Sustainability is a key issue in current research activities and programs. In this conjunction three major functions of research have been identified: Basic research, knowledge reservoirs, and knowledge transfer. With regard to a transmission to the private sector, knowledge transfer is the most important factor. In this process, universities of applied sciences can play an important part as they typically have a long-standing experience in linking science and business in their teaching and research. Another important agent in the process of knowledge transfer are networks and clusters. Their strength lies integrating the different competencies of its partners and using them to a mutual benefit. The International Centre for Sustainable Development (IZNE) – with a major focus on responsible business and sustainable food – takes the advantage of being part of a University of Applied Sciences (Bonn-Rhein-Sieg, BRSU), and being a member of several regional and international clusters and networks. These co-operations aim to establish and strengthen linkages between science and business, in particular by investigating research needs for business and business relevant research activities. Moreover, IZNE established and expanded regional and international co-operations of its own to get more transparency about regional and international value-added chains in the food sector and the issue of responsible business.


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