Berlin leads in science – but Munich is catching up

Berlin, together with Munich, is the research metropolis in Germany – by a long way ahead of other cities and regions. The scientists from Berlin and Munich raise most of the research funding. This emerges from the new funding atlas of the German Research Foundation (DFG), which was presented on Tuesday.

The DFG funding atlas publishes every three years where the funds of the largest research funding organization in Germany go . Berlin has been at the top as a research city for more than a decade, but the lead over Munich has narrowed. While the difference was around one hundred million euros three years ago, it is now 20.

Strongly networked universities

In third place follows the “Lower Neckar” region around Heidelberg and Mannheim. In addition to these three “hotspots” of science, there would be further 13 regions with one Very strong funding volume of over 20 said DFG President Katja Becker: “That shows how diverse and spatial the scientific landscape in Germany is distributed. “

The most successful regions are characterized by a” critical mass “of scientific institutions that are also strongly networked with one another.

If one evaluates the individual universities, the two Munich universities (LMU and Technical University) are at the top for the first time in doubles. They received 369 or 346 million euros of third-party funds. It is followed by the University of Heidelberg (332 millions). The funding atlas adds up the funding for the years 2017 to 2019.

FU in place 6, HU in place 11

Freie Universität Berlin is in sixth place (283 million euros), Humboldt University in eleventh place (236 million euros). The FU falls one place behind, the HU two places. The Technical University of Berlin is ranked 26. FU and TU were able to improve in the absolute sum of the funding, however, the HU maintained its level here.

Not in the top 40 the University of Potsdam manages (63 Million Euros). However, there are no dramatic ascents and descents in the ranking of the universities compared to the previous edition of the Funding Atlas.

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All in all At the top are the universities that have been successful in the competition since the start of the Excellence Initiative. Becker spoke of a “high level of stability”, the strengths of the universities concerned are based “on long-term development and a broad foundation.”

Becker highlighted that of the Technical University of Dresden as an “impressive success story” which is now in fifth place of all universities. However, over the long term there is no discrepancy in the science system: the gaps between the universities at the upper and lower end would not increase. “There is no sign of displacement competition.”

As with Merkel: the wish to the new federal government

Becker also emphasized that the share of research funds distributed in competition compared to the basic funding of universities is slowly falling again in recent years. 2013 the third-party funds reached with 28, 1 percent peaked. Until 2019 it is then slightly on 26, 9 percent fell.

The German Research Foundation receives the research funds it distributes from the federal government. When asked what she expected from the coming federal government, Becker referred to the “strong awareness of the interests of science” of the outgoing Chancellor Angela Merkel: “That should also be the case in the next federal government.”

One topic that the coming government must definitely deal with is the continuation of the Excellence Strategy. Becker said the research organizations had already started planning, such as 2025 / 26 the evaluation of existing projects and the selection of new projects will be carried out.

However, it is not yet clear how many new research clusters will be can be financed at all. Becker called on politics to “open up an appropriate competitive area”. The universities could not be expected to only support seven or eight new clusters if beforehand 150 Requests are received, therefore funds for a total of 70 to 80 Clusters are available what 150 to 200 million euros more than before 57 Cluster funded.

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