KIT takes off – University of Karlsruhe and the Karlsruhe Research Centre merged into one single entity on 1st October 2009
Almost three years after winning the German government’s Excellence Initiative, the idea has now become reality: On 1st October 2009, the University of Karlsruhe and the Karlsruhe Research Centre (Forschungszentrum Karlsruhe) merged to become a single legal entity known as the KIT, according to the Act on the Establishment of the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology.
The Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) now takes on the tasks, rights, obligations, authorities and responsibilities of the former Karlsruhe Research Centre and Karlsruhe University. According to the Act on the Establishment of the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, the University of Karlsruhe has become part of the KIT, as have the assets and employees of the Karlsruhe Research Centre. The KIT's Presiding Committee and Supervisory Board have been appointed and its Senate members elected.
The Baden-Württemberg Minister of Science, Professor Dr. Peter Frankenberg, said: "Today, we are opening a new chapter in the history of German science policy. Until now, universities and non-university research institutions have worked and carried out research side by side. Together with the German government and on the initiative of the two institutions, "working side by side" has been successfully transformed into "working together" through the merger of the University and the Research Centre into one single entity. This entity is more than the sum of its individual parts."
"The new structure of the KIT is aimed at promoting scientific excellence on an international level and overcoming borders that impede research," said the German Federal Minister of Research, Dr. Annette Schavan. "The federal and state governments envisage that this new legal entity will follow the principle of self responsibility. This makes the KIT a pioneer for the freedom of science. We hope to create the conditions for greater freedom - amongst other things in terms of budget, personnel, construction and the acquisition of funds."
On the 1st October 2009 the members of the Presiding Committee, the Supervisory Board and the Senate also took on their official tasks. In agreement with the Federal Minister of Education and Research, Prof. Frankenberg appointed Prof. Dr. Eberhard Umbach and Professor Dr. Horst Hippler as the KIT's presidents. The Presiding Committee also includes Prof. Dr.-Ing. Detlef Löhe, Dr.-Ing. Peter Fritz and Dr. Alexander Kurz, and will eventually be complemented by a vice president of human resources. The 11-member Supervisory Board is led by Prof. Dr. Jürgen Mlynek (Helmholtz Association), who, along with the other members of the Supervisory Board, was also appointed by Prof. Frankenberg. "With the coming winter semester, the KIT is ready to start work with organs and boards consisting of outstanding experts," said Schavan and Frankenberg speaking in Karlsruhe on 1st October.
Frankenberg highlighted the groundbreaking importance of the KIT for the region, for Baden-Württemberg and for Germany: "In the Karlsruhe region, the KIT is synonymous with innovation and growth. With close to 8,000 employees, the KIT is one of the largest employers in the region. Over the next few years, the KIT has the potential to become a global leader in research, education and innovation in the natural and engineering sciences as well as in energy research," said the Minister.