Funding from the federal government and the state

Alongside the German Research Foundation, the federal government is the university's largest provider of third-party funding. For example, the Federal Ministry of Education and Research and the Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs and Energy fund long-term Copernicus projects for the energy transition and participation in the National Research Centre for Applied Cyber Security – Athene. At the same time, the state of Hesse supports excellent research at TU Darmstadt – for example on artificial intelligence, new energy technologies, nuclear physics and cognitive sciences.

Cluster projects of the State of Hesse

Several “cluster projects”, funded as part of the top research competition initiated by the State of Hesse, offer solutions to major scientific and social questions of our time.

Researchers led by Technische Universität Darmstadt want to usher in a new era in the development of artificial intelligence (AI): These AI systems are to acquire human-like communication and thinking skills, recognise and classify new situations and adapt to them independently. The novel AI systems should not only be able to learn, but they will also grasp facts and link them to forms of abstract thinking. They will draw logical conclusions and make context-related decisions and learn from them again. This new future perspective is called the “third wave of AI” in reference to the two previous developmental thrusts in artificial intelligence.

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Iron has enormous potential for storing and transporting large amounts of renewable energy. Scientists at TU Darmstadt want to prove this in the “Clean Circles” research project. They want to use a new research approach to develop a sustainable solution for the future and show how the abundant raw material iron on earth and its oxides can be used in a cycle system as a carbon-free chemical energy carrier to store electricity generated from renewable sources such as wind and sun. To this end, experts from engineering, natural, political and economic science disciplines are cooperating.

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Understanding the dynamics of neutron stars, investigating the formation of gravitational waves and the heaviest chemical elements – this is the research aspiration of physicists from Goethe University Frankfurt and TU Darmstadt in the joint ELEMENTS project. They are combining their expertise in gravitational physics and the physics of nuclear reactions and will use the outstanding infrastructure of accelerator facilities in Hesse – including the FAIR facility being built at the GSI Helmholtz Centre for Heavy Ion Research in Darmstadt.

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In this research cluster led by the University of Giessen, scientists from the Centre for Cognitive Science at TU Darmstadt, among others, contribute their expertise in the fields of cognitive science and artificial intelligence. “The Adaptive Mind” investigates human behaviour under changing external conditions – in some situations, people react through stability, in others through adaptation. A central question in the cluster is the balance between these strategies in the context of adaptive and learning systems.

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  • Projekt SynErgie – Synchronisierte und energieadaptive Produktionstechnik zur flexiblen Ausrichtung von Industrieprozessen auf eine fluktuierende Energieversorgung
  • Projekt ENAvi – Systemintegration und Vernetzung der Energieversorgung
  • Projekt ENSURE – Neue Energie-Netzstrukturen für die Energiewende
  • Phi-Factory – Flexible electrical factory grid management for increasing energy efficiency across systems under the requirements of future distribution grids with renewable energy generation
  • HIGHEST – Home of Innovation, GrowtH, EntrepreneurShip and Technology Management
  • ETA-Fabrik – Energy-efficient model factory of the future

Retrospect: Excellence Initiative of the German federal and state government

Title Koordination Term
Computational Engineering – Beyond Traditional Sciences Prof. Dr. rer. nat. Michael Schäfer (Fachbereich Maschinenbau) 2007 bis 2017
Darmstadt Graduate School of Energy Science and Engineering
Prof. Dr.-Ing. Johannes Janicka (Fachbereich Maschinenbau), Prof. Dr. rer. nat. Wolfram Jaegermann (Fachbereich Material- und Geowissenschaften) 2012 bis 2017
Title Koordination Term
SMART INTERFACES – Understanding and Designing Fluid Boundaries TU Darmstadt 2007 bis 2014
Die Herausbildung normativer Ordnungen Goethe-Universität Frankfurt am Main 2007 bis 2017
Beteiligung des Institutes für Politikwissenschaften der TU Darmstadt
Kontakt an der TU Darmstadt: Prof. Dr. Jens Steffek (Fachbereich Gesellschafts- und Geschichtswissenschaften)