On 13 June 2016, the Skolkovo Institute of Science and Technology (Skoltech) and the German Aerospace Center (DLR) signed an agreement to strengthen their scientific cooperation. The cooperation extends over a wide range of research fields, from material research via life sciences to climate research, space law and planetary research. Intended are the planning and implementation of joint scientific projects, but also exchange programmes for scientists, students and doctoral candidates. The Framework Agreement also enables the exchange of scientific data and the organisation of joint symposia and workshops.
The signing ceremony was attended by Prof. Rupert Gerzer, Skoltech provost and director of the Space Center, and director emeritus of the DLR-Institut on aerospace medicine, Prof. Alessandro Golkar, Interim Director of the Space Center, and Prof. Dzmitry Tsetserukou, head of Skoltech’s robotics lab and Adjunct Professor Evgeny Nikolaev. The German side was represented by Prof. Dr. Pascale Ehrenfreund, chairman of DLR and DLR Space Management Board Prof. Dr. Hansjörg Dittus.
According to DLR Space Board Prof. Hansjörg Dittus 'Both institutions will benefit from the cooperation in space research. Therefore, it is important to create conditions that promote the development of joint projects of the two international partners.' DLR Chairman Prof. Pascale Ehrenfreund said that the Memorandum of Understanding was signed 'in order to expand the cooperation of DLR with Russian research institutions and create new opportunities for the international exchange of knowledge.'
According to Skoltech provost, Prof. Rupert Gerzer, 'The agreement paves the way for direct cooperation: The exchange of professors and teaching staff, and the opportunity for Skoltech students to go to study at the DRL. But the most important consequence of the implementation of this agreement will be the direct involvement of Skoltech Space Center in experiments during real space missions.'