Brussels, 15 Mar 2004
The German government is to fund six centres of excellence in former East Germany under the programme 'Centres for innovation competence. Creating excellence - ensuring talent'.
Between now and 2009, the six centres will receive between four and ten million euro each. Each centre will also be assigned at least two international groups of top spin-off experts.
'The East German regions need research excellence on site in order to develop economically successful, internationally competitive clusters,' said Parliamentary State Secretary Christoph Matschie from the German Ministry for Education and Research.
The six centres, located in Dresden, Leipzig, Greifswald, Rostock, Jena and Ilmenau, conduct research in a range of fields, from laser therapy for cancer and robotic and computer-assisted surgery, to automated high capacity screening for new materials and catalysts and optics research.
The centres secured funding after convincing a jury of their strategy for becoming internationally competitive research centres, beating six other applicants. 'These centres have succeeded in positioning themselves well in their fields of research, both with regard to scientific competition nationally and internationally, and commercial competition,' said Mr Matschie. 'The most important thing for me is that the centres have developed a long term, sustainable strategy for their research and the evaluation of their results.'