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TU Berlin in the Excellence Competition


The Technische Universität Berlin is the coordinating institution of the chemistry Cluster of Excellence UniCat and co-applicant for the Berlin Mathematical School along with HU Berlin and FU Berlin. Researchers at TU Berlin are also collaborating on another cluster of excellence and two graduate schools.

The Excellence Initiative of the German Federal and State Governments comes to an end in 2017. At the same time the Excellence Strategy is being launched, which will continue the work to develop German universities by building their profiles and encouraging cooperation and outstanding achievements in academia. Excellence Strategy funding will begin in January 2019. From 2017 to 2019, bridge funding is available to existing Excellence projects.

Cluster of Excellence Unifying Concepts in Catalysis (UniCat)


UniCat is the only Cluster of Excellence specializing in catalysis research, an area of particular importance for the economy. The interdisciplinary research network brings together more than 250 chemists, physicists, biologists and process engineers from two Max Planck Institutes and four universities – the Technische Universität Berlin as coordinating institution, Freie Universität Berlin, the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin and the University of Potsdam.Alongside numerous prominent publications, the cluster's most noteworthy achievements include the launch of BasCat, a Joint Lab run by UniCat and the chemical company BASF SE, the founding of the Einstein Center for Catalysis and the opening of Inkulab in January 2017.The aim is to establish new catalysis research concepts that break down the boundaries between homogeneous, heterogeneous and biological catalysis. Research includes the chemical conversion of methane to ethene, the chemical and enzymatic activation of carbon dioxide, the catalytic production of hydrogen from water using sunlight as the energy source, and the synthesis of active substances with the help of artificial enzymes.


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Berlin Mathematical School (BMS)


The Berlin Mathematical School (BMS) is an established and globally renowned mathematics graduate school run by Berlin's three large universities (Technische Universität, Humboldt Universität and Freie Universität). It has received funding from the Excellence Initiative since the first round, was selected again in 2012 and funding will continue until October 2017. After this, the BMS will be financed by the three universities themselves.The school's reputation is confirmed by a steady increase in applicant numbers: more than 500 students are now applying for 40 places each year. The school has an explicitly international ethos: half the students come from outside Germany, from over 50 different countries. In two phases, the students from all three universities study toward a master's and then a doctoral degree. Of the 220 students that have attained doctorates so far, around 100 have taken up post-doc positions at the world's most prestigious universities, including Berkeley, Boston, Paris, Princeton, Stockholm and Zurich. Six alumni have attained permanent professorships.


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Further Excellence projects involving TU Berlin

  • Topoi - The Formation and Transformation of Space and Knowledge in Ancient Civilizations
    "Museums" is a sub-group within the Cluster of Excellence Topoi – The Formation and Transformation of Space and Knowledge in Ancient Civilizations. All three of Berlin's large universities are involved in the cluster. FU Berlin and HU Berlin share the role of coordinating institution. The sub-project Museums is led by TU Berlin, and the directors and researchers of Germany's most important historical museums – the National Museums in Berlin – are also represented.
  • Berlin School of Mind and Brain
    The Berlin School of Mind and Brain is a joint initiative bringing together the "mind sciences" of humanities and social science with the "brain sciences" (life sciences and neuroscience). The TU Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences participates in this graduate school, whose focus is on researching the connections between mind and brain.
  • Graduate School for Regenerative Therapies
    At the Berlin-Brandenburg School for Regenerative Therapies, researchers are looking into new ways of stimulating the regeneration of damaged tissue. All projects at the graduate school promote exchange among clinical, biological and engineering research. TU Berlin's Medical Biotechnology Department is a participating institute.

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