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In the spirit of cooperation: Minister of State Clemens Hoch visits Wine Campus Neustadt

On Monday, 22 May 2023, the Rhineland-Palatinate Minister for Science and Health, Clemens Hoch, visited the Neustadt Wine Campus. With a supporting programme on study programmes, research and transfer, the Weincampus Neustadt presented itself as a future-oriented and international location.

Minister Clemens Hoch accepted the invitation of the three Rhineland-Palatinate sponsoring universities of the Neustadt Wine Campus, Ludwigshafen, Kaiserslautern and Bingen, and the DLR Rheinpfalz. On site, he was able to gain a personal impression of the study programmes and current research projects. Right at the beginning of the visit, a one-hour tour of the auditorium awaited the Minister. At a total of eight stations, the minister had the opportunity to talk personally with students, doctoral candidates and academic staff. The first topic was the important significance of the dual degree programme in Viticulture and Oenology for the state of Rhineland-Palatinate, as well as the part-time opportunities for training and further education offered by the MBA programme in Wine, Sustainability and Sales at the location. Specifically, the minister was interested in the international orientation and the cross-border study opportunities offered at the Neustadt Wine Campus. The Minister expressly supports the German-French Master's programme in Viticulture and Oenology. Minister Hoch was also able to see for himself the science-practice transfer that was presented through the viticultural activities in Rwanda. In the second part of the tour, the doctoral students used exhibits to present the current state of research on artificial intelligence in viticulture and oenology, the challenges and potentials in the development of non-alcoholic wines, the possibilities of conserving resources for more sustainable production, and the adaptation strategies as a result of climate change.

In his opening speech, Minister Clemens Hoch was taken with the impressions of the talks at the stations. "I have really experienced an impressive range of research topics here and seen how innovative the wine campus is. The stations have made it clear that digitalisation has arrived in viticulture. Research on the topic of non-alcoholic wine addresses the growing demand for a healthier lifestyle. I will gladly come back to the wine campus soon," he said.

In the subsequent talk round, Minister Hoch was joined on the podium by the President of the Ludwigshafen University of Applied Sciences Prof. Dr. Gunther Piller, the President of the Bingen University of Applied Sciences Prof. Dr. Antje Krause, President of the Kaiserslautern University of Applied Sciences Prof. Dr. Hans-Joachim Schmidt and the Director of the DLR Rheinpfalz Dr. Günter Hoos. RPTU Kaiserslautern-Landau was also represented on the podium by Vice President Prof. Dr. Werner Thiel. Prof. Dr. Dominik Durner, Chairman of the Joint Committee of the Faculties (GAF), moderated the talk round. The consensus of the three university presidents was clear: the Weincampus stands for excellent research, an international network and an attractive range of courses.the Weincampus stands for excellent research, an international network and an attractive range of courses.

However, the potential is far from exhausted. Especially in the field of artificial intelligence, automation and biotechnology, there are important connections to viticulture and oenology. "The wine campus construct works so well that it could serve as a model for other cooperating universities at the state level. The universities and the DLR complement each other ideally - in mutual sympathy and respect - with their competences in the fields of viticulture, oenology, natural sciences, technology and business administration. For the future, I see the area of further education and the support of start-up projects as very important, in addition to the deepening of international relations," summarises President Piller.

Minister Hoch mit Präsident Prof. Dr. Gunther Piller, Präsidentin Prof. Dr. Antje Krause sowie Präsident Prof. Dr. Hans-Joachim Schmidt im Hintergrund (Bild: Weincampus Neustadt)
Minister Hoch mit Präsident Prof. Dr. Gunther Piller, Präsidentin Prof. Dr. Antje Krause sowie Präsident Prof. Dr. Hans-Joachim Schmidt im Hintergrund (Bild: Weincampus Neustadt)
Talk-Runde v.l.n.r.: Direktor Günter Hoos, Prof. Dr. Antje Krause, Prof. Dr. Gunther Piller, Minister Clemens Hoch, Prof. Dr. Hans-Joachim Schmidt, Prof. Dr. Werner Thiel und Prof. Dr. Dominik Durner (Bild: Weincampus Neustadt)
Talk-Runde v.l.n.r.: Direktor Günter Hoos (DLR Rheinpfalz), Präsidentin der TH Bingen, Prof. Dr. Antje Krause, Präsident der HWG LU, Prof. Dr. Gunther Piller, Minister Clemens Hoch, Präsident der HS Kaiserslautern, Prof. Dr. Hans-Joachim Schmidt, Vizepräsident der RPTU Kaiserslautern-Landau, Prof. Dr. Werner Thiel und Prof. Dr. Dominik Durner vom Weincampus Neustadt (Bild: Weincampus Neustadt)

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