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Project start in Ghana: Jülich soil researchers build science bridge to Africa

Blog reports live from summer school and hackathon in Accra

Jülich, 26 November 2018 – The project "The Pan-African Soil Challenge" (PASCAL) will start in Accra (Ghana) on Monday. The project, which is funded as part of the DFG Ideas Competition "International Research Marketing", is intended to build a bridge of science between Jülich's agrosphere research and African partners. The aim is to support Africa in developing safe and sustainable food production in the face of population explosion and climate change.

Jülich contributes its expertise in soil science and high-performance computing, for example for simulations of the processes in soil systems. The International Soil Modeling Consortium (ISMC), the Geoverbund ABC/J and the Centre of Excellence High-Performance Scientific Computing in Terrestrial Systems (HPSC TerrSys), all of which are located at Forschungszentrum Jülich, are involved. The DFG is funding the project with 100,000 euros.

At the heart of the project, which will be reported on by staff at Forschungszentrum Jülich in an ongoing project blog, are two measures that build on one another: an autumn school on "Terrestrial Modelling" offers participants the opportunity to calculate simulations of the soil/water/air system with the help of a small local network on-site. The network's functionality corresponds to that of the Jülich supercomputers.

In a hackathon (word creation from "hack" and "marathon"), the participants then jointly advance the software. The summer school and hackathon are accompanied by a series of communication and marketing measures.

The DFG Ideas Competition promotes marketing concepts for German universities and research institutions that increase the visibility and attractiveness of German research abroad and that attract highly qualified researchers to collaborate with Germany or to stay for a research visit. The prizes are financed through special funds of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF).

Gebäudekomplex mit der Aufschrift WASCAL von einer Zufahrtsstraße aus fotografiert, rechts ein BaumWASCAL Headquarters in Accra
Copyright: Forschungszentrum Jülich

Channels used to report about the project

Project blog "A Bridge to Africa"

Forschungszentrum Jülich on Twitter

Forschungszentrum Jülich on Instagram

Further information:

Geoverbund ABC/J

International Soil Modeling Consortium (ISMC)

Centre of Excellence High-Performance Scientific Computing in Terrestrial Systems (HPSC TerrSys)

Institute of Bio- and Geosciences, Agrosphere (IBG-3)

Press contact:

Annette Stettien
Tel: +49 2461 61-2388

In Accra:
Erhard Zeiss
Tel: 0173-7403839