SPRUNG – Top-level research for Lower Saxony
In 2023, the joint funding program of the state of Lower Saxony and the Volkswagen Foundation will start with new offerings.
After more than 50 years, the so-called "Niedersächsisches Vorab", a joint funding initiative of the Lower Saxony Ministry of Science and the Volkswagen Foundation, will be continued under a new name. It will be replaced by "SPRUNG – Top-level Research for Lower Saxony" with a new orientation towards future funding that was presented to the public in July 2022. SPRUNG is the result of a strategy finding process based on science policy priorities and external expertise. The goal is to enhance the visibility of Lower Saxony as a competitive science location in Germany and abroad.
Going forward, measures
- for the structural development of science in Lower Saxony,
- on priority initiatives in individual scientific fields as well as
- on funding measures to attract top scientific talent to Lower Saxony
will be brought together under one programmatic framework. Funding activities in the context of SPRUNG are to be closely linked to the results of a potential analysis conducted by the Scientific Commission of Lower Saxony. In addition, an advisory panel of high-caliber members will continue to support the Scientific Commission and the Volkswagen Foundation in the ongoing strategic development of new funding offers for SPRUNG. These are to have a goal-oriented focus on excellence criteria and rigorous quality assurance.
SPRUNG will launch its new funding program in 2023. Corresponding information will be communicated in good time by the Lower Saxony Ministry of Science and the Volkswagen Foundation.
Some selected measures supported under the "Niedersächsisches Vorab" program will be continued within SPRUNG.
Current funding offers
By far the greater part of SPRUNG’s finances results from the annual dividend paid on the nominal 30.2 million of trust shares in the VW automobile manufacturer held by the State of Lower Saxony, which are subject to a profit transfer entitlement accruing to the Volkswagen Foundation. In accordance with the Foundation’s statutes, the grants are awarded to scientific institutions in the state of Lower Saxony. To this end, the government of Lower Saxony submits proposals for the use of funds to the Foundation's Board of Trustees, usually in the summer and fall. In the reporting year 2021, a total of 149.3 million euros was allocated in the frame of the former "Niedersächsisches Vorab" – now "SPRUNG".