Press Release 120/2018

Excellence Strategy: KIT Is Successful with Two Clusters of Excellence

President Hanselka: “Great Success“ – KIT Will Submit Proposal in the Funding Line “University of Excellence“
2018_120_Exzellenzstrategie_72 dpi
KIT has received the go-ahead for two clusters of excellence. (Photo: Markus Breig, KIT)

Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) has successfully acquired funding for two clusters of excellence within the Excellence Strategy launched by the federal and state governments. The Excellence Commission has agreed to fund KIT’s proposals in the area of energy research and materials science for a period of seven years. Today, the cluster decisions were announced in Bonn by the Federal Minister of Education and Research and Chairperson of the Joint Science Conference (GWK), Anja Karliczek, and the Bremen Science Senator and Deputy GWK Chairperson, Professor Eva Quante-Brandt.


“We have convinced the experts in the final selection round for the clusters of excellence with two of our proposals. This is a great success for the scientists involved and for the KIT. I cordially congratulate the spokespersons and all participating scientists of both clusters. This result allows us to further compete for the title of University of Excellence,” says the President of KIT, Professor Holger Hanselka. “In December, we will submit our proposal for the second funding line. Then, the best universities will take part – the competition will be accordingly hard.”


“The decision of the Excellence Commission shows that KIT is very well positioned with its researchers,” Professor Oliver Kraft, KIT Vice President for Research, emphasizes. “Today’s success also is a confirmation of our excellent interdisciplinary cooperation. We would like to thank the scientists as well as the supporting service units for their outstanding commitment. On this basis, we will be able to take part in the further competition in a highly motivated and determined way.”


Präsident Holger Hanselka mit Martin Wegener, Sprecher des Clusters zu 3D Designer-Materialien und Helmut Ehrenberg, einer der Sprecher des Clusters zu Energiespeichern sowie Vizepräsident Oliver Kraft
President Holger Hanselka with Martin Wegener, Spokesperson of the Cluster on 3D Designer Materials, Helmut Ehrenberg, Spokesperson of the Cluster on Energy Storage, and Vice President Oliver Kraft (from left to right: Photo: Amadeus Bramsiepe, KIT).


In future, the following clusters of excellence will be funded at KIT:


3D Designer Materials – 3D Matter Made to Order

The “3D Matter Made to Order” Cluster of Excellence of KIT and Heidelberg University pursues a highly interdisciplinary approach combining natural and engineering sciences. The Cluster concentrates on three-dimensional additive manufacturing techniques, from the molecular level to macroscopic dimensions. Its vision is the ultimate digitization of 3D manufacturing and material processing. These methods are to be used to produce components and systems by nanoprinting at maximum process speed and resolution for novel applications in materials and life sciences. The Cluster will also receive funding from the Carl Zeiss Foundation.


Maßgeschneidert in 3D: Für die Weiterentwicklung dreidimensionale Fertigungstechniken bündelt das Cluster das Know-how aus Natur- und Ingenieurwissenschaften.
Customized in three dimensions: for the further development of three-dimensional manufacturing techniques, the cluster pools the know-how of natural and engineering sciences. (Photo: Markus Breig, KIT)

Spokespersons: Professor Martin Wegener (KIT) and Professor Uwe H.F. Bunz (Heidelberg University)

More information:


Energy Storage beyond Lithium – New Concepts for a Sustainable Future

Successful implementation of the energy transition requires new materials and technologies for the storage of electric energy. The “Energy Storage beyond Lithium” Cluster of Excellence of KIT and Ulm University pursues a multidisciplinary approach with electrochemists, materials scientists, theoretical modelers, and engineers being involved. The central objective of the Cluster is to develop fundamental understanding of electrochemical energy storage in novel systems, to combine fundamental material properties with critical performance parameters, and to establish the basis for practical application of post-lithium technologies. The Center for Solar Energy and Hydrogen Research Baden-Württemberg (ZSW) and Gießen University are further partners of this Cluster.


Innovative Speichermaterialien und -technologien sind eine wesentliche Voraussetzung für das Gelingen der Energiewende.
Innovative storage materials and technologies are major prerequisites for the success of the energy transition. (Photo: Amadeus Bramsiepe, KIT)

Spokespersons: Professor Maximilian Fichtner (KIT and Ulm University), Professor Helmut Ehrenberg (KIT), and Professor Axel Groß (Ulm University)


In total, KIT submitted four full proposals in this round. Preparation of these proposals was supported by the State Science Minister Theresia Bauer and her ministry.


Clusters of Excellence and Universities of Excellence: Selection Procedure

In the “Clusters of Excellence” funding line, 40 German universities submitted 88 proposals. Of these, 57 have been selected for funding by the Excellence Commission. The funding available in this line totals about EUR 385 million per year. Clusters of Excellence can be funded with EUR 3 to 10 million annually, initially for a period of seven years. Funding will start on January 01, 2019. As from 2026, a second funding period of seven years may be possible.


The decision on funding of Clusters of Excellence also is a major prerequisite for participation in the competition for universities of excellence organized by the German Council of Science and Humanities. 17 universities with at least two Clusters of Excellence and two university consortia with at least three Clusters of Excellence are invited now to submit proposals in this funding line.


The submission deadline for the second funding line is December 10, 2018. The decision of funding the proposals relating to the universities of excellence will be made on July 19, 2019. Funding will start on November 01, 2019.


Excellence Strategy of the Federal and State Governments

The aim of the Excellence Strategy is to strengthen Germany’s position as an outstanding place for research in the long term and further improve its international competitiveness. It continues the development of German universities successfully begun with the Excellence Initiative of 2005 by supporting research of the highest standard, enhancing research profiles, and facilitating cooperation in the research system.


More information:





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 10,000 employees cooperate in a broad range of disciplines in natural sciences, engineering sciences, economics, and the humanities and social sciences. KIT prepares its 22,800 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-le, 27.09.2018

Margarete Lehné
Chief Press Officer (acting)
Phone: +49 721 608-41105
Fax: +49 721 608-43658
presse does-not-exist.kit edu

Contact for this press release:

Monika Landgraf
Press Officer
Phone: +49 721 608-21150
Fax: +49 721 608-41150
monika landgraf does-not-exist.kit edu
The photo in the best quality available to us may be requested by
presse does-not-exist.kit edu or phone: +49 721 608-41105.

The press release is available as a PDF file.