes, but not supporting child labour in the extradition of cobalt. Valuable investment does not coincide with investment in social and environmental values here. So what?

https://pubs.acs.org/doi/10.1021/acsami.8b05902  This paper seems to have the technical answer as much as I understood. The monolithic all-phosphate concept presented therin should allow us to bypass cobalt for the batteries in the near future.

A sufficiently strong societal effort to orient or reorient research efforts towards sustainable material science yields promising results. Without the banning of cobalt in batteries technological advancement can achieve technical, economic and social outcomes in line with our “social preferences”.