The new high-tech strategy of the German federal government is aimed at propelling Germany forward on the way to becoming the global innovation leader. A key to this is the close cooperation between universities, non-university research institutions and companies. With the funding initiative "Forschungscampus - Public-Private Partnership for Innovation", the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) supports the realisation of a new tool for cooperation in research and innovation in Germany.
The funding initiative is aimed at medium to long-term, sustainable cooperation between partners which can continue to exist independently even after the funding ceases. A prerequisite for the funding is the introduction of personal contributions from the partners involved in the form of personnel, infrastructure or financial resources. These contributions support the sustainable securing of the overall financing of a research campus. In addition, the BMBF supports the implementation of specific projects at research campuses in application-oriented basic research. For this purpose, a limit of up to two million euros per year over a period of up to 15 years applies to each research campus.
At least one university works together with non-university research institutions and commercial enterprises in each of the nine research campuses organised as partnerships. They work together on areas of research that are characterised by great complexity, a high level of risk associated with the research, or special potential for leaps in innovation. The thematic spectrum ranges from mobility and energy supply to production technologies to common diseases. At the same time the research campuses pursue complementary goals such as the training of young scientists in specific graduate schools or the training of staff at the companies involved. Some research campuses collaborate further in international research networks or standardisation bodies.