FAU is one of the strongest and most reputable research universities in Germany, boasting a large number of outstanding academic approaches and perspectives. Moreover, as a so-called ‘full university’, it brings all disciplines together under one roof in a way that is extremely conducive to interdisciplinary collaborations. FAU thus offers perfect conditions for the generation of innovative ideas, which often emerge at the interface between several disciplines and span different fields of research.
Emerging projects – which can involve an element of risk – are an important catalyst for progress in science, research and teaching. Despite their great potential in terms of future development and success, regular funding is not always an option for these projects, at least not in their early stages.
FAU launched its Emerging Fields Initiative (EFI) to support emerging projects in 2010.
EFI aims to promote outstanding, preferably interdisciplinary research projects at an early stage and in a flexible and non-bureaucratic way. By applying for EFI funding, renowned FAU researchers can put visionary ideas into practice, allowing them to react more effectively to upcoming research challenges. A strict selection process guarantees the high quality of the projects, approaches and the researchers funded within the scheme.
This internal funding scheme for excellent research will increase FAU’s reputation as a leading university and enhance its attraction by highlighting FAU’s unique profile, increasing FAU’s attraction as an employer for excellent researchers both from Germany and from abroad, and expanding FAU’s strategic alliances with key partners.
EFI – successful strategic measure at FAU
The first two rounds of EFI resulted in 18 ambitious projects from all five of the University’s faculties. FAU is currently funding these projects with a total of 12.4 million euros in funding.
EFI has now established itself as a profitable strategic measure at FAU. The six projects funded in the first round had led to over 260 publications, several patents and 40 third-party projects before handing in their final reports and 17 collaborative proposals are currently in preparation. Even more remarkably, three of these projects have already raised several times the amount of initial funding by securing competitive third-party funding.