Press Release 090/2023

Opening Ceremony for InformatiKOM: Informatics and Science Communication Brought Together in New Buildings

Klaus Tschira Foundation Hands over Two Buildings on KIT’s Campus South
2023_090_InformatiKOM feierlich eroeffnet_72dpi
Handing over the keys. Left to right: Prof. Oliver Kraft (KIT), Ursula Orth (VBA), Prof. Rafael Lang (KTS), Sven Bachmann (architect), ARMAR-6. (Detailed caption at end of text. Photo: Amadeus Bramsiepe, KIT)

After three years of construction, the Klaus Tschira Foundation (KTS) has completed the InformatiKOM, two new buildings on the Adenauerring, for the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT). The opening ceremony was held today (November 9, 2023). On more than 10,000 square meters of floor space, the buildings will house computer science institutes and facilities for science communication and cultural studies, with a focus on promoting dialog and interaction between the scientific community and the public. 

View this album for more photos of the event and the buildings

“We firmly believe that computer science education and research are crucial to the future of our society,” said Professor Rafael Lang, Head of Research at the Klaus Tschira Foundation. “Bringing together research and science outreach was our strongest motivation for making the InformatiKOM possible. We’re creating a first-class environment for learning and research here.”

“With both its architecture and its purpose, the InformatiKOM at KIT stands for scientific functions of the utmost importance: It fosters interdisciplinary dialogue and informs the public. The InformatiKOM brings computer science institutes and facilities for science communication and cultural studies together under one roof with the goal of bringing insights from different disciplines to the attention of local communities,” said Petra Olschowski, Baden-Württemberg’s Minister of Science, Research, and the Arts. “Bringing education, research and science communication together is also very important to the Klaus Tschira Foundation, whose generous support made the InformatiKOM possible. I wish this place of research and dialogue, and those who will be shaping the future here, all the best and many good ideas.”

“With the InformatiKOM, we have reached a further milestone not only for interdisciplinary teaching and research at KIT but especially for the dialogue with the public that is so important to us,” said Professor Oliver Kraft, representing the President of KIT. “The facilities and the open spaces that are being brought together under one roof here will give the public more opportunities to participate in and contribute to science. We thank the Klaus Tschira Foundation for its tremendous support.”

“Sustainability is a special consideration for our premises and buildings, so I’m pleased that the InformatiKOM is making an important contribution with its BNB sustainability certification. The skillful integration of the new buildings enhances the existing urban landscape, and the striking ensemble points the way to the campus. This is the kind of integration with the city that we also strive for at other locations,” said Ursula Orth, Senior Construction Director from the Karlsruhe office of Vermögen und Bau Baden-Württemberg.

“By involving all citizens, the InformatiKOM leads the idea of dialogue between the scientific community and the public into a completely new dimension. That is exactly the same goal that Karlsruhe’s Science Office pursues, namely to ensure that scientists can engage in in-depth dialogue with the public about their most important research topics and results,” said Dr. Frank Mentrup, Lord Mayor of Karlsruhe.

10,000 square meters for meetings and discussions

The InformatiKOM forms the main entrance to the extension of KIT’s Campus South and is very close to the main entrance of Campus South, the KIT Library, and the Audimax. With the two buildings, the Klaus Tschira Foundation has provided KIT with total floor space of approximately 10,000 square meters for institutes and classrooms. InformatiKOM 1, the larger of the two buildings, will house computer science institutes, the Robot Design Atelier, the Science-Media-Communication study program, the Center for Cultural and General Studies (ZAK), and the National Institute for Science Communication (NaWik). The smaller InformatiKOM 2 building is home to the Center for Digital Accessibility and Assistive Technologies (ACCESS@KIT).

The Darmstadt-based architects Bernhardt + Partner designed the two buildings to facilitate dialogue with the public and contact between computer science and science communication staff. For example, the centrally located two-story laboratory for measurement and control systems is designed so visitors can watch through windows on the ground floor as scientists work on robots. Three broad foyer staircases connect the open spaces on the ground floor to the third floor and also provide seating. In addition, the lower foyer staircase serves as a stand for public lectures and other events. The open atrium, with a translucent air-cushion roof, which joins all floors and study areas, provides further meeting space. The two InformatiKOM buildings are a gift from the Klaus Tschira Foundation to the State of Baden-Württemberg, which is making them available to KIT. 

Detailed caption:
Handing over the keys to InformatiKOM. Left to right: Prof. Oliver Kraft, representing the President of KIT; Ursula Orth, Senior Construction Director from the Karlsruhe office of Vermögen und Bau Baden-Württemberg (VBA); Prof. Rafael Lang, Head of Research at the Klaus Tschira Foundation (KTS); Sven Bachmann, architect at Bernhardt + Partner; ARMAR-6. (Photo: Amadeus Bramsiepe, KIT)

Contact for this press release:

Aileen Seebauer, Press Officer, phone: +49 721 608-41163, e-mail: aileen seebauer does-not-exist.kit edu

Klaus Tschira Stiftung
Gero von der Stein, Head of Communications, Phone: +49 6221 533162, e-mail: gero vonderstein does-not-exist.klaus-tschira-stiftung de

The Klaus Tschira Foundation promotes the natural sciences, mathematics, and computer science, and aims to raise public awareness about these fields. It was established with private funding in 1995 by physicist and SAP co-founder Klaus Tschira (1940 – 2015). It focuses its funding activities on education, research, and science communication. Its work in Germany ranges from kindergartens and schools to universities and research institutions. The Foundation is committed to promoting dialogue between the scientific community and society.

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.

ase, 09.11.2023

Monika Landgraf
Chief Communication Officer
Head of Corporate Communications
Chief Press Officer
Phone: +49 721 608-41150
Fax: +49 721 608-43658
presse does-not-exist.kit edu

Contact for this press release:

Aileen Seebauer
Press Officer
Phone: +49 721 608-41163
aileen seebauer 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.