Founded in 2010 by Freie Universität Berlin and the State University of St. Petersburg, G-RISC is one of four Centers of Excellence worldwide that are supported within the academic relations initiative of the German Federal Foreign Office. The aim of these Centers of Excellence is to highlight particular strengths in German science and, in particular, to facilitate international networking in the training of young scientists.
The German-Russian Interdisciplinary Science Center is jointly coordinated by Eckart Rühl, a professor of chemistry at Freie Universität, and Alexander Shikin, a professor of physics at St. Petersburg University. An important focus of the Center is to support networking among young scientists and students in the two countries. During the first five years G-RISC was able to support more than 350 research visits, and numerous joint publications resulted from this exchange. In addition, about 40 conferences, workshops, summer schools and joint courses were organized. In total, more than 1500 individuals took part in G-RIS activities between 2010 und 2014.
The German-Russian Interdisciplinary Science Center builds on a long tradition of scientific cooperation between German and Russian scientists. Freie Universität Berlin has been working closely with the State University of St. Petersburg for more than 40 years. In 2012 the two universities formalized a strategic partnership for the purpose of providing more targeted support for joint research and teaching.