Current projects

Currently funded projects

The digitalisation of society and media systems is having a major impact on the formation of (political) opinion and discourse. The purpose of this project is to investigate a complex phenomenon that has arisen in an era of globalised mass media and connectivity in terms of social media that transcends national borders. An interdisciplinary combination of computer linguistics, network visualisation, intercultural hermeneutics and content analysis from the viewpoint of communication science makes it possible to analyse and map the processes behind the phenomenon. The project addresses the current political discussion focusing on nuclear energy and the energy transition in Germany and Japan following Fukushima.

Project co-ordination: Prof. Dr. Stefan Evert,


Industry 4.0 is the term used to describe the intelligent digitalisation and networking of industrial value creation. The German government’s high-tech strategy sees Industry 4.0 as a major project that will help maintain Germany’s future global competitive capacity.

The purpose of the proposed project is to define the potential benefits and challenges associated with the implementation of Industry 4.0 beyond the technical aspects primarily researched so far, but with a special, integrative focus on the economic, ecological and social aspects in their interaction with technological developments and solutions. As part of the project, we will consider the correlations between opportunity and risk on all three levels of sustainability to form a normative model of sustainable value creation that can be differentiated on the basis of different value creation typologies. It will then be possible to outline specific integration strategies for the practical realisation of Industry 4.0.

Project co-ordination: Prof. Dr. Kai-Ingo Voigt,

To the website (German)

Breast cancer is the most common form of cancer that causes mortality in women. The extraordinary complexity of the corresponding tumour forms is considered to be the main reason why comparatively little is known at present about the development of breast cancer. This means that the currently available treatment methods lack predictive accuracy and options for verifying success at an early stage. Although the introduction of more effective medical techniques such as genome analysis and immunotherapies has improved prognoses significantly, there is still no targeted method of treating breast cancer successfully that is associated with few undesirable effects.

Participating in the Emerging Fields project entitled BIG-THERA is a multi-disciplinary team of internationally recognised researchers at FAU and Universitätsklinikum Erlangen. The aim is to jointly develop new strategies with different approaches to improve the diagnosis, prognosis and treatment of breast cancer. The team has outstanding expertise at its disposal in the fields of clinical and preclinical breast cancer research, immunology, genetics, imaging, nanomedicine, ethics, theoretical physics, pattern recognition and Big Data management.

Project co-ordination: Prof. Dr. Diana Dudziak,

Link will follow soon

The purpose of the ‘MoJo 3D – Modular composite Joint 3D’ project is to develop a completely innovative technology that will make it possible to restore a functional joint surface in patients suffering from osteoarthritis or with cartilage damaged by trauma. The objective is to generate a highly resilient yet frictionless joint surface based on a modular concept personalised for the patient undergoing treatment. This interdisciplinary project brings together the fields of material science, cellular biology, stem cell research, tissue engineering, biomechanics and the clinical fields of orthopaedics, trauma surgery and rheumatology. The intention is to create a material with a modular structure that is adapted to the biological and biomechanical requirements of the human joint. In order to devise the completely new construction and application concepts required for this form of regenerative treatment, the project combines the existing expertise at FAU.

Project co-ordination: Prof. Dr. Kolja Gelse,

Go to website

‘Chemistry in live cells’ is a project that involves an interdisciplinary consortium of nine academic research groups based in Erlangen and Frankfurt that are working on the development of non-enzyme-dependent chemical reactions designed to run autonomously to intracellular processes. The reactions are intended to enable minuscule, membrane-permeable particles to merge inside living cells to create complex agents, fluorophores and radioactive sensors. The reactions will be designed to take occur only if particular bio-molecules specific to a disease (such as miRNAs, ROS) are present. The long-term aim of the project is to develop treatments for human diseases (including cancer) and to improve diagnostic methods.

Project co-ordination: Prof. Dr. Andriy Mokhir,

To the website

Up and coming new applications in biology, nano-technology and medicine make it necessary to find ways to connect objects and machines in dimensions that can be measured in nanometres and micrometres. The standard electromagnetic approaches for designing the corresponding communication systems are unsuitable in connection with magnitudes of this order. Communication between nano- and micro-objects such as bacteria and other cells, however, is widespread in the natural world. Signal molecules often function as information carriers in this regard, thus providing the basis of a physiological molecular communication system. The project concentrates the expertise available at FAU in the fields of electrotechnology, biology, materials science, mathematics and nano-medicine to design and implement synthetic molecular communication systems on the basis of natural mechanisms and processes.

Project co-ordination: Prof. Dr. Robert Schober,