MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — University of Minnesota faculty members recently went to Germany as part of a sustainable energy partnership between the university's Institute on the Environment and the German government.

Faculty went to participate on a seminar regarding Germany's plan for transitioning to clean energy.  Minnesota business leaders and lawmakers are also attending the event.

This year's seminar focuses on the relationship rural and urban communities have when implementing sustainable methods, such as wind and solar energy.

"We get to leapfrog and learn from (Germany's) experiences and take all of their best ideas. and implement them around the world. We want do that from a Minnesota point of view," said Jessica Hellmann, director of the Institute on the Environment.

Germany's Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy awarded the university's institute a grant in 2011 and created a partnership for developing sustainable energy tools and policies.

Minnesota and Germany have similar industries, economies and access to natural resources, said Rolf Weberg, executive director of University of Minnesota Duluth's Natural Resources Research Institute.

"Anytime you can expand your horizons beyond your immediate environment always gives you better work," Weberg said. "Getting more experts working together is how you solve big problems. And energy is a big problem."

Much of the College of Science and Engineering's research involves wind, solar and thermal technologies, said Mostafa Kaveh, the college's dean.

German delegates plan to visit this university this fall to continue their work.