Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) sees itself as an integral part of society with which it works closely and openly; it perceives knowledge transfer as one of its primary objectives. As an open university, JGU has undertaken a broad spectrum of transfer activities over the past few decades; these range from standard forms of technology transfer through a wide range of vocational continuing education courses to numerous concepts designed to promote PUSH (Public Understanding of Science and Humanities). The university is also involved in numerous research projects dealing with knowledge transfer. JGU received national recognition for its transfer activities thanks to the success of the Mainz Research Alliance while competing for the 2011 "City of Science" title. In 2017, the university successfully underwent an audit by the Stifterverband; as a result JGU plans to extend its knowledge transfer activities and to align them with a strategic focus.
The transformation of research results into actual applications that can be employed by businesses and administrations and, vice versa, the transposition of experience and new demands from the world of practice to the level of research are fundamental aspects of knowledge transfer at JGU. Important JGU partners include BASF, Boehringer Ingelheim, Merck, and Schott. Companies such as Biontech, Ganymed (recently aquired by Astellas Pharma), StarSEQ, and TRON are successful JGU spin-offs, to name just a few. The Startup Center of JGU, which is part of the joint Mainz Office of Entrepreneurship, facilitates the establishment of spin-offs. In addition, JGU participates in the pilot phase of Young Entrepreneurs in Science (YES), a continuing education program established by the Falling Walls Foundation. According to the 2019 Reuters Top 100 – World's Most Innovative Universities ranking, JGU belongs to the top 100 most innovative universities in the world. In national comparison, JGU achieved an outstanding fourth place for the second year in a row.
The Center for Continuing Education (ZWW) coordinates all the continuing education programs of JGU. It focuses on aspects of life-long learning for people who already have professional experience or academic degrees but are generally interested in updating their knowledge or improving it. For businesses and institutions that require specific continuing education courses for their employees, the Center for Continuing Education will develop tailored concepts. Target groups in the "Studying at 50plus" program are persons who wish to explore academic subjects once they have retired from their profession and would like to take advantage of what the university has to offer.
The junior campus Mainz (jcm) program of JGU and the Mainz University of Applied Sciences provides extracurricular teaching projects designed for primary and secondary school pupils of all ages and school types as well as continuing education courses for teachers. Attractions range from the Little Scientists' House, Researcher Days, and vacation academies of the NaT-Lab Kids Lab, through competitions and excursions, quizzes and activity programs, to the School of Seeing, the Kids University on Music, and the Green School in the Botanic Garden. Its event programs reflect the status of JGU as a traditional full university, offering a broad spectrum of extramural teaching and learning projects aimed at children and youngsters of all school levels and age groups as well as students and teachers. This all-inclusive interdisciplinary program positioned at the interface between school and university is unique in Germany and is being systematically extended by JGU.
University in Society
According to its mission statement, JGU sees itself as an expert partner for industry, politics, art, culture, and society. The active exchange between JGU and the public and society at large thus plays a key part in the general development of the University as does the development of contacts and cooperation with industry and the media. As an example, the Mainz Media Institute has been making continuous contributions to the scientific monitoring of media law and media policy in Germany and Europe for almost two decades. Citizens' conferences provide an open procedure that gives citizens the opportunity to form an opinion in exchange with science and with other citizens, and to contribute their position to the political debate.
Mainz – City of Science
As an integral part of its historical and cultural heritage, Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz maintains a range of links with the State Capital Mainz. At the same time, it utilizes and cultivates the outstanding collaboration opportunities offered in the Rhine-Main region with its cultural institutions and business and service companies in the fields of research, learning, and teaching. JGU is a founding member of the Mainz Science Alliance, which represents the broad and high-quality research and technology know-how in and around Mainz since 2008.
As a civic university, JGU offers a unique portfolio of information dissemination concepts for the general public that extend far beyond the scope of standard popular academic formats. Examples include the annual Science Market of the Mainz Science Alliance, the "Night of the Profs" event series in the Staatstheater Mainz and the "University in the City Hall" along with the "Johannes Gutenberg Endowed Professorship" of the Friends of Mainz University. In addition, JGU owns numerous scientific collections that include a fascinating array of objects from diverse scientific disciplines. Besides being a central infrastructure for research and teaching, they are of great importance outside the university. The creation of the School of Seeing, which lies in the middle of the Gutenberg Campus, is a current example of the bond between JGU, the State Capital of Mainz and the state of Rhineland-Palatinate. It is an intercultural and cross-media visualization and experimentation site at which the students' needs with regard to practical training are combined with those of schools with regard to their participation in the cognitive process in the field of the humanities.