27 May 2009   |   News

Former DFG President awarded Japan’s highest honour for foreign nationals

Ernst-Ludwig Winnacker, the former President of the German Research Foundation and outgoing Secretary-General of the ERC, has been honoured in Japan.

Professor Ernst-Ludwig Winnacker. Picture courtesy DFG.

Professor Ernst-Ludwig Winnacker, the former President of the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG, German Research Foundation), and outgoing Secretary-General of the European Research Council, has received the Order of the Rising Sun, Gold Rays with Neck Ribbon in Tokyo, in honour of his many years of service to scientific cooperation between Japan and Germany and to the internationalisation of science and research. The award was presented by the Japanese Prime Minister Taro Aso.

“This is a well-deserved accolade for one of the most highly respected representatives of German science and research funding worldwide,” said the current President of the DFG, Professor Matthias Kleiner. “Expanding and maintaining bilateral contacts in science and research depend critically on the dedication of individuals. Ernst-Ludwig Winnacker did a great deal during his time as president of the DFG to promote the intensification of international scientific cooperation, including with Japan.”

Maintaining and expanding Japanese-German contacts in the field of science and the humanities remains important to the DFG, as was demonstrated by the opening of the DFG office in Tokyo last month.

Winnacker led the DFG from 1998 until the end of 2006, becoming Secretary-General of the ERC in January 2007. His term of office at the ERC will end next month, after which on 1 July 2009, he takes up a new position as Secretary-General of the International Human Frontier Science Program Organisation in Strasbourg. This body, which was founded in 1989, promotes international research in the life sciences, aiming in particular to improve the promotion of young scientists and researchers.

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