Berlin has Become a Hotspot for Digital Research – Einstein Center Digital Future

Berlin is about to become a hotspot of digital research. The new research center, Einstein Center Digital Future, is a close cooperation between extra-university research institutions, industry and the public sector. All four universities in Berlin and the Charité University Hospital are involved. The project is a public-private partnership with the City of Berlin providing funding on a one-to-one basis with business partners.

The center will establish 50 new professorships in the areas of computer science, IT and digital society, IT and industry, as well as IT and humanities and digital health. The Beuth University of Applied Sciences and the HTW University of Applied Sciences will also establish professorships. The center makes the German capital a hotspot of digital research and development.

Einstein Center Digital Future: An Overview

  • 50 new professorships for Berlin in the field of digitalization
  • 38.5 million euros for the new Einstein Center Digital Future
  • Cutting-edge interdisciplinary research in four areas
  • A public-private partnership that is the only one of its kind in Germany involving four universities, two universities of applied sciences, eight non-university research institutions, two federal ministries, the Land of Berlin and 20 industrial companies
  • Participating companies are donating twelve million euros for professorship
  • Located on Wilhelmstraße in Berlin-Mitte

Who is involved?

The 50 new professors will be selected from the four Berlin universities: Technische Universität Berlin, Universität der Künste Berlin as well as Freie Universität Berlin and Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, with their joint medical faculty, Charité Universitätsmedizin Berlin. The Beuth University of Applied Sciences and the HTW University of Applied Sciences will also establish professorships. The professorships were approved by the Einstein Foundation Berlin on September 5th, 2016. A total of 38.5 million euros has been set aside for funding the new Einstein Center.

The project has been made possible by numerous business partners and research institutions. In addition to the four Berlin universities and the two universities of applied sciences, eight non-university research institutions are also involved: the Berlin Institute of Health, the Fauenhofer Institute FOKUS, the Fraunhofer Institute for Telecommunications – Heinrich-Hertz-Institute, the Fraunhofer Institute for Reliability and Microintegration, the German Aerospace Center, the Max-Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine in the Helmholtz Society, the PTB – National Meteorology Institute and the Konrad Zuse Center for Information Technology Berlin. The research institutions are providing 8.5 million euros for the joint call with the universities.

A total of 20 companies are involved in the initiative and will provide 12 million euros for the professorships. They include the Berliner Wasserbetriebe, the Bundesdruckerei Cornelsen, German-Turkish Advanced ICT Research Center, Intel, SAP, Telekom, Viessmann and Zalando. The Federal State of Berlin is also strongly committed to the initiative. For each euro contributed, the state of Berlin will be adding 50 cents through the Einstein Foundation.

The Einstein Center Digital Future is aiming to become a cross-university nucleus for supporting and researching digital structures in the sciences, the economy and society. The project in Berlin will provide more connections, new forms of cooperation, a concentration on innovative cutting-edge interdisciplinary research and excellently trained young scientific talent instead of focusing on new individual initiatives.

The Einstein Center Digital Future is expected to operate for six years. The first funding phase will run from 1 April 2017 to 31 May 2020, and the second will run from 1 April 2020 to 31 March 2023 following a successful interim evaluation in 2018.

Photo credit: Material used in the preparation of this article has been drawn from Einstein Center Digital Future.


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