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New Institute für Consumer Science

The University of Münster (WWU), together with the universities of Düsseldorf, Cologne and Siegen and the consumer advice center of North Rhine-Westphalia are planning to jointly establish a Virtual Institute for Consumer Science (IfV). ZIN-spokeswoman Prof’in Doris Fuchs is taking the leading role in the foundation of the Institute on the part of the WWU. The five partners intend to make the Institute a nationwide example for consumer science and to establish a center for excellent consumer-oriented research. “The Institute will provide basic research as well as practical recommendations for an empirically and evidence-based consumer policy”, cited executive board member of the consumer advice center Wolfgang Schuldzinski.

The new institute will work in an interdisciplinary manner and bring together different approaches of consumer science. It will approach questions of consumer science in a number of ways, relying on the benefits of interdisciplinary cooperation between economic sciences, psychology, social sciences, oecotrophology, law, environmental and cultural sciences, information technologies and medicine. Moreover, the cooperation will enable researchers to conduct elaborate studies.

So far, consumer science was leading a shadowy existence in the German research landscape. Most institutions in consumer science focused on the supply side of the market. Meanwhile, systematic network initiatives have broadened the perspective on the demand side: “When focusing on the consumer as an actor and a measure, one can experience the great potential of consumer science”, according to Schuldzinski. The founding partners of the IfV are planning to coordinate and expand this potential using a virtual platform.

Contact for content-related questions:
Christian Bala
+49 211 38 09-35

[Picture: Marco2811 - fotolia.com | WWU Münster]