In 2003, Freie Universität announced its new policy of initiating, developing, and systematically strengthening research clusters as a means of improving the university’s research profile as a whole. Freie Universität is committed to bringing together the best in their field, be they from Berlin, from Brandenburg, or from China, and to providing them with an infrastructure ideal for the exchange of experiences, discussion of ideas, and pursuit of research questions comprising various diciplines.
This policy, recently awarded in the Excellence Initiative, is based on the notion that as networks of knowledge are becoming increasingly important in today’s research environment, we need to consistently support our faculty in establishing them. That means, on the one hand, to help them identify interfaces between their own foci, the emphasis of other researchers and institutions, and growing public demands for expertise in specific fields of knowledge. On the other hand, it means to assist them on an operational level – and enable professors to fully concentrate on their research by offering them support with their increasingly time-consuming tasks of grant-seeking and project management.
In order to form a sustainable and high-quality network for research, conditions for both experienced scholars and young academics are evaluated and advanced systematically at Freie Universität. Potential will thus be enhanced in an increasingly efficient way: new international, trans- and interdisciplinary projects are being initiated in emerging fields of study, and related research activities will be productively connected. The driving force behind these developments is the newly established Center for Cluster Development (CCD).