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Milestone for the Berlin University Alliance: House of Representatives approves collaboration platform

Joint press release published by Freie Universität Berlin, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Technische Universität Berlin, Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin, and Senate Chancellery – Higher Education and Research

News from Oct 01, 2020

The excellence alliance consisting of Freie Universität Berlin, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Technische Universität Berlin, and Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin is setting up a collaboration platform in the form of a corporation under public law. With the central administrative unit, the Berlin University Alliance (BUA) is offering the alliance projects an efficient, stable, and legally certain framework. The Berlin House of Representatives voted by a majority to pass the relevant law on Thursday (Oct 1).

In order to conduct research on complex social challenges, the excellence alliance needs to have stable and common support structures in place. The collaboration platform facilitates the provision, operation, and use of research infrastructures beyond the borders of the partner institutions, and as a result provides the administrative prerequisites for creating a joint Berlin research environment. Upon commencement of a collaboration project, in which multiple partner institutions are involved, the researchers receive a membership status. This status allows, for example, large-scale research equipment, collections, services, as well as social and information technology infrastructures of the partner institutions to be used, as if one were a member of one of the respective other organizations.

Michael Müller, Governing Mayor of Berlin and Senator for Higher Education and Research, emphasizes the importance of the legislation for the Berlin hub of innovation: “The law resolved today is unique within Germany and points the way forward for all innovative research hubs looking to collaborate and use synergies. The collaboration platform will not only drive forward the collaboration of the Berlin University Alliance, it also represents a quantum leap toward our common goal of creating an integrated Berlin research environment.”

Prof. Dr. Günter M. Ziegler, spokesperson of the Berlin University Alliance and president of Freie Universität Berlin, sees the resolution of the Berlin House of Representatives as an “important milestone” for the Berlin University Alliance: “The legislation creates a structure that will simplify work processes and help foster collaboration between the partner institutions going forward.” Taking into account the involvement of both the Academic Senate and other governing boards of Freie Universität in the process in the run-up to the vote, Ziegler adds: “The intensive discussions played a massive role in significantly improving the original draft. This helped us properly define the future role of the newly founded corporation as an administrative office structure of the Berlin University Alliance, and as a result the structure of the alliance as a whole was further refined.”

“One of the most important tasks of the platform is to remove barriers between the institutions. As partners we want to use existing infrastructures for research and operate new structures together. This allows us to produce completely new levels of quality in terms of collaboration at the Berlin hub of research. And precisely this approach was an important component and focus in our joint application for the German government’s Excellence Strategy. Our objective is to minimize the administrative effort for our researchers. The law that has just been passed will allow us to do just that,” says Prof. Dr.-Ing. Dr. Sabine Kunst, president of Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, with confidence.

“With the corporation under public law we have created a legal framework that enables individual measures to be designed as part of the Berlin University Alliance. It strengthens the common vision of the partners by facilitating cooperation and supporting future projects,” says a delighted Prof. Dr. Angela Ittel, vice president for Strategic Development, Junior Scholars, and Teacher Education at the TU Berlin and member of the BUA Executive Board.

Prof. Dr. Heyo K. Kroemer, Chief Executive Officer of Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin, continues: “Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin and the partner institutions will benefit greatly from the corporation under public law, among other things, because it creates new and non-bureaucratic opportunities for sharing resources. The provision of common infrastructures and services not only makes everyday research much easier for our researchers, it also boosts the profile of Berlin as a research hub among prestigious minds both at home and abroad.”

The Berlin University Alliance

The Berlin University Alliance is a consortium consisting of three major Berlin universities – Freie Universität Berlin, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Technische Universität Berlin – and Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin, established to shape research and education in Berlin. The four partners joined forces to further develop Berlin as a research hub with international drawing power. Together the partners explore major societal challenges, increase public outreach, promote the training of junior researchers, address issues of quality and standards in research, and share resources in the areas of research infrastructure, teaching, diversity, equal opportunities, and internationalisation. The Berlin University Alliance is funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) and the state of Berlin under the Excellence Strategy of the Federal Government and the Länder.

Joint press release from Freie Universität Berlin, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Technischen Universität Berlin along with Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin

Press Contact

Christina Camier
Press Spokesperson
Berlin University Alliance
Tel.: +49 170 590 06 21
Email: christina.camier@berlin-university-alliance.de