Call for Application

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On behalf of the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) the University of Kassel and the German Institute for Tropical and Subtropical Agriculture (DITSL) in Witzenhausen are organizing the

International Germany Alumni Seminar 2020 – “Applied Solar Engineering and Smart Integration of Renewable Energy for Developing Countries”

9 - 15 June 2020 in Witzenhausen, Germany

followed by the participation in the most important innovation hub for new energy solutions “The Smarter E Europe 2020”,
16 - 20 June 2020 in Munich, Germany

Seminar aims

Rural development and particularly the creation of sustainable and productive value chains that offer income opportunities for people in developing countries require the availability and easy accessibility of the necessary resources, particularly energy and water. In the light of dwindling global fossil fuel reserves and global climate change, energy supply needs to seek new ways that are economically viable and ecologically sustainable. Furthermore, remote rural areas in developing countries are often not connected to the national power grid and development efforts must therefore rely on decentralized energy supply systems. Solar technology has advanced rapidly over the past decades and today offers a whole range of different appliances to efficiently, and sustainably harness solar radiation for different purposes. The challenge for professionals involved in research and development is to design and create locally adapted technological solutions for the specific energy requirements of the respective value chain. The Seminar will promote exchange between the participants in the field of solar technology, facilitate international scientific cooperation and qualify the participants in the field of photovoltaic equipment, solar food processing and solar energy driven water equipment. The Seminar will foster exchange of experiences, establishment of international networks between the participants, scientific discourse with regard to solar engineering, and international academic cooperation in this field. It will stimulate and promote ideas for joint research, technology development and knowledge transfer on all aspects of solar technology.

The seminar and trade fair visit are offered by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) in the framework of the program Alumni Special Projects German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD). The International Germany Alumni Seminar is organized and hosted by the Department of Agricultural Engineering in the Tropics and Subtropics of the Faculty of Organic Agricultural Sciences of the University of Kassel (Prof. Dr. Oliver Hensel, University of Kassel) and DITSL Witzenhausen ( The costs will be mainly covered by funds from the DAAD provided by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ).

The seminar is scheduled in the run-up to the Smarter E Europe 2020 (The smarter E), which is the most important innovation hub for new energy solutions, dedicating itself to all topics relevant for the industry, offering visitors a comprehensive overview of trends, technologies and innovative concepts for the new energy world.

It is bringing together four exhibitions from 17-19 June 2020:

  • Intersolar Europe – The world's leading exhibition for the solar industry
  • ees Europe – Europe’s largest and most international exhibition for batteries and energy storage systems
  • Power2Drive Europe – The international exhibition for charging infrastructure and e-mobility
  • EM-Power – The exhibition for intelligent energy use in industry and buildings

Seminar topics

  • Solar technology and engineering adapted to local conditions in the participants' home countries
  • Solar radiation, thermal utilization of solar energy and photovoltaic including the corresponding measurement technologies
  • Solar food processing and solar drying of tropical products
  • Small photovoltaic equipment
  • Solar energy driven pumps for drinking and irrigation water

Tentative program

The seminar program in Witzenhausen will include:

  • Sessions and workshops
  • Presentations from the participating alumni
  • Papers and case studies from invited experts
  • Group work activities and group discussions
  • Demonstrations and field trials at the Department of Agricultural Engineering in Witzenhausen
  • Work on solar drying of tropical products, solar water pumping and applied solar heatExcursions and cultural events

Tentative Program

The seminar in Witzenhausen will include:

  • Papers and case studies presented by the participants (Alumni) and invited experts
  • Group work and group discussions
  • Lectures, seminars and practical workshops
  • Excursions
  • Demonstrations and field trials at the Department of Agricultural Engineering in Witzenhausen

The final program in Kassel/Witzenhausen will be published once all applications have been reviewed.

It is necessary to participate in the whole program: seminar, conference and social program.

Eligibility criteria for participation

This seminar targets Alumni of German universities

  • from countries listed on the DAC list of ‘developing’ countries,
  • who carried out research or studied in Germany for at least 3 months and
  • who are currently living and working in their home countries.

Eligibility for repeated attendances at Alumni Special Projects:

Participations in Alumni Special Projects are limited to a maximum of 2 participations within 4 years. The year of participation, not the year of application, is decisive for the calculation.

You should have

    • a proven background in academic fields relevant to the topics of agricultural engineering, solar technology and engineering, political activities related to renewable / solar energy in the field of agriculture / agricultural value chains
    • professional experience and personal interest in one of the following areas: research, education, NGOs, government agencies, policy making, project development, local communities, and related stakeholders
    • the requirements to act as a potential multiplier who will present the seminar results in your home country and thus disseminate the acquired knowledge as well as develop ideas and projects for regional implementation
    • adequate language proficiency which is essential to actively participate in the workshops and discussions as the seminar will be held in English

Cost coverage

  • International return ticket to Frankfurt and from Frankfurt/Munich (lowest possible economy class airfare)
  • Train tickets (2nd class): Airport to Witzenhausen – preferably Rail & Fly
  • Travel health insurance (max. 30 Euro) and visa costs
  • Accommodation and partial living expenses during the seminar stay in Witzenhausen
  • Transport on excursions
  • Transport from Witzenhausen to Munich
  • Accommodation and partial living expenses during the stay in Munich
  • Entrance fees at the trade fair in Munich
  • Transport from the hotel in Munich to the departure airport

Please note: You have to cover by yourself any other costs, such as transport costs between your place of residence and “your” airport, and travel costs for visa application in your country of residence. Please, keep in mind that living expenses are only covered partly during your stay in Munich.

Extensions of stays before the seminar / after The Smarter E Europe in Munich are only possible up to 5 working days and upon submission of a comparison of flight ticket prices before you start your travel. You will have to pay any difference between the flight ticket prices for the official arrival /return date (see below) and your actual date of travel before / after your extension. You must also cover by yourself any additional travel costs, subsistence costs and other additional costs of your extension.

Extensions beyond 5 days must be of an official nature which you need to justify, e.g. through visits to universities, organizations, institutions, companies etc. and with details about contact persons and a day-to-day programme of activities. These extensions must be approved by DAAD before you start your travel. Decisions by DAAD are made on an individual nature based upon your justification, your programme etc.

For any extension you need to organize your accommodation by yourself, and, very importantly, you have to make sure to have a valid health insurance for the extension days.

Travel dates:

9 June 2020:Arrival in Witzenhausen

10 - 15 June 2020: Seminar in Witzenhausen

16 June 2020: Travel from Witzenhausen to Munich

17 - 19 June 2020: Participation in the trade fair The Smarter E Europe in Munich

20 June 2020: Departure from Munich

It is essential that you participate from the first day of the seminar in Witzenhausen to the last day of the trade fair The Smarter E Europe in Munich.

Application procedure

Your application (in English language) must include the following documents in one single pdf file:

      • A filled out application form: The form is available on Download the application form (docx)
      • A short CV with photograph and relevant documentation of alumni status
      • An abstract on “Solar energy for development with reference to the participants' home country and self involvement in the field for solar technology” (the main topics are listed above; abstracts must not exceed one page; please use font type “Arial”, font size 11, 1.5 line spacing).
      • A short description of your present duties/ position and your personal professional goals, indicating your envisaged field of activities and duty level.
      • An overview on seminars, workshops or conferences visited in Germany after finishing your studies in Germany.

You should emphasize your motivation and personal/professional benefit for your participation. You should illustrate how you are planning to imply the gained knowledge and what possible stakeholders for collaboration you may identify for your professional career.

The PDF-document should be named ‘Last name_First name_country’ (e.g. Boehm_Franziska_Germany).

Please send your application, as one single pdf file, latest by 22 January 2020 via email to: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Please note: Completeness of personal data mentioned in the online application form will affect your eligibility as a participant.

After the review by the local organizing committee and DAAD, the invited participants will be notified in mid-February 2020 at the latest.


Detail information for applicants

Coordination office

For any further questions please contact the organizational team:
Mrs. Franziska Böhm
DITSL Witzenhausen
Steinstrasse 19
37213 Witzenhausen, Germany
Tel: +49 (0) 5542 607 35
E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Further links:

» The smarter E

» Department of Agricultural Engineering at the University of Kassel

» German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD)