As part of its Excellence Initiative, the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research made 1.9 billion euros available to universities starting in 2006 and allocated in a multi-stage competition. Excellence Clusters and post-graduate schools will be established in addition to future concepts for the promotion of top-class university research, with the frequent and leading involvement of Fraunhofer Institutes. The continuation of the Excellence Initiative is currently being discussed.
Fraunhofer is closely associated with these universities and in particular contributes the element of innovation orientation to site planning with its High Performance Center concept. The High Performance Centers take the partnership between universities, Fraunhofer and companies to a new topical level. Together with the politically responsible players, the partners develop a binding, consistent roadmap for research and teaching, for the development of young talent and infrastructure as well as for the transfer of innovation and knowledge. The High Performance Centers are thus intended to optimize the exploitation of scientific results in all sectors of the economy.
The viability of this concept has proven itself in three pilot projects at High Performance Centers in Freiburg, Erlangen and Dresden. In support of the respective universities and regions, Fraunhofer is continuing to expand additional High Performance Centers and in doing so is strengthening the visibility of locations with regard to specific topics particularly characteristic of the respective regions.