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DFG establishes 20 new Collaborative Research Centres

The support ranges from new therapies for multiple sclerosis via the heroic tradition in ancient time to functional microgels. Attached is a selection of research approaches in science in Baden-Württemberg.

The Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG, German Research Foundation) is to establish 20 Collaborative Research Centres (CRCs) by 1 July 2012. This decision was taken by the Grants Committee at its spring session in Bonn. The new CRCs will receive funding totalling 176 million euros (including a 20 percent programme allowance for indirect project costs) for the initial 4-year funding period.

One of the life sciences projects involves examining the molecular mechanisms involved in cellular quality control. From their research in this area, the researchers hope to gain a comprehensive understanding of how cells react to damage and maintain their equilibrium. Another team aims to create the basis for developing new therapies to treat multiple sclerosis, the most common chronic inflammatory disease of the central nervous system. Despite intensive research in this area over the last few decades, the underlying molecular mechanisms remain a mystery. It is, therefore, the aim of this initiative to understand the development, progression and effects of MS.

One of the CRCs in the natural sciences aims to discover new processes in the use of functional microgels in order to facilitate the design of new interactive material characteristics. Among the new CRCs in the engineering sciences is an initiative which will focus on increasing the efficiency of gas turbines through the use of innovative combustion concepts. The researchers involved in this project anticipate achieving considerably smaller energy losses, as the majority of the primarily used energy has, until now, been lost in generating greenhouse gases and other harmful substances.

Five of the new CRCs are CRC/Transregio, meaning that they are distributed across multiple locations. In a CRC/Transregio funded jointly by the Chinese partner organisation NSFC, for example, German researchers are collaborating with colleagues in Beijing. In addition, the Grants Committee approved the continuation of a German-Chinese CRC/Transregio for a further four-year funding period.

From July 2012, the DFG will fund a total of 232 Collaborative Research Centres. The new CRCs from Baden-Württemberg are as follows:

  • MEDical EPigenetics (MEDEP): From the Fundamental Principles of Epigenetic Mechanisms to Their Clinical Applications
    Coordinating university: the University of Freiburg. Coordinator: Professor Dr. Roland Schüle. Also involved: the Max Planck Institute of Immunobiology and Epigenetics, Freiburg.
  • Knowledge- and Model-Based Surgery
    Coordinating university: the University of Heidelberg. Coordinator: Professor Dr. Markus W. Büchler. Other applying universities: the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology. Also involved: the German Cancer Research Centre, Heidelberg.
  • Cellular Quality Control and Damage Limitation
    Coordinating university: the University of Heidelberg. Coordinator: Professor Dr. Bernd Bukau. Also involved: the German Cancer Research Centre, Heidelberg, The European Molecular Biology Laboratory, Heidelberg.
  • Experimental Models and Clinical Translation in Leukaemias
    Coordinating university: the University of Ulm. Coordinator: Professor Dr. Hartmut Döhner.
Collaborative Research Centres enable researchers to tackle innovative, ambitious, elaborate and long-term research projects by focusing and coordinating universities’ existing strengths. The CRC programme is thus intended to contribute fundamentally to raising the profile of the universities involved. The promotion of early-career researchers and gender equality also play important roles.
Website address: https://www.gesundheitsindustrie-bw.de/en/article/press-release/dfg-establishes-20-new-collaborative-research-centres