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Contacts & Networks

A city lives from the exchange, communication and cooperation of actors from a wide range of industries and fields of work. The city of Jena is constantly expanding its network and its diverse contacts and is happy about new cooperations, partners and contacts in order to strive for and realize future projects.

On this page you will find a small overview of existing contacts and networks of our beautiful city on the Saale. On an international level, the listed organisations are active in social, sporting, scientific, economic, educational or political fields.

We are looking forward to ideas, suggestions and proposals for further cooperation, because: Together we are stronger !

The Democratic Youth Ring Jena e. V. (DJR) was founded on 08.05.1990 and since then realizes youth association work in Jena. Currently, 25 youth associations in Jena are involved in various projects on topics such as sports, nature conservation or political education. Since 1993, the DJR has been a recognised sponsor of independent youth welfare and is also a member of the working group youth work/youth social work in Jena.

On 22 September every year, the DJR organises a festival on the occasion of the World Children's Day. In 2018, the day's motto is "Superheroes and superheroines - girls can do anything and so can boys!". Or? I am me!" Various actors, such as the youth of the German Life Saving Society, the youth fire brigade of Jena, Greenpeace or even the brass band Carl-Zeiss-Jena provide a colorful program. As in previous years, there was a painting competition in the run-up to the World Children's Day, in which young artists create a picture to the current motto. The winner's work will then adorn the World Children's Day poster.

The Jena Network against Domestic Violence was founded in November 2004. It is an association of institutions, authorities and counselling centres with the common goal of developing effective measures and activities against domestic violence. The focus is on prevention and public relations work. Currently, the following counselling centres are part of the network:

The Equal Opportunities and Women's Representative of the City of Jena organised a conference of Jena's partner cities in September 2016 under the motto "Together against domestic violence against women". Women's organizations from Jena and its twin cities Beit Jala, Aubervilliers, Vladimir, Lugoj, Porto, San Marcos and Erlangen took part. The aim of the five-day meeting was to get to know the work of the partners and to jointly develop strategies against violence against women.

There were presentations and discussions by all participants, who unanimously expressed the desire for a stable network. The vision of including issues such as gender equality, equal opportunities and domestic violence against women in the programmes of the town twinning was born. Further aims of the conference were the international exchange about women's rights and the situation of women in general, getting to know the legal bases in different countries and comparing social and societal reality with these legal bases.

The participants visited the Women's Centre in Erfurt and visited the travelling exhibition on women and violence "Half of Heaven. 99 Women & You" in the City Church of Jena. A second conference of this kind is planned as well as future cooperations, an international media campaign and a website of positive stories about women's emancipation.

The SV SCHOTT Jena e. V. is one of the oldest popular sports clubs in Thuringia and offers a wide range of sporting activities for sports enthusiasts in and around Jena.

The table tennis department in particular is very committed to bringing together young people from different nations who are enthusiastic about sports.

In 2015, for example, there was a meeting between the table tennis department of SV SCHOTT Jena e. V. and the table tennis sports school in Abakan, which is located in the Republic of Khakassia in Russia. This connection has already existed since 2010 and so it was not the first time that the young Russian athletes came to Jena and Linz (Austria).From 29.03. till 07.04.2015 a joint training camp took place in the city of Saale and afterwards the participation in the 15th'Austrian Youth Open' in Linz. More than 400 players from 26 nations took part in the renowned international junior tournament.

Thanks to this encounter, the relationship between the partners SV SCHOTT Jena and the Abakan Table Tennis School was further intensified and strengthened, and the twelve children and young people were offered an international encounter and the opportunity for intercultural learning.

The Mayors for Peace - Network is a non-governmental organization working for a nuclear weapons-free, peaceful and just world. It was founded by the governments of the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, which were destroyed by atomic bombs in 1945 and contaminated for a long time. Today, the organization has 163 member states and 7650 member cities.

Along with 269 other municipalities in Germany, Jena also participates in the fight against nuclear missions. On 8 July each year, the mayors of the member cities worldwide raise the flag of the Mayors for Peace Alliance. In the picture gallery, Lord Mayor (OB) Dr. Nitzsche presents the flag, which was placed in front of the Jena City Hall.

In 2018, the Mayors' appeal is also directed to the nuclear powers and other states of the world community to sign the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons adopted by the United Nations in July 2017.

At home in the heart of Germany - networked all over the world

More than 460 years old and yet not a bit dusty: Since its founding in 1558, theFriedrich Schiller University of Jena has stood for new beginnings and open cooperation, for freedom of faith and science. Today it is the largest university in Thuringia and attracts students of all disciplines and scientists from all over the world. The Friedrich Schiller University shapes Jena's character as a future-oriented and cosmopolitan city.

The University of Jena concentrates its top-level research in the profile lines Light, Life, Liberty. It builds on traditional strengths and combines excellent basic and applied research. The university consistently relies on interdisciplinarity. With individual research as well as coordinated projects, it faces global challenges such as climate change, sustainable energy supply, combating pandemics or the effects of social change.

Around 18,000 young men and women are currently studying at its ten faculties. Nearly one in six students now comes from abroad - over 100 nations are represented among the student body. The university offers more than 20 international degree programmes.

With about 300 universities throughout Europe, the University of Jena maintains the exchange of students, scientists and staff through the ERASMUS program of the EU. It has direct cooperation agreements with a good 200 universities in more than 50 countries. The University of Jena is a partner in international research associations, in large EU projects and interdisciplinary networks. In addition, it belongs to a number of international associations, including the COIMBRA Group, the European University Association, the Trans-Atlantic Science Student Exchange Program and the European network EURAXESS.

Contact for international students and guests of the University is the International Office. At the Welcome Point of the Friedrich Schiller University, international guests and their families will find competent support throughout their stay at the University.

Innovation for quality of life. Health, precision, sustainability & networking

The Ernst Abbe University of Applied Sciences (EAH) Jena was founded in 1991. As a university of applied sciences, it is characterized by a high practical orientation in teaching and research. It offers courses of study in the fields of social and health sciences, business administration and engineering. The approximately 4,500 students come to Jena from all over Germany and from abroad.

Precision systems, technologies and materials as well as health and sustainability form the research foci of the university. They are shaped by Jena's strengths and history in optics and photonics as well as health and life sciences.

The campus consists of listed industrial buildings with excellent technical and modern facilities. The university is located in the immediate vicinity of Carl Zeiss AG, SCHOTT in Jena and the institutes of the Max Planck Society, the Fraunhofer Society and the Leibniz Association on the Beutenberg. At the same time, it is only a few minutes away from Jena's city center.

The Jena 'Center for Reconciliation Studies' (JCRS) is part of the Faculty of Theology at Friedrich Schiller University and has been in existence since July 2013. The department is concerned with processes of reconciliation and conflict management at national and international levels. Reconciliation processes take place in historical, political, religious, social, legal, ethical, artistic or economic dimensions.

The JCRS cooperates with other faculties of the university (e.g. Pschyology or Ethics), faculties of other institutions (e.g. those of the Peace Institute of Myanmar or the Alberto Hurtado University Santiago de Chile) as well as with non-governmental organizations (e.g. the Herder Institute Marburg).

The project 'Hearts of Flesh - Not Stone', 'Hearts of Flesh - Not Stone', is an interdisciplinary study focusing on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in the Middle East. Despite a great desire for just political structures within the population of Israel and Palestine, no solutions are being found in the long-standing conflict. Too much mistrust and the desire for retaliation dominate the thoughts of many people. Why this is so and how ultimately a reconciliation between the two camps could be created is being researched by the JCRS in international and transdisciplinary (psyochology, political science, theology and history) cooperation.

The Ernst-Abbe-Gymnasium (EAG) in Jena has been running an exchange with High School No. 3 in Ningbo, China, since 2012. Ningbo is a suburb of Shanghai and home to 5 million people.

The joint project came about due to the initiative of an employee of the EAG, Mrs. Anita Voltersen, who had taught German at the high school for three years.In August 2017, Chinese guest students and some teachers were guests in Jena. Impressions of their experiences can be seen in the picture gallery at the bottom of this page.From the end of September to the beginning of October 2018, the return visit of 15 - 17 students and two teachers of the Ernst-Abbe-Gymnasium will take place in China.The participants of the exchange speak mainly English with each other, but also German and Chinese, depending on the level of fluency of the students. The young people are accommodated with host families in the twin town.

The'Association for the Children of Chernobyl in Jena e. V.' was founded in 1991 and today has 56 members. The association cares for children from the radioactively contaminated zone of the Mogilev region, Krasnopolje district in southeastern Belarus. The Krasnopolje district was radioactively contaminated in 1986 after the explosion of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant.

In order to give the Belarusian children some variety and joy, the association invites them twice a year to Jena for a three-week recreational and convalescent stay. The children are accommodated with host families, go on exciting day trips, receive new clothes and shoes as well as vitamin-rich food.

Every year at the beginning of January, the Chernobyl Association also undertakes a Christmas trip to Belarus and presents around 250 children with small gifts, which are financed by donations. A school and two kindergartens are also supported locally with financial donations so that necessary renovation work can be carried out.

A monthly scholarship is offered to school leavers from poorer families so that the young people can finance their studies or training and thus enable them to have a promising future.

The photonics network OptoNet e. V. serves to represent the interests of more than 100 players in the Thuringian photonics industry. It offers a platform for networking, exchange and cooperation among current and potential members. Among them are for example ZEISS or JENOPTIK but also three Fraunhofer Institutes and the Leibnitz Institute for Photonic Technology.

OptoNet offers technology support, for example by organizing and carrying out workshops, conferences and professional training courses. As an information platform, the network promotes communication and cooperation between its members, so there are network events or support for the public relations work of the individual players. The network also promotes young talent by supporting companies in their search for qualified personnel, for example via a free job exchange on the OptoNet website. The Photonics Network also organizes joint stands at national and international trade fairs, delegation trips or cooperations with foreign cluster organizations.

Since 2016, an internationalization strategy for the network has been expanded. The [gloWIN] project, which is funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), is intensifying networking with industry and research partners from the USA, Canada, South Korea and Japan. In areas such as metrology, laser technology or ultra-precision manufacturing, research and development cooperations are being expanded and new ones created. Europe is the main sales market for the Thuringian photonics company, with regions in France being particularly important partners. Asia, on the other hand, is one of the most important supplier markets. There are long-standing relationships with the Hamamatsu region in Japan as well as Gumi and Seoul in South Korea. In North America, a special relationship is maintained with the New York Photonics Cluster around Rochester with the new American Institute for Manufacturing Photonics.

Internationally, ICAN is calling on cities to support the Treaty to Ban Nuclear Weapons. Major cities in Asia, Europe, North America and Australia have already signed the appeal, which reads as follows:

"Our city/town is deeply concerned about the immense threat that nuclear weapons pose to cities and towns around the world. We firmly believe that our residents have the right to live free from this threat. Any use of nuclear weapons, whether deliberate or accidental, would have catastrophic, far-reaching and long-lasting consequences for people and the environment. We therefore welcome the 2017 Treaty to Ban Nuclear Weapons adopted by the United Nations and call on the German government to join it."