Today in Berlin, the Joint Science Conference (GWK) announced the key elements of the new initiative of the Federal Republic of Germany and the German states for supporting top-level research at German universities (successor program of the Excellence Initiative). The President of Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), Professor Holger Hanselka, comments as follows:
“Today’s decision of the Joint Science Conference is a strong signal for top-level research in Germany. The Excellence Initiative has doubtlessly made the German science system more dynamic – its continuation will now boost German universities in international competition. We highly welcome the decision to support eight to eleven excellent universities in a second step, because Germany has far more than just two or three top universities. It also is a good and important step for German science that the new opportunities resulting from Article 91 b of the Federal Constitution are now used for the first time to permanently support universities.”
As regards the details of the funding program, Hanselka adds: “The decision of the Joint Science Conference to slow down the process and to allow an appropriate period of time to pass between the invitation and submission of proposals as well as to grant transitional funding to currently funded projects – all this brings calm into the system and will lead to elaborate proposals.”
A new instrument envisaged is the “university lump sum”. Institutions having acquired a cluster may be granted EUR 1 million per year for funding their strategic objectives as well as additional funds for further clusters. “This is long overdue. Only when universities and research institutions will develop smart strategies and when clear focuses are defined, will we be able to compete with the top institutions in the world,” Hanselka emphasizes.
By adopting the KIT 2025 Umbrella Strategy last year, KIT has already mapped out its future course for the next ten years. “KIT is well-positioned and we will seize the opportunities we have in competition.”
Being “The Research University in the Helmholtz Association”, KIT creates and imparts knowledge for the society and the environment. It is the objective to make significant contributions to the global challenges in the fields of energy, mobility, and information. For this, about 9,300 employees cooperate in a broad range of disciplines in natural sciences, engineering sciences, economics, and the humanities and social sciences. KIT prepares its 24,400 students for responsible tasks in society, industry, and science by offering research-based study programs. Innovation efforts at KIT build a bridge between important scientific findings and their application for the benefit of society, economic prosperity, and the preservation of our natural basis of life. KIT is one of the German universities of excellence.