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Go ahead for new Helmholtz Institute at Erlangen-Nürnberg


A professorship for photovoltaics is to be established in Nuremberg as part of the Helmholtz Institute. (Image:

Helmholtz delegation speaks of ‘excellent concept’ after visit

The course has been set for the establishment of a Helmholtz Institute at Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg (FAU). After a visit from the international committee of reviewers selected by the Helmholtz Association explicitly recommended the foundation of the ‘Helmholtz Institute Erlangen-Nürnberg for renewable sources of energy’. This means that North Bavaria will benefit from the presence of a Helmholtz institute within the next year.

The committee of reviewers judged the concept submitted for the foundation of the centre as ‘excellent’. According to the experts, the presentations during the visit ‘were proof of a refreshing and productive collaboration between the co-operation partners’. The Helmholtz Association reported that the committee of reviewers strongly recommended granting the project.

This means that the efforts made by FAU and its representatives over several years – especially by FAU’s President Prof. Dr. Karl-Dieter Grüske and Leibniz awardee Prof. Dr. Peter Wasserscheid – have now finally borne fruit. If the Helmholtz Senate follows the recommendation by the committee of reviewers in June 2013 – which all parties involved are very optimistic about – a Helmholtz Institute will be established in the region.

The Helmholtz Centre will build on the existing Cluster of Excellence for materials science, EAM (Engineering of Advanced Materials). The current budget of the Bavarian State Ministry of Sciences, Research and the Arts already includes 32 million euros for the construction of a new research building which means that planning can now go ahead. The new site will be built on the University’s South Campus and primarily house labs and office space for the new researchers. At the same, investments will be made in Nuremberg, FAU’s second important location. There, at least one professorship for photovoltaics is to be established on the former AEG factory grounds.

‘We are highly pleased by these positive signals from the Helmholtz commission,’ says FAU’s President Prof. Dr. Karl-Dieter Grüske. ‘With the establishment of a Helmholtz Institute at Erlangen and Nuremberg, a dream we have had at the University for a long time has finally comes true. As a research hub, the area will profit from the Institute in the long term and the Institute will also enable us to develop our research on renewable energy and in materials science. Helmholtz will also attract further excellent scientists to the region and, in collaboration with the professors already present, will thus strengthen top-level research at FAU. We would like to thank all researchers with Professor Peter Wasserscheid and Professor Wolfgang Peukert who were involved in the development of the concept. Thanks is also due to the Bavarian state government, especially the Minsters of State Dr. Heubisch, Dr. Söder and Mr. Herrmann, who have always supported us in this project.’

The Helmholtz Association is the largest research organisation in Germany. At its 18 locations, almost 34,000 employees conduct research on the fundamental questions in society.

Further information:

Prof. Dr. Karl-Dieter Grüske
Tel.: +49 9131 85 26600

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