To further support and develop the scientific capacity of Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), the federal and state governments are determined to take the courageous merger of 2009 to the next level. During their joint visit of KIT today, Federal Minister of Education and Research Anja Karliczek and the Baden-Württemberg Minister for Science, Research and the Arts Theresia Bauer agreed on the next steps. To exhaust the full potential in research, academic education, and innovation, administrative obstacles will be reduced among others. In addition, the use of funds will be flexibilized by the future establishment of a Joint Budget for the KIT.
“Together, we want to complete the merger of KIT’s university sector and large-scale research sector and strengthen the feeling of togetherness at KIT,” said Federal Minister Anja Karliczek. “All employees of KIT are to be subject to the same rules and able to make the same use of the infrastructure facilities available. This will be good for the staff of KIT and its scientific excellence. KIT is to fully develop its special development potential in both excellent research and academic education.”
“KIT already is the only institution of its kind in Germany,” said State Research Minister Bauer. “It covers on an outstanding level the full spectrum from fundamental research to applied research; it offers excellent higher education and generates innovations. We want to further develop KIT as The Research University in the Helmholtz Association. In the legal completion of the merger we want to make the use of funds more flexible. This will strengthen KIT as a whole. In its Umbrella Strategy, KIT has declared the areas of energy, mobility, and information to be in the focus of its work. Important topics are covered, such as the implementation of the energy transition, tomorrow’s mobility or IT security. Future participation of all scientists in large-scale research and academic education will result in another advantage, namely excellent conditions for students, because staff-student ratios will become better.”
“Since the establishment of KIT less than ten years ago, we have achieved a lot – we are ready for the next milestone,” said the President of KIT, Professor Holger Hanselka. “In the Excellence Strategy competition, we have reached the final round. In the program-oriented funding competition of the Helmholtz Association, more than 100 international experts rated us as outstanding. We are constantly advancing our research-based teaching concept.”
Hanselka added that the excellence of KIT’s researchers is also reflected by honors and awards, such as the renowned Leibniz prize of the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG). Moreover, a spinoff of KIT is nominated for the Deutscher Gründerpreis or German Entrepreneur Award.
“We have achieved all that, although we are still forced to work as a legal corporation with the different regulations applicable to our predecessor institutions. We are now ready for the next big step, for making use of the changed legal framework conditions and the full potential of the idea behind KIT,” Hanselka underscored.
As soon as the merger will be completed in all business areas, KIT is expected to be able to contribute to the Helmholtz Association best competences for the solution of the grand challenges facing society. Both ministers and the President of KIT are convinced: “The joint and forward-looking measures taken by the Federal Government and the State of Baden-Württemberg will make available resources presently bound by the management and control of two budgets to science. This will benefit the city of Karlsruhe as a location for science, the innovative strength of the State of Baden-Württemberg, and German cutting-edge research in the international context.”
For the further development of KIT, the federal and state governments, and KIT have decided to tackle the following topics in particular: increasing possibilities of a flexible use of the funds granted to KIT, integration of all scientists into program-oriented research activities of the Helmholtz Association, participation of all scientists in academic education under the same framework conditions, and a consistent remuneration and salary scheme.
During their visit, the ministers informed themselves about selected research highlights of KIT, such as the Competence Center for Applied Security Technology KASTEL. KASTEL studies technologies for the digital transformation of society and industry, for example for future energy supply, Industrie 4.0, networked mobility, and smart environments.
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.