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DFG establishes 4 new research units

This release is available in German.

The Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG, German Research Foundation) establishes four new Research Units. This decision has just been made by the Senate of the DFG at its meeting in Bonn in April. In Research Units, outstanding researchers work together on a current research topic, often at different locations and across disciplines. The DFG funding thereby secures the necessary staff and material equipment for the medium term. In addition, Research Units also pursue the goal of establishing new directions in research.

One of the approved Research Units deals with novel synthesis methods in chemistry, another works on "quantum diamonds". In medicine, researchers are developing new, minimally invasive surgical procedures, and an economics group is dedicated to the mechanisms in firms and markets.

In the first funding period, the new Research Units will receive a total of 10.2 million euros over a period of three years. With these, the DFG funds a total of 224 Research Units.

The new Research Units in detail (alphabetically ordered by host university):

The goal of Research Unit "Twin Polymerisation of Organic-Inorganic Hybrid Monomers into Nanocomposites" is to produce new functional hybrid materials for modern technologies and future applications in catalysis or for storing gases. In concrete terms, this involves a new synthesis concept intended to make available such materials in large quantities and with precisely defined molecular, structural and morphologic properties. For this purpose, the Research Unit builds on the "twin polymerisation" of complex hybrid monomers developed in Chemnitz. It is hoped that the findings will lead both to the improvement of established processes as well as make possible entirely new syntheses. The Research Unit thereby combines synthesis, analysis and theory.
(Spokesperson: Professor Dr. Stefan Spange, Chemnitz University of Technology)

While economists have up to now worked primarily to better understand markets and firms, Research Unit "Design and Behaviour Economic Engineering of Firms and Markets" takes the opposite approach. It asks how market rules and incentive systems must look in order for the behaviour of the actors to be in harmony with the objectives being pursued. For this purpose, the participating researchers are taking new approaches. In particular, they are incorporating the results of modern economic and psychological behavioural research in the development of robust incentive mechanisms. The research areas include, among others, reputation- and incentive mechanisms in finance and Internet markets, internal remuneration systems, purchasing auctions and supply-chain networks. The Research Unit is composed of renowned researchers including three Leibniz Prize winners from economics, business administration and psychology. This makes possible an interdisciplinary exploration of the complex interaction of real institutions and human behaviour.
(Spokesperson: Professor Dr. Axel Ockenfels, University of Cologne)

Working closely together on new medical technology issues in Research Unit "Single-Port Technology for Gastroenterological and Visceral Surgical Endoscopic Interventions" are medicine, microtechnology, computer science and mechatronics. The researchers hope to make endoscopic surgical procedures more precise, faster and more gentle on patients. To achieve this, an existing system, which permits the use of three flexible instruments through a single port, will serve as the basis for laying the groundwork for a novel endoscopic surgical platform. Work will concentrate on the use in different parts of the body, the use of various instruments as well as the realisation of new, complex procedures. During development, the innovations will be intensively evaluated continually.
(Spokesperson: Professor Dr. Alexander Meining, Technical University of Munich)

Thanks to an ever-deeper understanding and well-established experiments, quantum physics is increasingly being transformed into the research field of quantum technology. Physicists are now able to customise material and influence quantum dynamics, thereby opening a range of possible applications, such as in information processing and sensor technology. Research Unit "Diamond Materials and Quantum Application" is devoted to diamonds, a very promising quantum material, and is using technological fundamentals to produce more controlled and increasingly complex diamond structures. To accomplish this, the Research Unit is bringing together experts on material growth, structure and defect creation as well as quantum optics and spintronics. Focus is primarily on the use of "quantum diamonds" in the areas of quantum photonics and spintronics. The results produced by the Research Unit could lead to applications in, among other areas, medicine.
(Spokesperson: Professor Dr. Jrg Wachtrup, University of Stuttgart)


Contact: Dr. Eva-Maria Streier
Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft

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