Today we visited Aldersoff. Aldersoff is the culmination of over 20 years of deliberate planning, and care by the government of Berlin. In a nut shell it aims to be the Silicon Valley of German and on a bigger scale all of Europe. It does this by collocating universities, non-university research institutes and businesses. This collocation is key because it allows a mingling of minds amongst the various groups that results in new and innovative technologies. Many businesses located in Aldersoff were created as spin-offs of research. Our guide Frank walked us all about the 6.2 kilometer campus explaining what exactly each business and building was for. We even saw the shoots atoms at close to the speed of light that has research applications but most of it went over my head. Overall it was a great tour that gave the group a lot of insight into how businesses and academia can collaborate for the betterment of the two.
The next thing we did that day was a boat tour of Berlin. This was fascinating because we got to see the old architecture contrasted by the new that is so unique to Berlin. A little background 80% of Berlin’s building stock was destroyed after World War II and with the Berlin Walls being created there became a kind of no mans land in the blocks around the wall. When the wall finally came down much was invested into Berlin and so the east side now has 90s style architecture the west has a mix and the down town formally in no mans land had extremely modern architecture. Berlin is a city like no other, it is five times the size of Paris with a population of only 3.5 million. It was great to get to see so much from the convenience of a boat. Overall supah cool!