The "EU Liaison Office of the German Research Organisations“ (KoWi) is the joint service platform of the major German research organisations that are members of the "Association for the Promotion of European and International Cooperation in Science e.V.".
Members of the supporting association are:
The "Association for the Promotion of European and International Cooperation in Science e.V.". has its registered office in Bonn. The KoWi board consists of the chair, the vice-chair and the managing director of the association:
KoWi is part of the scientific self-administration, maintains offices in Bonn and Brussels and has established connections to partners from Europe and the EU institutions. KoWi offers companion and strategic proactive services "from a single source" that target researchers, administrators and institutions nationwide and basically cover all stages of a researcher's career, all instruments of the Research Framework Programme and all phases of an EU research project.
As an "Auxiliary Research Institution", KoWi is funded by the German Research Foundation.
The mandate of KoWi, incorporated in the statutes, includes the following core tasks:
Information, advice, training regarding European research funding for researchers and administrators at universities and research institutions in Germany;
together with members of the KoWi supporting association, establishing advisory expertise that transcends institutional boundaries to support the newly emerging collaborations between science and business in Germany and Europe;
event-related support for members of the KoWi supporting association with services tailored to their requirements.
When KoWi was established in 1990, it was essentially an information institution, which procured information from the EU via its exclusive Brussels location before the advent of E-mail and Internet dissemination. The information was passed on in a compact form to researchers and institutions in a national science system that was still relatively uniform in concept; the idea of an "EC Coordination Office" reflected this description.
After 2000, the orientation towards the principle of competition and the need for cooperation across institutional boundaries became significantly more important in the German science system. The KoWi supporting association accepted these developments and, in the summer of 2008, decided on a reform, which also became formally effective with the corresponding amendment to the statutes in the spring of 2010. Today, KoWi can be described as a strategy-based agency that offers individual services to the institutionally differentiated German research sector and supports cooperation within the supporting association in building up cross-institutional advisory expertise, thereby actively contributing to the interlinking of national and European research funding. The new name "European Liaison Office of the German Research Organisations" reflects this change. KoWi celebrated its 30th anniversary in 2020.