The German Government recognises global warming, energy shortages, resource scarcity, and massive environmental contamination as some of the biggest challenges of today. When dealing with these issues, the Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) believes in cultural plurality to encourage the development of global solutions. This approach is supported by the annual Green Talents Competition, focusing on young outstanding minds active in the field of environmental and sustainability research.

How can we stay mobile without running into trouble? How to heal sickened soil? How to make energy cleaner? The 21st century confronts humanity with big challenges. These include climate change, secure energy supply and health care, and the question of how to ensure a fair distribution of resources. Germany as a frontrunner in sustainable development is assuming the task and the obligation to create a future worth living both for us and for future generations. The country strongly believes in international cooperation to achieve this goal.

Following this approach, the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) invites young researchers from all over the world every year to take part in the "Green Talents - International Forum for High Potentials in Sustainable Development". The winners are awarded for their creative and intelligent solutions to the pressing questions of our time. The BMBF seeks to intensify the global exchange between young researchers in the field of environmental and sustainability research with this programme.

Since its launch in 2009, the competition has become part of the ministry’s framework programme on "Research on Sustainable Development", which draws the attention of science, business and politics in Germany to these issues. Achieving sustainability, however, is a global undertaking. Schemes like Green Talents help to promote the cultural plurality and creativity which encourage the development of global solutions.

The programme strives to intensify international R&D cooperation in sustainable development, especially with threshold and developing countries. Despite its role as a frontrunner in environmental technologies, Germany is aware that no single country and no single discipline alone can come up with a holistic solution to the challenges ahead. Believing in the creativity of young minds, the BMBF therefore seeks to foster the mobility of promising scientists and to connect them to each other in a unique global network.