Press Release 08/2008

The Road is Free for the Merger

The Universität and the Forschungszentrum Karlsruhe Welcome the Agreement Reached by the Federal Government and the State of Baden-Württemberg
KIT Logo

So far, the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) has been the cooperation of a large-scale research institution and a research university. Now, an important step has been made towards their merger: The KIT will be established as a public corporation under Baden-Württemberg law. This result was presented today by Federal Minister Schavan and State Minister Frankenberg in Berlin.

Dr. Elisabeth Zuber-Knost
Press Officer

Kaiserstraße 12
76131 Karlsruhe, Germany
Phone: +49 (0) 721/608-2089
Fax: +49 (0) 721/608-3658

Winning the Excellence Initiative was associated with an idea to revolutionize German research: A state university and a non-university large-scale research institution wanted to merge and set new standards in research, teaching, and innovation. In the first instance, however, the legal boundary conditions did not permit such a step. Hence, a detailed concept was developed in the past months to identify possibilities for such a union.

“We are very satisfied with the fact that politics has now found means to implement this idea for the first time in the German science community”, says Professor Eberhard Umbach, Chairman of the Executive Board of the Forschungszentrum Karlsruhe.

With the legal union, it is now possible to pursue joint structure and development planning and appointment policies. The scientific competence of a research university is joined with that of a large-scale research institution under one roof. Graduates can be integrated in large-scale research, young scientists in teaching. There will be no reduction of staff, and the students will also profit from the structural improvements.

The KIT will fulfill two missions: University teaching and research as well as large-scale and preventative research of an institution within the Helmholtz Association. “This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for German science that is also seen by politics and implemented accordingly. My expectations have been fulfilled”, underlines Professor Horst Hippler, Rector of the Universität Karlsruhe.

By autumn 2008, the legal details will be settled and adopted by the legislator.

Both ministers as well as the professors Hippler and Umbach will outline further details at the KIT foundation ceremony on coming Friday, February 22, 2008.

The Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) represents the merger of the Universität Karlsruhe with the Forschungszentrum Karlsruhe. Altogether, it has 7500 employees and an annual budget of 600 million Euros.

The KIT will be an institution of internationally excellent research and teaching in natural and engineering sciences. KIT shall attract the best experts from all over the world, set new standards in teaching and promotion of young scientists, and establish the leading European center in the field of energy research. KIT will assume a leading role in nanosciences worldwide. It is the objective of KIT to be one of the most important cooperation partners of industry.

zk, February 18, 2008


Monika Landgraf
Head of Corporate Communications, Chief Press Officer
Phone: +49 721 608-41150
Fax: +49 721 608-43658
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