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Press Release of 22.05.2024

International Science Conference "Building Bridges for the Next Generations" on "Net Zero" in Dresden

On May 27-28, 2024, approximately 350 researchers from Saxony and numerous European countries, along with leading representatives from politics, industry, and society, will gather for the international conference "Building Bridges for the Next Generations". This year's theme, "Net Zero", focuses on the grand goal of climate neutrality and related research areas such as microelectronics, sustainable construction, hydrogen technology, artificial intelligence, and nuclear fusion. Guests and media representatives will have the opportunity to network with colleagues and stakeholders.


"Building Bridges for the Next Generations" 2024

Source: HZDR / Congressa


The conference will open on the evening of May 27 with a program dedicated to the guest country: Slovenia. After the opening remarks by Oliver Schenk, Chief of the Saxon State Chancellery, and Prof. Sebastian M. Schmidt, Scientific Director of the Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR), Slovenian politician Dr. Janez Potočnik, Co-Chair of the International Resource Panel (IRP), will deliver a keynote address. Following this, Slovenian artist and researcher Saša Spačal will present an artwork addressing the consequences of the Chernobyl disaster.

The second day of the conference on May 28 will be inaugurated by Saxony's State Minister for Science, Sebastian Gemkow, and Prof. Sebastian M. Schmidt, together with other international politicians.

For the keynote on May 28, Prof. Benjamin Sovacool, Director of the Institute for Global Sustainability at Boston University, USA, will discuss the societal impacts, just transitions, and conceptual boundaries of industrial decarbonization in his lecture.

The highlight of the conference on May 28 is a panel discussion with Saxony's Minister-President Michael Kretschmer and international representatives of science policy as well as young researchers. This dialogue will focus on how politics can more effectively support research and how scientific breakthroughs can accelerate the development of new technologies and products.

As in the previous year, the conference will be held at the International Congress Center Dresden (ICC) and is organized by the HZDR on behalf of the Saxon State Chancellery.


Michael Kretschmer, Minister-President of the Free State of Saxony:
"I am pleased about the renewal of the international science conference. It is an optimal platform for intra-European exchange and networking of many bright minds with decision-makers from politics. Under the theme 'Net Zero', we have created a unique think tank for sustainable development in Europe this year. It is important to bring together, discuss, and learn from the knowledge, political initiatives, and development trends in this field. This is how we build bridges and work together for a good future for the people on our continent."

Sebastian Gemkow, Saxon Minister of Science:
"The conference is an enrichment for Saxony as a science hub. Many of our scientific institutions have been working on project-based and long-term collaborations with European partners for many years. With 'Building Bridges', there is also the opportunity to significantly expand this circle, gain inspiration for further projects, and adopt a pan-European perspective on sustainable development. I am delighted with the great interest in the conference. It demonstrates a shared understanding of the high importance of science for a climate-neutral and technologically sovereign Europe."

Prof. Sebastian M. Schmidt, Scientific Director of the HZDR:
"Our conference 'Building Bridges' this year offers the chance to exchange ideas on the important topic of 'Net Zero'. I am impressed by the numerous interesting research projects presented at the conference that can contribute to climate neutrality. Moreover, I see that our motto 'Building Bridges' is being lived up to – participants from various countries and disciplines, from science, business, and politics, come together to seek solutions together. This collaboration and exchange particularly pleases me."


To allow as many interested parties as possible to follow the conference, parts of the event will be broadcast via live stream. In addition, Sachsen Fernsehen will air a recording of the panel discussion on June 1, 2024, at 8:30 PM in its program (Dresden, Chemnitz, Leipzig, Vogtland, Lausitz) and on the satellite TV channel Sachsen Eins.

Foto: Crest of the Free State of Saxony ©Copyright: Sächsische Staatskanzlei

This measure is co-financed by tax funds based on the budget adopted by the Saxon State Parliament.

Further information:

Kim-Astrid Magister | Communication and Media at HZDR
Tel.: +49 351 260 3406 | Email: