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Press Release 009/2010

MicroTec Southwest and Software Cluster Win Top Cluster Competition

KIT Is Involved in Both Top Clusters – Funds of 40 Millions Each for the Next Five Years
Cloud Computing – one trump of KIT in the top cluster competition. (Photo: Gabi Zachmann)

Today, Federal Minister of Research Annette Schavan announced the winners of the second round of the Top Cluster Competition. The Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) will provide the five winners with funds of up to 200 million Euros in total over a duration of five years. Among the winners of the competition are the microsystems technology cluster “MicroTEC Southwest“ and Europe’s largest software cluster “Software Innovations for the Digital Enterprise”. KIT is involved in both clusters.

MicroTEC Southwest with KIT as a partner is a technology cluster focusing on the use of microsystems technology in various sectors. The cluster based in Baden-Württemberg is aimed at linking research, industry, and in particular small and medium-sized enterprises and crossing the boundaries of branches. Microsystems technology is considered a key technology due to applications in automotive industry, medical engineering, mechanical engineering, and automation. The cluster of 320 partners among others includes the companies of Bosch and Roche as well as a number of universities and research institutions in Baden-Württemberg. On the part of KIT, the NanoMicro Center is involved. “We are very pleased that the numerous partners of the cluster have undertaken the effort and that microsystems technology in Baden-Württemberg will be made visible in an excellent manner,” underlines Professor Volker Saile, Head of the NANOMICRO Helmholtz program and of the Institute of Microstructure Technology (IMT) on KIT Campus North. More information can be found at www.microtec-suedwest.de.

The software cluster is considered the “Silicon Valley” of Europe and includes the centers of Darmstadt, Kaiserslautern, Karlsruhe, Saarbrücken, and Walldorf. The only software cluster in Germany funded by BMBF is aimed at pushing technical and methodological research and development of software solutions for digital enterprises. The CyberForum network, Karlsruhe, coordinated the proposal for the region of northern Baden. Other partners of the software cluster are big German manufacturers of enterprise software, such as IDS Scheer AG, SAP AG, and Software AG, more than 350 small and medium-sized enterprises in the enterprise software branch, as well as research institutions in Darmstadt, Kaiserslautern, and the Saarland.

"KIT participates in the software cluster due to its internationally excellent information science research and training under the KIT COMMputation Focus at the Steinbuch Centre for Computing (SCC) and the Karlsruhe Service Research Institute (KSRI). KIT research into cloud computing provides crucial inputs in entirely new forms of IT service offers which improve cost efficiency and accelerate innovation processes at enterprises,” says Professor Wilfried Juling, Director of the SCC. Further information on the software cluster can be found at www.software-cluster.com


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.

lg, 26.01.2010

Press contact:

Monika Landgraf
Phone: +49 721 608-48126
Fax: +49 721 608-43658
monika landgrafYly8∂kit edu

The press release is available as a PDF file.