Washington – German universities and research centers have received $ 21.7 million in grants from the Pentagon since 2008, according to German Der Spiegel.
PHOTO: Epa, ERIK S. LESSER
They came up with this information by browsing data on the US budget.
From them it can be seen that 260 such projects went to universities that are constantly receiving funding from the US military.
This support mainly focuses on technical and scientific disciplines, writes Sputnik.
The Ludwig Maximilians University (LMU) in Munich is the largest single recipient, receiving nearly $ 3.7 million from the US Department of Defense since 2008 with over 23 individual transfers.
In addition, the Bavarian University has been paid through the largest single grant of $ 1.72 million to finance a research project on chemicals and possible replacements of explosives called RDXs, which are widely used in the military.
Other leading recipients include Technichal University Darmstadt and RVTH Aachen, which has received more than a million dollars since 2008.
Contradicting education regulations
These data point to contradictions with education regulations, which say that universities should be committed to peaceful goals and to fulfill their specific responsibility for sustainable development, which some interpret as a clear request for the rejection of military assets.
However, the data studied by Der Spiegel suggests that since Pentagon has funded three universities since 2014: the University of RVTH Aachen, the Ruhr University of Bochum and the University of Paderborn.
RVTH Aachen said they were committed to peacekeeping research and claim that they did not participate in arms-related research, adding that their goal is to be the academic basis for sustainable solutions that will respond to today's and future challenges.
Civil and military purposes
As Der Spiegel concludes, the problem is that many research can be used for military and civilian purposes, from communication technology to robots and software, so accepting funding from the US Department of Defense is "walking on the wire".
The US military, in several project descriptions, unambiguously notes that it is interested in fundamental research, which is "related to the improvement of military programs and operations or has such potential."
Other documents state that the goal is "to maintain technological superiority in scientific fields relevant to aviation needs," as well as to prevent "technological surprises for our people" and the United States, and to develop such surprises for their opponents.
Examples of such dual-use research include several projects at RVTH Aachen.
The university, however, defended its ventures, including a $ 530,000 donation of important components of quantum computers.
They insisted on the claim that it was true that they were initially driven by the ability to decipher the messages, but then they gave up and put economic emphasis on the forefront.
The second project relates to the stable supply of ships, which is also funded by the Pentagon.
Although the US military has received $ 300,000, the university claims it was "a basic research that can be applied to any type of ship".
One of the RVTH projects has developed textiles for military and commercial applications that are designed to repel insects using only the physical agents of insecticides.
Research institutes outside the university were also funded by the Pentagon through dual-use projects.