Press Release 03/2008

Together Towards New Horizons

The KIT Is Extending Its German-French Activities in Research and Teaching – KIT-DeFI Will Celebrate Its Start on February 1
Together in a boat: The KIT intensifies its relations to French partners. Drawing by: Tomi Ungerer

Dr. Elisabeth Zuber-Knost
Press Officer

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

Under the umbrella of the newly founded Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), the Forschungszentrum and Universität Karlsruhe are bundling their activities with French partners and launched the German-French Initiative (KIT-DeFI) on January 01, 2008. The opening event will be celebrated on February 01 and mark the beginning of the joint acting of KIT when cooperating with French partners in research and teaching.

For details, please contact:

Universität Karlsruhe (TH)
Institut für Technische Mechanik
Prof. Wolfgang Seemann

Phone: +49 721 608 6824

Forschungszentrum Karlsruhe
Institute for Nuclear Physics
Prof. Johannes Blümer

Phone: +49 7247 82 3545

In the future, the German-French Initiative in the KIT shall be the main contact partner for all cooperative ventures of the Forschungszentrum and Universität with French partner universities and research institutions. German-French cooperation already has a long tradition at both the Universität and Forschungszentrum. Since its foundation, the Fridericiana has been maintaining close relations to French universities and colleges. “With the establishment of KIT-DeFI, we underline how important these relations are to us and wish to further extend the existing, highly fruitful cooperation”, says Professor Wolfgang Seemann from the Universität, who will manage KIT-DeFI together with Professor Johannes Blümer from the Forschungszentrum.

The Universität is already offering a wide variety of German-French studies courses, mainly in mechanical engineering, but also in physics, biotechnology, information science, economic sciences, electrical engineering, and information technology. At the same time, the Forschungszentrum is pursuing a number of cooperative ventures with French research institutions or conducting joint bilateral and international research projects. Examples are the nanovalley of the universities of Karlsruhe and Strasbourg as well as the long cooperation of the Forschungszentrum Karlsruhe with the CEA (Commissariat à l´Energie Atomique) or the Edelweiss experiment in the Fréjus tunnel to study dark matter. In addition, the Universität Karlsruhe is performing research cooperation projects e.g. at the German-French Institute for Environmental Research (DFIU).

Defis Turns to KIT-DeFI

In the future, KIT-DeFI will coordinate all German-French double diploma studies courses and, hence, succeed the Defis office. The latter was founded at the Universität in 1994 and has been in charge mainly of the German-French double diploma course in mechanical engineering, where the number of students was highest. In the past 11 years, 480 students of mechanical engineering were awarded both a Karlsruhe diploma and a degree of the Ecole Nationale Supérieure d’Arts et Métiers (ENSAM) in Paris/Metz or the Institut National des Sciences Appliquées de Lyon (INSA).

The new tasks of KIT-DeFI, however, will by far exceed the previous scope of work of Defis. “KIT-DeFI shall set new standards in German-French cooperation”, underlines Professor Johannes Blümer. “Apart from the already successfully practiced exchange of students, I see very good chances for jointly supervised Ph. D. theses and joint research projects.” One of the key tasks of the German-French Initiative in the KIT will be the closer linking of research and teaching in cooperation with the French partners. KIT-DeFI intends to enhance cooperation with the partner universities in the education of graduates and to establish a German-French course of lectures for Ph. D. students. Among others, it is planned to organize summer schools, to establish German-French groups of researchers and a colloquium, to launch a scholarship program, and to promote joint German-French research projects.

The KIT-DeFI opening event will be celebrated on

Friday, February 01, 2008, 14.00 hrs,
in the Tulla-Hörsaal (Tulla lecture hall) of the Universität Karlsruhe (TH),
building No. 11.40 (Ehrenhof).

Representatives of the media are cordially invited.

The Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) represents the merger of the Universität Karlsruhe with the Forschungszentrum Karlsruhe. Altogether, it has 8000 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.

lg, January 25, 2008


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