Structural impulses for research in Hessen
The 40 LOEWE research centres and clusters provide many structural impulses that promote the further development of the research landscape in Hessen: they build on universities’ existing strengths or establish new fields of research. They have led to an expansion of non-university research establishments or open up perspectives for the founding of new institutions. They have become crystallisation points for transregional research initiatives, are intensively involved in training next-generation researchers and create jobs. In the period until 2013, the LOEWE initiatives attracted around €330 million in additional third-party funds that will flow into Hessen until 2020.
The LOEWE network
The cooperation initiated by LOEWE between universities and non-university research establishments contributes substantially to enhancing the profile of their locations. At the LOEWE centre for Synthetic Microbiology (SYNMIKRO), for instance, the partner institutions – Philipps-Universität Marburg and the Max Planck Institute for Terrestrial Microbiology – have together developed an extensive laboratory infrastructure and achieved a marked increase in contacts with the business sector. Cooperation between the Senckenberg Nature Research Society and Frankfurt’s Goethe University in the LOEWE Biodiversity and Climate Research Centre (BiK-F) is doing a great deal to enhance the international visibility of biodiversity research at that location. In research and teaching at Darmstadt, the participating Fraunhofer Institutes as well as the Technische Universität Darmstadt and Darmstadt University of Applied Sciences are all benefiting from the close cooperation arrangements in the LOEWE centres AdRIA, where work is carried out on adaptronic systems, and CASED for IT security.
© Frankfurt Institute for Advanced Studies
Apart from bringing the research institutions at individual locations or within the regions of Hessen closer together, LOEWE is also actively networking throughout Hessen and beyond. For instance, physicists in Kassel at the LOEWE research cluster Electron Dynamics of Chiral Systems (ELCH) work with their colleagues in Giessen, Frankfurt and Darmstadt and use the infrastructure available at the GSI Helmholtzzentrum für Schwerionenforschung in Darmstadt. The LOEWE centre HIC for FAIR works cross-locationally, too: lead-managed by Goethe University, an international team of physicists are making a decisive contribution to the development and future benefits of the new particle accelerator FAIR, which will be operating at the GSI by 2018. The high-performance computer LOEWE CSC, the most environmentally friendly supercomputer in Europe, was developed in this connection and with LOEWE funding. It is also available to other research initiatives and is used, for example, by the LOEWE centre BiK-F.
In a partnership arrangement, the Fraunhofer Institute for Molecular Biology and Applied Ecology (IME) in Aachen, the LOEWE research cluster Applied Pharmaceuticals Research in Frankfurt and the LOEWE centre for Insect Biotechnology and Bioresources (ZIB) in Giessen are developing a complementary research infrastructure that will strengthen the federal state of Hessen as a biotechnology location over the long term. In 2012 the LOEWE research cluster Applied Pharma-ceuticals Research also generated the initiative to establish the “House of Pharma”, whose goal is to establish closer cooperation between the worlds of scholarship, business and politics and society along the pharmaceutical value chain. The initiative now has more than 60 partners throughout Germany, including the universities in Hessen, the Hessen State Ministry of Higher Education, Research and the Arts, the Hessen State Ministry of Economics, Energy, Transport and Regional Development and pharmaceuticals and health enterprises.
At the same time, the LOEWE network extends beyond the confines of subject specialisations and thus helps to promote an interdisciplinary approach to research issues. At the LOEWE research cluster Dynamo PLV in Darmstadt, for example, production, logistics and transport experts are working on cross-disciplinary concepts for sustainable and efficient flows of goods. The biodiversity researchers at the LOEWE centre BiK-F are engaged in an ongoing exchange with social scientists at the Institute for Social-Ecological Research, in particular with regard to transferring their knowledge to society.
By comparison with the previous, rather isolated working method in the various spheres of law, the LOEWE research cluster Extrajudicial and Judicial Conflict Resolution is striking out along new paths in that experts in law and legal history, history and sinology are together researching conflict resolution models from antiquity to the present day and forging a link to current conflict resolution practice. New avenues are also being explored by the LOEWE centre SAFE – Sustainable Architecture for Finance in Europe, which is situated in Frankfurt, one of Europe’s key financial centres. Networking closely with central banks and regulatory authorities, its own policy centre gives the LOEWE centre’s academic expertise consulting access to the decision-making processes in politics and at supervisory authorities.