Four cluster applications by the University of Hamburg have been awarded “excellence status”, a press release said Thursday. The conferred status marks an outstanding success and is part of the excellence strategy pursued by the German government and states. The winning clusters are: “Climate, Climatic Change and Society”, “Advanced Imaging of Matter”, “Understanding Written Artefacts” and “Quantum Universe”. Apart from the University of Bonn, the University of Hamburg is the only other German university to emerge with four approved clusters. The clusters were selected from 88 applications in the final round. Over the next seven years, the University of Hamburg expects to receive EUR 164 million euros from the German government (75 per cent) and from the state (25 per cent).
Climate research, nanosciences and quantum physics
Clusters of excellence are interdisciplinary, cross-institutional research collaborations in which numerous scientists and scholars focus on especially relevant related topics. The funding covers photon and nanosciences, quantum physics, manuscript cultures and climate research. Commenting on the success, Peter Tschentscher, Mayor of Hamburg, said: “Our university’s special success in the context of the nationwide promotion of excellence is a milestone for science and research in Hamburg. Over the next seven years, Hamburg’s scientists will explore fundamental questions of gravity and the interaction of matter, the cultural history of mankind and climate change beyond the boundaries of individual disciplines. This will result in many new findings and impulses for several scientific fields. The senate has set itself the goal of promoting scientific excellence at the universities and will continue to support the University of Hamburg on its course.”
Strategy of excellence
The strategy of excellence aims to strengthen Germany as a science location and improve its international competitiveness. This includes the further development of German universities; initiated as part of the Excellence Initiative in 2005, by promoting scientific excellence, profile building and co-operation within the scientific system. The Excellence Initiative by the German government and those of the states is funded according to “Clusters of Excellence” and “Universities of Excellence”. The announcement of four successful applications to be funded from January 2019 onward allows the University of Hamburg to submit an application for the status “University of Excellence”.