On 29 September 2023, members of the SURE funding priority from the German Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) met for an exchange with the German Ambassador Stefan Messerer in the Royal Kingdom of Cambodia at the German embassy in Phnom Penh.
The delegation was led by Dr. Verena Hebbecker, Deputy Head of Division 723 „Global Change, Climate Research“ at the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) and coordinator of the Funding Priority SURE – Sustainable Development of Urban Regions. She was accompanied by Dr. Heike Bauer from the DLR Project Management Agency who is project management coordinator of the SURE funding priority. They were joined by Prof. Dr. Rainer Nönning, head of the Digital City Science Lab at the HafenCity University of Hamburg, and one of the coordinators of the SURE Facilitation and Synthesis Project. Furthermore, representatives of two SURE projects took part, among them Dr. Michael Waibel, leader of the Build4People collaborative project, Hamburg University, and Dr. Bernd Gutterer, leader of the PolyUrbanWaters project, BORDA e.V Bremen.
During the meeting, Dr. Verena Hebbecker introduced more in detail about the BMBF SURE funding priority whereas Stefan Messerer provided insights in the current political and socioeconomic situation within Cambodia. Also, both SURE projects, Build4People and PolyUrbanWaters, received the opportunity to introduce about their project approaches. In the following it developed a vivid discussion about the challenges and opportunities in the local project contexts.
From our side it was highly appreciated that Stefan Messerer showed keen interest in the BMBF activities in Cambodia and that he assured the active support of the German embassy in regard of the project implementation. That is why we would like to express our sincere thanks for providing his precious time to us and for his supportive attitude, in general.