University of Cologne wins four Clusters of Excellence
On 28 September, the German Research Foundation and the German Council of Science and Humanities announced the selected Clusters of Excellence: All of the four proposals handed in by the University of Cologne were successful. The University cleared an important hurdle: At least two are a must to be accepted in the application procedure for the title of excellence which will be awarded in 2019.
The total of 57 selected projects from 34 higher educations institutions will be awarded Euro 385 million per year. The Excellence Strategy has been introduced by the Federal and State Governments to strengthen the science sector in Germany and further improve its international competitiveness. 75 percent are guaranteed by the Federal Government, 25 percent by the States. The successful Clusters of Excellence at the University of Cologne are:
CECAD – Cluster of Excellence in Aging Research
Demographic change and an aging society pose significant challenges by raising the costs of health care. The well-established CECAD explores the biological and medical foundations of the aging process and searches for possibilities to extend the health span. After the first two funding periods, CECAD now wants to focus on the interactions among organs: How do the liver and the brain, or the heart and the muscles communicate?
The Cluster of Excellence in Aging Research is a cooperation of the University of Cologne, Cologne University Hospital, the Max Planck Institutes for Metabolism Research and Biology of Aging as well as the German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases (DZNE). The University of Cologne is the managing university.
CEPLAS - Cluster of Excellence on Plant Sciences
Climate change and the increasing demand for food pose an enormous challenge to sustainable food production and the preservation of ecosystems. The aim of the scientists at the CEPLAS is to lay the foundation for the development and breeding of crop plants that will predictably react to future challenges and reliably ensure food security. CEPLAS investigates how plants adapt to changing environmental conditions, how they can thrive in almost any habitat and how agriculture can profit from this knowledge.
The Cluster of Excellence CEPLAS is a cooperation of the Universities of Cologne and Düsseldorf as well as the Max Planck Institute for Plant Breeding Research and Forschungszentrum Jülich. The University of Düsseldorf is the managing university.
Cluster of Excellence ECONtribute: Markets & Public Policy
The new Cluster of Excellence in economics of the Universities of Cologne and Bonn conducts research on markets, focusing on the tension between business, politics and society (public policy). The aim of the scientists involved in the Cluster is to better understand markets and to develop a new paradigm for the analysis of market failure that goes beyond traditional approaches and takes current political, social and technological challenges into account.
Social concerns such as fairness, social mobility and social responsibility should be taken into account in the design of markets. In the work of the Cluster, these objectives will be systematically integrated into the analysis of incentives, market mechanisms and political decision-making processes.
The ECONtribute Cluster will meet the new challenges of markets under the roof of the Reinhard Selten Institute, which both universities founded last year. It is the only Cluster in economics.
Cluster of Excellence ML4Q – Matter and Light for Quantum Computing
The aim of the Cluster of Excellence is to develop new computing and networking architectures using the principle of quantum mechanics.
In quantum computers, extremely fast processing units are modularly constructed and connected to each other. This new generation of computers could contribute to resolving many pressing challenges of humanity, such as the design of new materials and drugs, making communication safer or developing environmentally safe fertilizers. The computing and networking capacity of these quantum architectures would by far surpass that of existing technologies.
Physicists and engineers have made significant progress in the development of quantum computers in recent years, but the technology is not yet ready for meaningful applications.
Matter and Light for Quantum Computing is a cooperation of the University of Cologne, the University of Bonn, RWTH Aachen University and Forschungszentrum Jülich. The University of Cologne is the managing university.
Cologne has already been successful in 2012, having been named a University of Excellence. The title underlines the institutions reputation and strengthens the science landscape in the city and the region. To get more information, also read the interview with Dr. Patrick Honecker, Director of Communications and Marketing at the University of Cologne, talking about the impact of digitalisation and the science flagship, the University of Cologne.