Pursuing Societal Transformation in Coal Mining Regions through Education and Knowledge Transfer

Project leadership at BTU: Prof. Dr. iur. Eike Albrecht
Project leadership at U.Porto: Prof. Dr. Madalena Fonseca

Cooperation project within the DAAD funded programme "Higher Education Dialogue with Southern Europe" between the University of Porto and the BTU Cottbus-Senftenberg.


To stop global warming, massive changes in politics, policy making, economy and technologies are required. In order for this transformation to succeed, the general population must be informed, educated and involved in important steps of this process. This has been recognized and included in many important international agreements such as the UNFCCC (Art. 6) or the Paris Agreement (Art. 12). 

This project aims to establish a knowledge- and education transfer landscape at both universities, aimed at the general population on the topics of climate- and environmental protection and on the case study of the regions around Porto as well as the Lausitz area. Both regions are currently facing similar developments with regard to the coal phase-out, decarbonisation of industry and the transition towards new branches of economy. To increase the effectiveness, understanding and acceptance of those measures, knowledge transfer and scientific education are necessary. Thus, different types of knowledge transfer such as science communication and citizen science as part of the third mission of universities,will be analyzed and utilized during this project.

Workshops will be carried out in Porto and Cottbus and will mostly focus on the current state of structural change (especially in terms of the coal sectors) including the special societal challenges in both regions. Focus topics of the workshops are teacher training in sustainability and SDGs as well as the third mission of universities on the topics of climate education, environmental law and environmental policies.

For this project experts and students from both universities as well as the general public will be included in the conferences. Students of either university will be able to apply for this project and when selected will be reimbursed for travel and accommodation costs. 
Students joining for the project will have to prepare study projects about topics related to the workshops. Those study projects can be recognized for their studies, if desired.

A call for applications for BTU students joining for the workshop in Porto will be published soon on this website, so please regularly check for updates.

International Circular Economy Week 2021-2022

Since 1991, the Brandenburg Technical University of Cottbus-Senftenberg is determined to address present and future challenges through a strong focus on sustainability and innovation. With interdisciplinary research, innovative teaching, knowledge and technology transfer and further training, the BTU is looking for approaches to solving problems in the international as well as in the national, regional, and local levels. These include challenges in the areas of energy, health, the environment, IT-based networks, and communication, as well as cultural and social issues. Our interdisciplinary exchange among the engineering, natural, human and social sciences promotes creativity and opens up new solutions. These are our guiding principles and our values which will stand the test of the Coronavirus pandemic.

BTU’s programme on 2021 and 2022 does not just include in-depth seminars on laws, regulations, policies to tackle climate change, but also has a space for practitioners coming from NGOs, development organizations, local governments to underscore the practical challenges, good practices, and lessons learnt from field experiences on natural resource management and climate action. Furthermore, the BTU also intends to share this space with its selected Alumni, PhD students, but also Master students who are in the final stages of their respective studies. The programme is tailored to have an online seminar focus in 2021 and an Alumni presentation focus in 2022. This way, Alumni coming to Germany can share their views and research in the interest of BTU’s research, spark connections with the wider consortium audience, and make relevant connections to kickstart their new projects. 

Please find here the 2021 and 2022 agendas.