Alumni Special Projects for Germany Alumni from Developing Countries

DAAD/Michael Jordan

In the Alumni Special Projects programme professionals from developing countries who have been trained in Germany have the opportunity to come into contact with German representatives from academia and business at important trade fairs and conferences.


As decision-makers in their home countries with close ties to Germany, they are important contacts: academics and executives from developing and newly industrialised countries who have studied or done research in Germany, the so-called Germany alumni.

The DAAD supports these experts with the Alumni Special Projects programme where they receive further training at a German university and then get in touch with companies when they visit a trade fair or an industry convention.

Their new contacts and enhanced expertise enable the alumni to contribute to the economic development in their own countries.

Programme objectives

The programme aims to extend the skills of alumni to resolve development-related issues. It also helps alumni engage with other alumni in academic networks both in their own country and internationally. At the same time, alumni often play an active role as disseminators for knowledge transfer. Ideally, they maintain long-term ties to Germany and cooperate with higher education institutions and companies in Germany.

Finally, the programme is designed to further strengthen the expertise of the host universities in Germany in matters of development cooperation.

Funded projects / measures and partners involved

As part of the programme, specialist seminars for alumni are sponsored on various topics. The thematic focus is based on the sustainable development goals (SDGs) of the United Nations, in particular:

  • Water / water management / waste water / waste / recycling
  • Nutrition and food security / food technology / rural development
  • Renewable energies / climate protection
  • Education / lifelong learning / information and communication technology
  • Medicine / public health
  • Biodiversity / ecology

After the seminar, the alumni visit an international fair or conference in line with these topics. Here, the participants familiarise themselves with new product developments and technologies and get to know exhibitors, companies, and other experts. This enables both sides to establish important contacts and initiate collaboration.

Projects are advertised, for example, during the following events:

  • Hanover Trade Fair
  • Tropentag
  • Intersolar Europe
  • Agritechnica
  • IFAT (Munich, Johannesburg and Mumbai)

Planned and already implemented Alumni Special Projects

Alumni Special Projects 2019 Topic Upcoming calls

Hanover Trade Fair, Hanover,

1.-5. April 2019

Renewable energies

For German universities:

Announcement Hanover Messe

Application deadline:
16th July 2018

CEBIT Hannover, Hanover,

24.-28. June 2019

Education / digitisation

Call for German universities:

Announcement CEBIT 2019

Application deadline:
28h September 2018

Tropentag 2019, Kassel,

18.-20. September 2019


Call for German universities:

Beginning of October 2018

Alumni Special Projects 2018 Topic

Participating German universities

Anuga FoodTec, Cologne,

20 - 23 March 2018

Food security

U Kassel
LU Hannover   

IFAT Munich,

14 - 18 May 2018

Water / water management / waste water / waste / recycling

U Duisburg-Essen,       
U Siegen

Intersolar Europe, Munich,

20 - 22 June 2018

Renewable energies

BTU Cottbus-Senftenberg
U Halle-Wittenberg
TU Bergakademie Freiberg

MEDICA, Duesseldorf,

12 - 15 November 2018

Medicine / public health

U Heidelberg
U Jena   

Alumni Special Projects 2017 Topic Participating German universities

3rd International Congress Hidden Hunger, Stuttgart

Food security

U Hohenheim-Stuttgart,
U Siegen

11th re:publica, Berlin

Education / digitisation

UP Transfer GmbH at the University of Potsdam,
HS Neu-Ulm

IFAT Africa 2017, Johannesburg

Water / water management / waste water / waste / recycling

U Siegen


Food security

U Göttingen, U Kassel

Alumni Special Projects 2016 Topic Participating German universities

BIOFACH 2016, Nuremberg

Food security

U Göttingen, U Kassel

European Conference of Tropical Ecology, Göttingen


HU Berlin, U Göttingen

Hanover Trade Fair 2016

Renewable energies

TU Bergakademie Freiberg, BTU Cottbus

IFAT 2016,


Water / water management / waste water / waste / recycling

U Duisburg-Essen,
U Siegen

MEDICA 2016, Düsseldorf

Medicine / public health

U Jena

Alumni Special Projects 2015 Topic Participating German universities

BIOFACH 2015, Nuremberg

Food security

U Kassel,
U Hohenheim

Intersolar 2015, Munich

Renewable energies

BTU Cottbus, U Kassel

Tropentag 2015, Berlin


U Göttingen, U Kassel

IFAT India 2015, Mumbai

Water / water management / waste water / waste / recycling

U Siegen


In 2015, 165 alumni from developing and newly industrialised countries participated in further education seminars and trade fairs as well as in specialist conferences and conventions; in 2016, 204 alumni participated. The target-group participants come from a broad range of regions and professions. In order to review whether the objectives of the Alumni Special Projects have been reached, the participants are asked for feedback immediately after each event. Questions are asked about procedures at the trade fairs and conventions and the quality of the preceding specialist seminar. Overall, the response to the events is very positive.

For example, 36 out of 50 alumni attending the Intersolar Europe 2015 in Munich reported they had made business contacts. This is particularly encouraging since a large number of alumni work at certification centres for organic products of consulting companies or international organisations in their home countries.

Further, after participating at BIOFACH 2015, 90 per cent of alumni reported that they had established contacts with business representatives and other academics. All 50 participants at Tropentag 2015 in Berlin stated that they had expanded their knowledge by attending the conference.

According to the respondents, a large number of alumni stay in touch with other participants, the German higher education institutions, and business partners. In other words, the Alumni Special Projects programme is successful in helping alumni continue their education, exchange ideas, and establish contacts in the academic and professional community.

In order to achieve the intended programme objectives even more efficiently, the DAAD targets the needs of developing and newly industrialised countries with its funding instruments and evaluates the impact of its funding programmes. In 2014, the DAAD introduced a comprehensive result-oriented monitoring system in order to further improve the quality and transparency of its work.


German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD)
Department P33 Project Funding for German Language, Alumni Projects, Research Mobility (PPP)

Team leader for alumni projects

Arngard Leifert
Tel.: +49 228 882-794
Fax.: +49 228 882-9794

Key thematic areas: water, medicine and education

Kitimapron Padpronpradit
Tel.: +49 228 882-8607
Fax.: +49 228 882-98607

Key thematic areas: biodiversity, renewables and nutrition

Eva Seifert
Tel.: +49 228 882-291
Fax.: +49 228 882-9291

Supported by:

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