The Volkswagen Foundation is one of the largest private foundations promoting research in Germany and granting funds to scientific institutions. The National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina and the Volkswagen Foundation have been cooperation partners since 2014, jointly organizing public Leopoldina Lectures and scientific workshops. Since 2015, Stifterverband, the Leopoldina, the Volkswagen Foundation, and the Expert Commission for Research and Innovation (EFI) have jointly organized the Research Summit.
Each year, the Leopoldina and the Volkswagen Foundation hold three public discussion evenings known as the Leopoldina Lectures in Herrenhausen. These events address science related questions with social relevance, in particular topics dealt with by active or completed Leopoldina work groups. Topics of past discussion evenings were, among others, vaccination, palliative care and early childhood socialization.
A second event series of workshops organized by the Leopoldina and the Volkswagen Foundation is entitled “Governance of Science: Strategies for the 21st Century”. In the first of these workshops, international experts discussed strategic issues surrounding science-based policy advice and the political parameters of science today. Topics of the second workshop in 2015 were the various methods of measuring scientific quality and their implications on the science system.
The Leopoldina jointly organizes the Research Summit with the Stifterverband, the Expert Commission for Research and Innovation (EFI), and the Volkswagen Foundation. As an interdisciplinary forum, it promotes dialogue and networking. Since 2015, the summit has brought stakeholders from science, business, civil society, and politics together annually to discuss answers to current issues and challenges in research and innovation policy.