4 Clusters of Excellence accepted
The first funding decisions in the context of the Excellence Strategy have been announced. Four Clusters of Excellence submitted by LMU, which were all put forward in collaboration with the Technical University of Munich (TUM), were successful and will receive funding from 2019 on. “We are very pleased with this very good result in a demanding and highly competitive selection process,” said LMU President Bernd Huber. “It is a clear indication of LMU’s great strengths in research, and a testimony to the outstanding work and tireless commitment of our researchers. I want to thank all faculty and staff involved in the competition,” the President added.
The successful projects deal with research topics ranging from systems neurology and energy research to quantum science and the origin of the universe. With this success LMU has qualified to participate in the competition for the funding line Universities of Excellence. LMU will submit its proposal for this program to Germany’s Science Council in December.
The Excellence Commission recommended a total of 57 projects for funding. The Commission is made up of internationally recognized experts in the relevant fields, together with the Federal and State Ministers responsible for Science and Research. Funding will begin in January 2019 for an initial period of seven years, with the possibility of an extension for a further seven years in a second funding period.
Further information about the Excellence Strategy is available on the website of the German Research Foundation (DFG).
Cluster of Excellence MCQST
The Huge Potential of the Minuscule
The purpose of the Munich Center for Quantum Science and Technology (MCQST) is to further explore the principles of quantum information with a view to the practical application of quantum effects. The new Cluster comprises seven research units, each covering the spectrum from basic research to applications. The applications envisaged include novel types of sensors, communications architectures and quantum simulators, as well as simple quantum computers. The Cluster also involves fields like cosmology and high-energy physics which are so far unconnected to quantum theory. “We wish to acquire a more detailed understanding of natural phenomena at all levels,” says Immanuel Bloch, one of the Cluster’s Coordinators. more
Cluster of Excellence Origins
The Cluster of Excellence Origins will study the evolution of the cosmos – "From the Origin of the Universe to the First Building Blocks of Life", to cite its subtitle. Its goal is to show that life is the product of a natural process, a logical outcome of the evolution of the Universe – which can be understood based on the laws of physics and chemistry and the initial conditions created by the Big Bang. more
Cluster of Excellence SyNergy
Plaques and Parallels
Although they differ markedly in their specific manifestations, the pathological mechanisms that give rise to neurological disorders such as dementia, stroke and multiple sclerosis show significant similarities. All three conditions result from interactions between neurodegenerative, inflammatory and vascular processes. That is the take-home lesson from the first five years of research by the Cluster of Excellence SyNergy, which will now receive funding for a further 7 years. The scientists involved in the Cluster believe that, by viewing these disorders from a common perspective, new insights into the underlying molecular mechanisms can be gained, which will open new routes for the development of effective treatments. more
Cluster of Excellence e-conversion
Interfaces and Interferences
In order to meet the rising global demand for energy, energy conversion processes must become more efficient and sustainable. To achieve this goal, “we need a new approach, which integrates important insights and strategies from diverse modes of energy conversion ranging from photovoltaic systems to catalysis and batteries,” says LMU chemist Thomas Bein, one of the Coordinators of the new Cluster of Excellence e-conversion. The efficiency of such systems is largely determined by processes that take place on the atomic scale at interfaces between different functional materials. The chemists and physicists involved in the research network plan to analyze these processes in detail and optimize the molecular structures of these interfaces for maximum efficiency. more