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Clusters of Excellence

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Clusters of Excellence


3D Matter Made to Order

The vision of the Cluster is to establish scalable digital three-dimensional (3D) Additive Manufacturing reaching all the way from the molecular, via the nanometer and micrometer, to the macroscopic scale. This vision is nothing less than the ultimate digitization of 3D manufacturing and material processing.

People working with microscopes
Clusters of Excellence

Africa Multiple

Africa Multiple: Reconfiguring African Studies

The cluster is conceived as a transformative space within which to systematically advance the study of Africa and its diasporas via the pursuit of transdisciplinary research, with a strong emphasis on critical area studies, in addition to the disciplines involved. Building on decades of internationally outstanding research in African studies at University of Bayreuth, the cluster develops new approaches to the analysis of African and African diasporic lifeworlds through the lens of multiplicity.

A person in a very colourful and artful outfit
Clusters of Excellence

Balance of the Microverse

In the Cluster of Excellence we investigate the dynamic balance of microbial consortia, the underlying factors and responses to disturbances. Our cross-system approach aims to identify commonalities and differences in patterns and regulatory mechanisms in the different Microverses.

Illustration of how Aspergillus fumigatus spreads
Clusters of Excellence


Bonn Center for Dependency and Slavery Studies

The BCDSS at the University of Bonn aims to overcome the binary opposition of "slavery versus freedom". It is a research cluster within the framework of the Excellence Strategy of the federal and state governments.

Clusters of Excellence


Cyber Security in the Age of Large-Scale Adversaries

At our Excellence Cluster CASA - Cyber Security in the Age of Large-Scale Adversaries at the Ruhr University Bochum, we aim to make the digital world a secure place.

Mann schaut auf Computermonitor auf dem programmiert wird
Clusters of Excellence


It is CECAD's mission to provide fundamental knowledge of the biology af aging and aging-associated diseases.

Skin cells under the microscope
Clusters of Excellence


Cluster of Excellence on Plant Sciences

The Cluster of Excellence on Plant Sciences CEPLAS addresses these grand challenges through world-class fundamental research on complex plant traits of agronomic relevance that impact on yield and adaptation to limited resources. Hence this knowledge is essential for designing and breeding plants that react in a predictable way to future challenges (SMART plants).

Clusters of Excellence


Centre for Tactile Internet with Human-in-the-Loop

CeTI’s central vision is to enable humans to interact in quasi real-time with cyber-physical systems (CPS) in the real or virtual world over intelligent wide-area communication networks.

Clusters of Excellence


Centre for Integrative Biological Signalling Studies

Between the cells of complex living organisms, there is a constant exchange of biological signals. This dense network of dynamic signalling processes is a prerequisite for cells to coordinate their tasks, form complex tissues, and, at the same time, adapt to environmental conditions. The aim of CIBSS is to understand this “language of life” and to be able to communicate in it.

Clusters of Excellence


Climate, Climatic Change, and Society

CLICCS will explore climate change with broad expertise. CLICCS will investigate how the climate changes and how society changes with it, thereby feeding back on climate. Understanding these changes, including how societies adapt, will enable us to assess with far greater confidence than before the range of imaginable climate futures.

An iceberg
Clusters of Excellence


Controlling Microbes to Fight Infections

CMFI elucidates mechanisms governing competition and fitness of beneficial or harmful bacteria as the basis for developing new multi-level interventions against ARBPs and other pathogens.

Two persons in a laboratory
Clusters of Excellence

Collective Behaviour

Centre for the Advanced Study of Collective Behaviour

At the Centre for the Advanced Study of Collective Behaviour, we aim to create a global hotspot for the integrated study of collective behaviour across a wide range of species and across scales of organization. 

Birds flying over a tree
Clusters of Excellence


Cardio-Pulmonary Institute

Heart and lung diseases are the leading causes of death worldwide, with still unmet treatment challenges. The molecular biology underlying individual cellular phenotypes and intercellular cooperativity in development and homeostasis of these interconnected organs is still elusive. Similarly, understanding of the failed regulation that leads to disease and that can be exploited for novel therapies is lacking. These challenges will be addressed by the Cluster.

Clusters of Excellence


Complexity and Topology in Quantum Matter

The Cluster of Excellence ct.qmat – Complexity and Topology in Quantum Matter is a leading international center for research on topological and complex quantum matter. Our aim is to develop a deep understanding of quantum phenomena in general and to identify materials in which those phenomena are observed in the laboratory.

Clusters of Excellence


CUI: Advanced Imaging of Matter

Functionalities are at the heart of the Cluster of Excellence "CUI: Advanced Imaging of Matter“. Atoms bind together and form solids, molecules interact and react - new functionalities emerge with increasing complexity and growing system size.

Nahaufnahme eines Elektronenmikroskops
Clusters of Excellence


Today’s sustainable energy research gains momentum by targeting specific energy technologies and their related materials. The cluster e-conversion instead strives to establish a complementary paradigm that bridges major energy conversion strategies ranging from photovoltaics over (photo)electrocatalysis to batteries by focusing on the materials interfaces that underlie these functions.

Clusters of Excellence


Markets & Public Policy

ECONtribute: Markets & Public Policy, a joint initiative of the Universities of and aims to advance the analysis of markets & public policy in light of fundamental societal and technological challenges, such as digitalization, global financial crises, rising inequality and political polarization. Since 2019, ECONtribute: Markets & Public Policy is funded as a Cluster of Excellence under the German Excellence Strategy. ECONtribute is the only Cluster of Excellence in Economics and neighbouring disciplines.

Two hands with papers on a table
Clusters of Excellence

Fuel Science Center

Conversion Systems for Renewable Energy and Carbon Sources

The fundamental research in the Cluster of Excellence "The Fuel Science Center – Adaptive Conversion Systems for Renewable Energy and Carbon Sources" (FSC) aims to integrate renewable electricity with the joint utilization of bio-based carbon feedstocks and CO2 to provide high-density liquid energy carriers ("bio-hybrid fuels"), which enable innovative engine concepts for highly efficient and clean combustion.

Clusters of Excellence


Hausdorff Center for Mathematics

The theme of the Hausdorff Center is mathematics, of which we share a broad and dynamic vision. At its center stands the classical core: the mathematics of famous and fruitful conjectures, the mathematics that is in symbiosis with theoretical physics, and which continually reveals to us deep and unexpected connections.

People on stairs leading to a baroque building
Clusters of Excellence



The long-term aim of "Hearing4all" is to solve the major problem of hearing impairment in our communication-oriented, ageing society by providing research-driven solutions to improve hearing for all listeners, i.e. for all kinds of hearing impairments, in all listening situations, and for all domains of everyday life. Hearing

Clusters of Excellence


Image-guided and Functionally Instructed Tumor Therapies

The Cluster of Excellence 2180 "Image-guided and Functionally Instructed Tumor Therapies" (iFIT) is the only oncology cluster of excellence in Germany. Since 2019, internationally renowned scientists and talented young researchers have been working together in this consortium in a globally unique collaboration of three different research areas to develop new, individualized cancer therapies.

Collage with a person in lab coat, a cell and figures
Clusters of Excellence


The immune sensory system

ImmunoSensation2 is a Cluster of Excellence at the University of Bonn funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG). We are dedicated to the study of innate immunity beyond the boundaries of classical immunology. We adress the immune system as a sensory organ for health, which we term the immune sensory system.

Clusters of Excellence


Integrative Computational Design and Construction for Architecture

The Cluster "Integrative Computational Design and Construction for Architecture" aims to lay the methodological foundations to profoundly modernise the design and building process and related building systems by adopting a systematic, holistic and integrative computational approach.

Clusters of Excellence


Internet of Production

The vision of the Internet of Production (IoP) is to enable a new level of crossdomain collaboration by providing semantically adequate and context-aware data from production, development and usage in real-time, on an adequate level of granularity.

Clusters of Excellence


Living, Adaptive and Energy-autonomous Materials Systems

The vision of the livMatS-Cluster is to merge the best of two worlds, the biological and the tech-nological realm, to develop living adaptive energy-autonomous Materials Systems.

Der ultraleichte livMatS Pavilion ist ein gemeinsames Projekt der Exzellenzcluster livMatS der Universität Freiburg und IntCDC der Universität Stuttgart.
Clusters of Excellence

Machine Learning: New Perspectives for Science

The aim of this cluster is to enable machine learning to take a central role in all aspects of scientific discovery and to understand how such a transformation will impact the scientific approach as a whole.

Picture: The interactive art exhibit
Clusters of Excellence


Berlin Mathematics Research Center

The Berlin Mathematics Research Center MATH+ sets out to advance mathematics itself and its interdisciplinary power with the aim of achieving progress on grand challenges in a wide variety of application fields.

A screen with a podium with MATH+ logo
Clusters of Excellence

Mathematics Münster

Dynamics – Geometry – Structure

Our cluster "Mathematics Münster: Dynamics — Geometry — Structure" aims to further develop mathematics in Münster into a research centre with high international visibility. We will tackle fundamentally important mathematical problems, viewing mathematics as an organic whole with countless interactions. Our research is unified by three major approaches: focusing on the underlying structure of a given problem, taking the geometric viewpoint and studying the relevant dynamics of group or semigroup actions.

Clusters of Excellence

Matters of Activity

Image Space Material

The Cluster »Matters of Activity. Image Space Material« aims to create a basis for a new culture of materials. The central vision of the Cluster is to rediscover the analog in the activity of images, spaces and materials in the age of the digital.

Enveloping atmospheres - experiment with structural textiles (knitted willow column)
Clusters of Excellence


Multiscale Bioimaging: from Molecular Machines to Networks of Excitable Cells

The goal of the cluster of excellence Multiscale Bioimaging: from Molecular Machines to Networks of Excitable Cells (MBExC) is to decipher disease-relevant nanoscale functional units in cardiac and neural excitable cells.

Clusters of Excellence


Munich Center for Quantum Science and Technology

MCQST is investigating the scientific basis for complex quantum systems and establishing the technological foundation of quantum technology, a key next-generation technology for the 21st century. It brings together groundbreaking research from fields such as quantum computing, quantum information systems, quantum sensors, and novel quantum materials. The main goal is to build a globally leading center for quantum science and technology with a multidisciplinary approach, and to create, through targeted structural measures, an environment that changes the existing scientific and technological context.

Clusters of Excellence


Matter and Light for Quantum Computing

ML4Q stands for Matter and Light for Quantum Computing. The Cluster of Excellence set off in 2019 for a long collaborative journey in order to develop new computing and networking architectures using new findings in the fundamental research in solid-state physics, quantum optics, and quantum information science.

A woman in front of an experiment with lenses and lasers.
Clusters of Excellence


Comprehensive approaches to neurological and psychiatric disorders

The aim of this interdisciplinary research network is to better understand disease mechanisms and to develop new therapies. Fostering local networks of scientists and their research activities lies at the heart of the Cluster’s efforts.

To scientists in front of a computer screen.
Clusters of Excellence


From the Origin of the Universe to the First Building Blocks of Life

The Excellence Cluster ORIGINS investigates the origin of the Universe and life. The interdisciplinary research network emerges from the very fruitful collaboration between astro-, particle- and nuclear physicists within the previous Excellence Cluster Universe, which explored fundamental properties of the Universe.

An audience listening to an astroscientist
Clusters of Excellence


Robotics and Phenotyping for Sustainable Crop Productio

The novel approach of PhenoRob is characterized by the integration of robotics, digitalization, and machine learning on one hand, and modern phenotyping, modeling, and crop production on the other. First, we will systematically monitor all essential aspects of crop production using sensor networks as well as ground and aerial robots.

Clusters of Excellence


Photonics, Optics, and Engineering – Innovation Across Disciplines

PhoenixD looks to the future of precision optics. Its core concept is to merge optical systems, design and simulation tools with all relevant production technologies into one combined platform so as to create individualized and highly-functional optical devices – on demand, to the highest accuracy and with novel functionalities.

Clusters of Excellence


Precision Medicine in Chronic Inflammation

The members of the Cluster of Excellence want to establish precision medicine in chronic inflammation, which takes the individuality of a person and his/her environment into account. Clinical studies and translation are at the core of this work - fundamental research results should be transferred as quickly as possible from bench to bedside.

Clusters of Excellence


Physics of Life - The Dynamic Organization of Living Matter

The key objective of the Cluster of Excellence Physics of Life is to identify principles that govern the dynamic spatiotemporal organization of life at the scales of molecules, cells and tissues, by utilizing innovative experimental approaches, theoretical predictions and computer simulation. We aim to provide an understanding of how biological processes emerge from the laws of physics, to deepen our understanding of living biological matter.

An axolotl
Clusters of Excellence


Post Lithium Storage

The Cluster of Excellence POLiS develops the necessary new battery materials and technology concepts for efficient and sustainable storage of electrical energy.

Clusters of Excellence


The PRISMA+ Cluster of Excellence makes unique contributions to the investigation of the deep open questions surrounding the validity of the Standard Model. PRISMA+ scientists search for new particles and forces via a combination of innovative precision experiments performed on the JGU campus and large-scale experiments at international facilities.

In this apparatus the cryomodules for the MESA accelerator at the PRISMA Cluster of Excellence were tested.
Clusters of Excellence

Quantum Universe

The understanding of mass and gravity at the interface between quantum physics and cosmology is the core research objective of the Cluster of Excellence Quantum Universe.

Two people with an apparatus
Clusters of Excellence


Light an Matter at the Quantum Frontier

QuantumFrontiers' research focuses on the basic pillars of metrology: foundations and applications. The foundations of metrology focus on the fundamental properties of light, matter and their interactions.

A person in a lab coat working with laser experiments.
Clusters of Excellence

Religion and Politics

Dynamics of Tradition and Innovation

The Cluster of Excellence “Religion and Politics. Dynamics of Tradition and Innovation” at the University of Münster has been investigating the complex relationship between religion and politics across epochs and cultures since 2007. The 140 researchers from 10 countries and more than 20 disciplines in the humanities and social sciences are particularly concerned in the funding phase from 2019 to 2025 with the “dynamics of tradition and innovation”.

Clusters of Excellence


Resolving Infection Susceptibility

The Cluster of Excellence RESIST drives forward our understanding of the fundamental determinants of susceptibility to infectious diseases to the point where this newly gained knowledge can be used to develop more accurate, personalised therapies, diagnostic methods and novel preventive strategies. These aims are motivated by important clinical needs. Severe manifestations of infectious disease often occur in the very young (infants and premature babies) and the very old.

Clusters of Excellence


Ruhr Explores Solvation

What role do solvent molecules have in phenomena like protein reactions in cells, sustainable reuse of CO2 or the origin of life? Since 2012, we mix our expertise in chemistry, physics and biology to answer these kind of questions.

Clusters of Excellence


Social, Environmental, and Cultural Connectivity in Past Societies

The Cluster of Excellence ROOTS explores the roots of social, environmental, and cultural phenomena and processes that substantially marked past human development.

A Kiel archaeology excavation near Sultana, Romania.
Clusters of Excellence


Science of Intelligence

The Cluster of Excellence "Science of Intelligence (SCIoI)" fundamentally advances our understanding of intelligence, integrate and unify theories, concepts, and insights from existing intelligence-related disciplines, catalyze progress in these disciplines, and - perhaps most importantly - advance our ability to construct intelligent technological artifacts for applications of societal importance.

Clusters of Excellence


Contestations of the Liberal Script

The Cluster of Excellence SCRIPTS analyzes contemporary controversies about the liberal order from a historical, global and comparative perspective. What are the causes of the current contestations? How do they differ from earlier crises? What are the consequences for democracy and the global challenges of the 21st century? In operation since 2019, SCRIPTS is hosted by the Freie Universität Berlin and unites eight major Berlin-based research institutes.

Clusters of Excellence


Sustainable and Energy-Efficient Aviation

The cluster "Sustainable and Energy-Efficient Aviation" seeks to establish scientific foundations for the transformation of the air transport system over the next decades.

A plane.
Clusters of Excellence


Data-Integrated Simulation Science

Since 2019, researchers from the Cluster of Excellence "Data-Integrated Simulation Science (SimTech)" at the University of Stuttgart have been developing a new class of simulation- and data-driven approaches that enhance the applicability and accuracy of simulations, changing the way we conduct science and technology.

Two persons with VR-glasses in a blue-lighted room.
Clusters of Excellence


A Unifying Approach to Emergent Phenomena in the Physical World, Mathematics and Complex Data

The cluster of excellence STRUCTURES explores new concepts and methods for understanding how structure, collective phenomena, and complexity emerge from the fundamental laws of physics. These concepts are also central for finding structures in large datasets, and for realizing new forms of analogue computing.

Clusters of Excellence


Munich Cluster for Systems Neurology

The SyNergy cluster uses an integrative approach to measure, model and modulate the emergence of neurological disease within intact organisms. SyNergy aims to overcome the boundaries between traditional "pathomechanisms" by fostering close interdisciplinary collaboration.

Clusters of Excellence

Temporal Communities

Doing Literature in a Global Perspective

The Cluster of Excellence 2020 "Temporal Communities: Doing Literature in a Global Perspective" aims to create a new theoretical and methodological take on literature in a global perspective that moves beyond the categories of nation and period and conceives of literature instead as a transcultural and transtemporal phenomenon in deep time.

Clusters of Excellence

The Ocean Floor

Ocean Floor – Earth’s Uncharted Interface

The ocean floor, which makes up 71 % of the Earth’s solid sur­face, lies an av­er­age of 3,700 meters be­neath the ocean sur­face. The dif­fi­culties re­lated to ac­cess­ib­il­ity ne­ces­sit­ate ship ex­ped­i­tions and the use of highly spe­cial­ized un­der­wa­ter equip­ment for its ex­plor­a­tion.

Clusters of Excellence

The Politics of Inequality

Perceptions, Participation and Policies

"The Politics of Inequality: Perceptions, Participation and Policies" - that is what we call our Cluster of Excellence within the framework of the Excellence Strategy of the federal and state governments. This cluster of excellence is a joint project of researchers from political science, sociology, economy, linguistics, psychology and education studies.

Some material of the clusters with a screen
Clusters of Excellence

Understanding Written Artefacts

Writing is one of the most important cultural techniques to have shaped the world’s societies. For most of human history, writing has been handwriting and has been part of diverse and complex manuscript cultures. Written artefacts have been continuously produced up to our own day, though the invention of printing with moveable types marginalised some while at the same time prompted new ones, not least digital media.Over the past three decades, scholarly interest in written artefacts has increased significantly.

Clusters of Excellence


Unifying Systems in Catalysis

UniSysCat is an interdisciplinary research network working jointly on coupled reactions in catalysis. To master this challenge, our research groups are comprising molecular and structural biologists, biochemists and biophysicists, physical and theoretical chemists as well as physicists.

A person, holding a glwoing cylinder behind a screen with a round hole.