Since 2006 the Focus Areas have been one of the key elements of Freie Universität's research strategy. The Focus Areas form academic and scientific networks and working platforms for interdisciplinary collaborative research at Freie Universität. They are platforms for discussing innovative research topics, and for the design and development of new projects from proposal to maturity. This includes DFG-funded Collaborative Research Centers, the DFG excellence grants, and European projects.
Within the Focus Areas, scholars and scientists from different subjects, disciplines, and institutions at Freie Universität work together over a longer period on complex research topics related to subjects of great importance to society. The Focus Areas help to strengthen the areas of emphasis within the university’s research activities and further develop these areas in cooperation with social, political, and economic players.
The Focus Areas also serve as platforms for interdisciplinary discussions of issues with future potential within the academic community. Due to their high flexibility, dynamism, and openness the Focus Areas are an ideal environment for the development and testing of new ideas and the preparation of new collaborative research networks and projects.
The life cycles of the Focus Areas are dependent on the scientific and academic advances in the field of the subjects being studied, the development of resources and skills, and the needs of the broader society.