Arms manufacturers, the German armed forces and ministries: They have all commissioned ten universities in Lower Saxony to conduct research into war. Transparency? Lacking.
Here, too, research is being conducted for the event of war: university refectory and library at the Hanover campus of Leibniz University. Picture: imago/strip light press photo
Since the beginning of the new millennium, there have been more than 100 military research projects at ten universities in Lower Saxony. This emerges from a list of the Ministry of Science in Hanover, which was first reported on Monday by NDR Info. According to the list, the projects are distributed among universities in Hanover, Clausthal, Luneburg, , Oldenburg and Gottingen.
Among the clients are defense companies from Germany and abroad, the German Armed Forces and the Federal Ministry of Research and Defense. According to the list, the universities received more than 25 million euros in funding for their military research.
The Ministry of Science had queried the research projects in December 2013. "In a democracy, it cannot be that publicly funded universities conduct research behind closed doors," said Science Minister Gabriele Heinen-Kljajic (Greens). She said the universities had promised transparency about their research when they signed the development contract last November. "This transparency must apply to all research projects that have a risk potential," Heinen-Kljajic stressed.
But a look at the list also shows that transparency has limits: Four universities mention that they are running 40 "other projects to be treated confidentially." The range of research projects varies widely: from video surveillance at Leibniz Universitat Hannover or the decomposition of chemical weapons at the University of Gottingen to work on drones and missiles for US contractors at TU .