We create impact
Joint Projects
Research in Clusters of Excellence
We create impact
Joint Projects
Research in Clusters of Excellence

Joint Research

As one of eleven Universities of Excellence, the University of Bonn is one of the strongest research universities in Europe. It is known for its internationally networked top-level research, which is based on a collaborative, innovative and international research culture.
This page presents joint research projects (funded by DFG, BMBF, NRW) as well as collaborations within the framework of excellence and in working groups of the university with one or more BORA members since 2018.

24

joint High-Profile Research Projects

6

joint DFG Projects 

4

joint NRW Projects

University of Excellence

The University of Bonn is one of the most important research universities in Germany. This can be seen by the funding provided to date under the Excellence Initiative by the German Research Foundation (Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft) and German Council of Science and Humanities (Wissenschaftsrat). In 2006, the University of Bonn solicited two clusters of excellence and two graduate schools. As of January 2019, the University of Bonn has six clusters of excellence, more than any other university in Germany. It is the only university to have a cluster in agriculture.

BORA members are prominently represented in four of the six clusters of excellence, these include DZNE, IAIS, SCAI, MPI Collective Goods and MPIM.

phenorob4_Volker Lannert  Universität Bonn.jpg
© Volker Lannert / Universität Bonn

Joint Work in Clusters of Excellence

PhenoRob performs world-leading research in robotics and phenotyping for sustainable crop production. Our vision is to transform crop production by optimizing breeding and farming management through developing and deploying new technologies. PhenoRob addresses a real-world problem with a technology-oriented approach. Our scientists have backgrounds in computer science, geodesy, robotics, plant science, soil science, economics, and environmental science. This interdisciplinary team forms the only DFG-funded Cluster of Excellence focusing on agriculture.

BORA cooperation partner
Fraunhofer Institute for Intelligent Analysis and Information Systems IAIS

Contact
PhenoRob Cluster Office
University of Bonn
Niebuhrstraße 1a
D-53113 Bonn

Website

ImmunoSensation2 is a Cluster of Excellence funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG). We are dedicated to the study of innate immunity beyond the boundaries of classical immunology. We adress the immune system as a sensory organ for health, which we term the immune sensory system. We are immunologists, neurobiologists, systems biologists, biochemists, biophysicists and mathematicians from the Faculty of Medicine and the Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences at the University of Bonn and the German Centre for Neurodegenerative Diseases (DZNE) of the Helmholtz Association.

Founded in 2012, ImmunoSensation2 is currently in its eleventh year of funding. We continue to pursue our mission of innovative science in immunology. Further, we link immunology to other systems, such as the metabolic system and the nervous system. Ultimately, we want to better understand the intimate connection between the immune sensory system and human health and disease.

Website

BORA cooperation partner
German Centre for Neurodegenerative Diseases (DZNE)

Contact
Cluster Coordination Office
ImmunoSensation Cluster of Excellence
Dr. Catherine Drescher (Managing Director)
University of Bonn
University Hospital Bonn
Venusberg - Campus 1
D-53127 Bonn

The Hausdorff Center of Mathematics (HCM) is a Cluster of Excellence of the University of Bonn and is supported by the four mathematical institutes of the University of Bonn, the Max Planck Institute for Mathematics (MPIM) and the Institute for Social and Economic Sciences. With six departments, the cluster's spectrum ranges from pure and applied mathematics to mathematically oriented research in economics and interdisciplinary research. Identifying and addressing mathematical challenges of the 21st century is one of the main goals of HCM, as is the promotion of young scientists in an independent and international environment. Since its inception in 2006, the cluster has been successfully renewed twice, in 2012 and most recently in 2018 for another seven years.

Website

BORA cooperation partner
Max Planck Institute for Mathematics (MPIM)

ECONtribute: Markets & Public Policy, a joint initiative of the Universities of Bonn and Cologne, aims to advance the analysis of markets & public policy in light of fundamental societal and technological challenges, such as digitalization, global financial crises, rising inequality and political polarization. Since 2019, ECONtribute: Markets & Public Policy is funded as a Cluster of Excellence under the German Excellence Strategy. ECONtribute is the only Cluster of Excellence in Economics and neighbouring disciplines.

The development of responses to these societal challenges requires a comprehensive and innovative approach which takes account of societal objectives beyond economic efficiency, legal and political constraints and makes use of innovative research designs. To this end, the Cluster brings together outstanding researchers from economics and neighboring disciplines – management, psychology, political science and law – from the Universities of Bonn and Cologne, the Behavior and Inequality Research Institute (briq) and the Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods and organizes their research activities under the roof of the Reinhard Selten Institute (RSI).

The ECONtribute network promotes two-way knowledge exchange between researchers and policymakers.

Website

BORA cooperation partner
Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods


DFG Collaborative Research Projects

The German Research Foundation (Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft, DFG) is one of the largest third-party funding organizations of the University of Bonn. It provides long-term funding for scientists for up to 12 years in research networks of Collaborative Research Centers (SFB) / Transregios (TRR) within the framework of interdisciplinary research programs. Funded for a period of six years, Priority Programs (SPP) are characterized by the supraregional cooperation of the participating scientists. Cooperation in these collaborative research projetcs strengthens the transdisciplinary profile areas of the university.

Currently, the university cooperates with BICC, DZNE, IDOS and MPINB-caesar in these DFG projects:

Eine Wissenschaftlerin und ein Wissenschaftler arbeiten hinter einer Glasfassade und mischen Chemikalien mit Großgeräten.
© Volker Lannert / Universität Bonn

Joint DFG projects

Spokesperson

Prof. Dr. Eicke Latz
Institut für Angeborene Immunität
Venusberg-Campus 1
53127 Bonn

Summary

Evolutionary constraints have selected humans for sensitive and effective anti-microbial immune responses, energy efficiency and storage, and elevation of blood glucose levels during inactivity or infection. These traits provided increased fitness in times in which constant pathogenic threats and periods of starvation were common. The human environment in the developed world, however, has drastically changed. While infectious triggers of the immune system have diminished, non-infectious immune and metabolic triggers from Western-type diets, man-made bioactive substances, pollution, or smoking, now pose a significant risk to human health. The overabundance of food paired with sedentary behaviours has, furthermore, led to an unprecedented increase in positive energy balance. Therefore, the evolutionarily favoured immune and metabolic adaptations have become a liability for modern humans. Immunometabolic diseases, including obesity, type II diabetes, cancer, asthma, and neurodegeneration, are on the rise, and some of these diseases have reached epidemic proportions. Research in the last decades has revealed that the immune and metabolic systems respond to a modern lifestyle with chronic, low-grade inflammation, which is called metaflammation, and is causally linked to the development of many non-communicable diseases (NCD). The CRC brings together the transdisciplinary expertise from three faculties of the University of Bonn (Medicine, Mathematics and Natural Sciences, and Philosophy), the German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases, the Max-Planck-Institute for Metabolism Research in Cologne, and the Braunschweig Integrated Centre of Systems Biology to collaboratively address the unmet need to understand the mechanisms leading to metaflammation and to translate these findings into novel therapeutic and preventative strategies. The CRC aims to i. study how the triggers associated with a Western lifestyle lead to immune cell programming and cause metaflammation, ii. investigate the crosstalk between reprogrammed immune cells and the inflamed tissues, iii. address the role of specific pathways activated in metaflammation for disease pathogenesis, iv. perform bi-directional translational research between murine and human studies by investigating the discovered mechanisms in patient populations as well as in the longitudinal population ‘Rhineland Study’. A particular strength of the CRC is a systems immunology approach that uses unbiased multi-omics investigations combined with sophisticated bioinformatics analyses to decipher the causes and consequences of metaflammation. This work will provide a more holistic understanding of how metaflammation and cellular programming trigger the development of organ pathology and dysfunction and will reveal new targets for pharmacological intervention and generate the necessary evidence to foster the initiation of effective preventative strategies.

Participating Institutions

  • German Centre for Neurodegenerative Diseases (DZNE), Bonn
  • Max Planck Institut für Stoffwechselforschung, Köln
  • Technische Universität Braunschweig

Term

01.01.2021 - 31.12.2024 (1. Funding Period)

Spokesperson

Prof. Dr. Heinz Beck
Laboratory for Experimental Epileptology and Cognition Research
Department of Epileptology
Life & Brain Center
Sigmund-Freud-Str. 25
53127 Bonn

Summary

The overarching goal of the CRC is to understand how behavior is generated by coordinated activity of neuronal circuits, and how this is disrupted in neurological disorders. The past decade has seen significant advances in this field, with the refinement of techniques for measuring and manipulating the activity of large populations of neurons in behaving animals, as well as the ability to quantify behavior in novel, extremely precise ways. This has allowed to formulate and test new hypotheses about how neuronal activity represents features of the outside world, how neuronal circuits integrate environmental information with internal states, and how this leads to goal-directed behavior.Notably, even simple behaviors rely on the orchestrated performance of neuronal circuits spanning multiple brain regions. The CRC will, therefore, leverage the critical mass of projects designed to investigate different brain areas for the examination of extended neuronal systems spanning multiple brain regions. We will focus on how these systems work together and how neuromodulation, which we consider to be a key factor in mediating state-dependent modulation in multiple brain regions, contributes to behaviorally relevant circuit activity. These approaches lead to the acquisition of rich behavioral and cellular data, which have to be integrated into a theoretical framework that allows us to rigorously link behavior to neuronal activity patterns. The CRC will mount a coordinated effort to develop methods for the precise observation of behavior and identification of behavioral syntax. Moreover, both within individual projects and within the central project, the CRC will implement a range of mathematical and theoretical methods that link neuronal activity to behavioral features. Finally, the CRC will use novel behavioral opto-tagging and imaging approaches combined with transcriptomic/connectomic approaches to obtain more precise, cellular, and synapse-level connectivity data from neurons identified as behavior-related in vivo.We will continue to apply these interdisciplinary approaches to the study of CNS disorders, most notably epilepsy and Alzheimer's disease. We are convinced that understanding the basis of disease-related phenotypes across scales, down to the level of single neurons, is crucial to gaining a true understanding of neurological diseases and developing novel treatments.

Participating Institutions:

  • Max Planck Institute for Neurobiology of Behavior – caesar (MPINB), Bonn
  • German Centre for Neurodegenerative Diseases (DZNE), Bonn
  • Weizmann-Institut für Wissenschaften, Israel
  • University of Cologne

Term
01.10.2013 - 30.06.2025 (3. Funding Period)

Website

Subproject leader University of Bonn
Prof. Dr. Frank Bertoldi
Argelander Institute for Astronomy
On the hill 71
53121 Bonn

Summary
The SFB 956 "Conditions and Effects of Star Formation - Astrophysics, Instrumentation and Laboratory Research" combines the unique expertise of the astrophysics groups with respect to three goals: On the scientific side, the SFB takes advantage of the new astronomical observational opportunities now available due to the opening of the sub-mm and far-infrared spectral regions and interferometric techniques with respect to the highest spatial resolution from the radio to the infrared spectral region. The scientific question aims at understanding the fundamental processes and their dependence on the physical and chemical conditions in interstellar space that cause interstellar matter to cluster into dense clouds and eventually form new stars. These conditions for star formation are significantly influenced by the energetic feedback of young stars and the chemical composition of the interstellar medium due to element synthesis in earlier stellar generations, and also by external factors such as galaxy collisions leading to star formation bursts and interactions of interstellar matter with jets and central winds in active galactic cores. The limited insight to date into the mechanisms controlling the star formation process in different environments has shown that physical processes are relevant and need to be understood on broad scales, from the large-scale propagation of radiation and shock waves to the microphysics of reaction processes. The complexity of the phenomena leads to an astonishing richness in chemical composition and to small-scale variations in the interstellar medium. Both in turn affect the energy balance, but in particular they allow very specific diagnostic capabilities through spectrally and spatially highest resolution observations compared to detailed models. The spectral signature of these phenomena can best be studied in the sub mm and infrared spectral regions. The astrophysical research program of the SFB aims at investigating these questions, taking advantage of the leading role of the SFB partner institutes in sub mm to infrared instrumentation. The strategic goal of SFB 956 is to establish, through coordination of research at the participating institutes in the four areas of experimental astrophysics, theoretical analysis and modeling, laboratory astrophysics, and detector and instrumentation development, a collaborative effort that is competitive at both the national and international levels and that can keep pace with the rapid developments in this research field due to sufficient resources and a well-organized infrastructure. Astronomical observatories and their instrumentation have reached a size that can only be sustained and efficiently exploited by large consortia and in international partnership. Successful participation in these collaborations and adequate representation of the interests of the participating local scientific community is only possible on a highly qualified and efficient basis, exploiting synergies and offering stable perspectives for research work in the medium to long term, as enabled by a SFB. As an equally important goal, the SFB 956 aims to create a challenging and excellent environment for the education of students and young scientists. The attractive research environment of this SFB, which allows early contact with current research and outstanding instrumental methods in the laboratory and astronomical observatories, and especially the diverse national and international collaborations and competitive scientific exchange as cultivated in this SFB, provide the best conditions for this.

Participating Institutions
University of Cologne (speaker university)
Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy (MPIfR), Bonn
Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich (ETHZ)
University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, USA

Duration
2011-2022

Website

Site Spokesperson

Professor Dr. Britta Klagge
Geographisches Institut
Meckenheimer Allee 166
53115 Bonn

Summary

The Collaborative Research Center (CRC) combines expertise from two complementary centers of excellence at the Universities of Bonn and Cologne to study newly emerging issues of social-ecological transformation and future-making in Africa. It takes current large-scale landuse change in rural Africa as its starting point. Focusing on the two seemingly opposite, yet often mutually constitutive processes of intensification and conservation, it investigates their impact on social-ecological transformation in the context of three major growth corridors in eastern and southern Africa. While social-ecological transformation is commonly understood in relation to past processes, this CRC takes a different perspective: It conceptualizes socialecological transformation as an expression of ‘future-making’. Resonating with current debates in the interdisciplinary field of future studies, this means that potential futures and the different ideas of how they can be realized are seen to have a decisive impact on current land-use dynamics, especially through diverse processes and politics of anticipation. ‘Futuremaking’ refers to physical changes as well as social practices that link the present to the future in various ways. Whereas natural scientists primarily study how a ‘future of probabilities’ is anticipated in different forms of calculation, measurements and models, the social scientists also take into account how a ‘future of possibilities’ takes shape in visions and imaginations. Together, the projects of the CRC will analyze how such different approaches to the future inform practices of large-scale land-use change, and how they relate to each other. Special emphasis will be put on surprises and unintended side-effects of future-making, which play a key role in characterizing rural Africa today.The CRC is structured in three project groups, each organized around a bridging concept that addresses specific aspects of social-ecological transformation and future-making (Figure 1). Project group A (‘coupling’) studies the articulation between social and ecological subsystems, B (‘boundaries’) looks at the shifting zones of interaction and confrontation, and C (‘linkages’) explores cross-scalar drivers, connections and causations. Empirical research focuses on development hubs in the Kenyan Rift Valley, the Southern Agricultural Growth Corridor of Tanzania, and the Kavango-Zambezi Transfrontier Conservation Area. The CRC builds upon profound research experience of the applicants and African counterparts, amplifies the unique combination of expertise at the universities of Bonn and Cologne, fosters partnerships with scholars and scientific institutions in Africa, and aims at making Bonn-Cologne one of the leading centers of innovative research in the emerging field of futures studies and social ecology in Africa.

Participating Institutions:

  • Universität zu Köln (Speaker University)
  • Bonn International Centre for Conflict Studies (BICC)
  • German Institute of Develeopment and Sustainability (IDOS)
  • Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin
  • Cooperation partners in Africa

Term:

01.01.2018 - 31.12.2025 (2. Funding Period)

Website

Summary

The brain is a complex network of billions of nerve cells giving rise to our cognitive abilities. Understanding the structure of this network is an important step in understanding how it functions. The field of Connectomics has the ultimate goal of providing a comprehensive description of the physical coupling among all neural elements of the brain.

Website

Subprojects

1. Predicting the Impact of Connectomes on Cortical Function using Statistical Inference

Principal Investigator MPINB:
Dr. Marcel Oberlaender

2. High resolution connectivity analysis of CA3/DG engrams: from behavior to structure

Principal Investigators University of Bonn:
Professor Dr. Heinz Beck & Dr. Karl Martin Schwarz, Ph.D., Faculty of Medicine;
Professor Dr. Ulrich Kubitscheck, Institute for Physical and Theoretical Chemistry

3. Towards a connectomics-based predictive model of the inner retina

Principal Investigator MPINB:
Dr. Kevin Briggman, Ph.D.

Participating Institutions:

  • Max Planck Institute for Neurobiology of Behavior – caesar (MPINB), Bonn

Speaker: Isabelle Breloy, University of Cologne

Summary

Massive stars, due to their short lifetime and high energy output, drive the evolution of galaxies across cosmic time. Hence, they substantially contribute to shaping the present-day Universe. The proposed new Collaborative Research Centre (CRC) will unravel the “habitats of massive stars across cosmic time”. “Habitats” are the gaseous environments within which massive stars are born and which they interact with via their feedback. Over the anticipated 12-year lifetime of this new CRC initiative, we aim to connect the physical processes that govern the habitats of massive stars across the full range of environments hosting massive stars – from sub-parsec to mega-parsec scales and from the Milky Way to the high-redshift Universe, where massive stars leave their cosmological fingerprint by driving cosmic reionisation.

Participating Institutions

I. Physics Institute, University of Cologne (PH1)
Argelander Institute for Astronomy, University of Bonn (AIfA)
Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy (MPIfR)
Forschungszentrum Jülich (FZJ)
Regional Computing Center Cologne (RRZK)

Duration

10.2023 - 06.2027 (1. Förderperiode)

Website


Collaborative projects funded by the state of North Rhine-Westphalia

The Ministry of Culture and Science of the German State of North Rhine-Westphalia (MKW NRW) approaches all types of universities and non-university research institutions with regular and open-topic calls and promotes cooperative projects to develop new research profiles and establish strong research networks. Application-oriented research on topics of high socio-political relevance is a focus of the NRW Forschungskollegs. Their research approaches are characterized by a high degree of complexity. The application of inter- and transdisciplinary research methods is expected to result in more balanced and better implementable approaches. The members in BORA are also successfully active in this area.
Currently, the university cooperates here with DZNE, MPINB-caeasar and UNU-EHS.

Eine Wissenschaftlerin und ein Wissenschaftler arbeiten hinter einer Glasfassade und mischen Chemikalien mit Großgeräten.
© Bernadett Yehdou / Universität Bonn

Joint NRW collaborative projects

Spokesperson

n.n.

Summary

n.n.

Participating Institutions

  • University of Bonn 
  • German Centre for Neurodegenerative Diseases (DZNE)
  • Technische Universität Dortmund

Duration

Nov. 2023 - 2026 (3 years)

Press Release (German)

Spokesperson

Prof. Dr. Christian Borgemeister
Center for Development Research (ZEF)
Genscherallee 3
D-53113 Bonn

Summary

The Forschungskolleg “One Health and Urban Transformation – identifying risks, developing sustainable solutions” was launched in July 2016 and will investigate the various dimensions and transformations of the urban systems and their impact on human, animal and environmental health. The historical development and current challenges of North Rhine-Westphalia with a particular focus on the RuhrMetropolis (Germany), will be contrasted with three urban metropolitan areas: São Paulo (Brazil), Accra (Ghana) and Ahmedabad (India).

The ‘One Health’ concept adopts an integrative perspective of health, recognizing the intrinsic interconnections between human, animal and environmental health. Consequently, the environmental, social and economic systems interact with and shape One Health. Investigating these interactions in the context of urban transformation forms the basis for developing sustainable solutions that maximize synergetic effects, minimize trade-offs and mitigate health risks.

The NRW Forschungskolleg “One Health” is jointly operated by the Center for Development Research (ZEF), the International Centre for Sustainable Development (IZNE) of the University of Applied Sciences, Hochschule Bonn-Rhein-Sieg (H-BRS) and the United Nations University – Institute for Environment and Human Security (UNU-EHS) Bonn, in collaboration with the Department of Geography (University Bonn), the Medical Faculty (University Bonn) and the Institute for Hygiene and Public Health. Additionally, the Forschungskolleg collaborates with research and implementation oriented partners in each of the four research areas.

Participating Institutions

  • United Nations University, Institute for Environment and Human Security (UNU-EHS)
  • University of Applied Sciences, Hochschule Bonn-Rhein-Sieg (H-BRS), International Center for Sustainable Development (IZNE)
  • Department of Geography, University Bonn
  • Agricultural Faculty, University Bonn
  • Medical Faculty, University Bonn
  • Institute for Hygiene and Public Health (IHPH)
  • Emscher Genossenschaft
  • Ruhr-Verband
  • Ahmedabad, India: Indian Institute of Public Health-Gandhinagar (IIPH-G)
  • Accra, Ghana: Institute of Statistical, Social and Economic Research (ISSER), University Ghana
  • São Paulo, Brazil: University São Paulo (USP)

Duration

2015-2024

Website

NRW Networks 2021: "iBehave: Algorithms of Adaptive Behavior and their Neuronal Implementation in Health and Disease"

The North Rhine-Westphalian state government is supporting five outstanding research networks in pioneering research fields with a total of 81.2 million euros. Among them is "iBehave" under the leadership of the University of Bonn, which is being funded with around 20 million euros.

Humans and animals live in a constantly changing environment. The ability to flexibly adapt behavior to changing demands is critical for all organisms to thrive and survive. Consequently, humans and animals have evolved the ability to make decisions that weigh benefits and costs based on expectations. Difficulties in making such decisions and in implementing them through adaptive motor control are central features of many neurological diseases, yet the underlying processes in the brain are poorly understood. In iBehave, researchers are collaborating across disciplines and species to study survival-related behaviors and their underlying neural networks.

"We want to use computer science and artificial intelligence to better understand how the brain controls behaviors such as decision-making," says Prof. Grunwald Kadow, who is also a member of the Transdisciplinary Research Area "Life and Health" at the University of Bonn. In the next step, the researchers want to transfer their findings to the diagnosis and prediction of neurological diseases in humans. In the medium term, iBehave researchers want to take their technologies and findings out of the lab and into the clinic. "We are convinced that our methods of analyzing behavior and brain activity could represent or bring about a paradigm shift in diagnosis and therapy."

The aim of the funding program is to sustainably strengthen existing topic-related and cross-location research networks of universities, universities of applied sciences and non-university research institutes, to expand them and to increase their visibility and international competitiveness. The support is scheduled to run for four years from August 2022.

Participating Institutions

  • University of Cologne
  • German Centre for Neurodegenerative Diseases (DZNE)
  • Forschungszentrum Jülich GmbH
  • Max Planck Institute for Neurobiology of Behavior – caesar (MPINB)
  • Technische Hochschule Aachen

Duration

2022-2026

Press Release [March 31, 2022].
Website iBehave.

Subproject Computer Science

Prof. Dr. Stephan Wrobel
Chair of Computer Science
Endenicher Allee 19A,
53115 Bonn

Summary

The full economic and societal exploitation of the enormous potential of Artificial Intelligence (AI) requires high technical reliability and sufficient trust on the part of consumers. In order to enable sustainable digitization, the collaborative project CERTIFIED AI will develop quality standards for the trustworthy application of AI as well as a certification process for the expert verification of (technically) assured properties. The holistic approach of the consortium, which combines expertise from computer science, economics, law and philosophy, ensures the social acceptance, feasibility and marketability of the testing methodology to be designed. At the same time, a special focus on the North Rhine-Westphalian economy will sustainably strengthen the local location by giving companies the opportunity to actively participate in shaping the corresponding standards and to develop new business models.
The Chair of Computer Science at the University of Bonn contributes to the joint project the research and (further) development of assurance methods for Kl systems. On the one hand, methods for the verification of neural networks are being developed, which can be used as part of a statistical security argumentation for AI functions. This research may also result in testing approaches for the verification of specific security properties of a neural network. On the other hand, transparency procedures that allow users to understand how an AI system works or explain certain outputs are developed and evaluated. Furthermore, the newly developed methods will be implemented in corresponding demonstrators and made available on the platform for testing tools.

Duration

2021 - 2025

Subproject Philosophy

Prof. Dr. Markus Gabriel
Chair of Epistemology, Philosophy of the Modern and Contemporary Era
Poppelsdorfer Allee 28,
53115 Bonn

Summary

The full economic and societal exploitation of the enormous potential of Artificial Intelligence (AI) requires high technical reliability and sufficient consumer trust. In order to enable sustainable digitization, the collaborative project CERTIFIED AI will develop quality standards for the trustworthy application of AI as well as a certification process for the expert verification of (technically) assured properties. The holistic approach of the consortium, which combines expertise from computer science, economics, law and philosophy, ensures the social acceptance, feasibility and marketability of the testing methodology to be designed. At the same time, a special focus on the North Rhine-Westphalian economy will sustainably strengthen the local location by giving companies the opportunity to actively participate in shaping the corresponding standards and to develop new business models.
The Chair of Epistemology, Philosophy of the Modern and Contemporary Era at the University of Bonn will work at its Center for Science and Thought (CST) to first analyze the use cases of Kt applications with regard to challenging ethical and philosophical aspects. This individual case analysis will be consistently documented in a system of use contexts to be developed in-house. In doing so, we will cooperate particularly closely with our partners at Fraunhofer !AIS and the Chair of Criminal Law and Criminal Procedure Law at the University of Cologne in order to constantly take into account the technological framework and legal aspects in the analysis and development of the systematics. From the analysis, the full economic and societal exploitation of the enormous potential of artificial intelligence (AI) requires a high level of technical reliability and sufficient trust on the part of consumers. To enable sustainable digitization, the collaborative project CERTIFIED AI is developing quality standards for the trustworthy application of AI as well as a certification process for the expert verification of (technically) assured properties. The holistic approach of the group, which combines expertise from computer science, economics, law and philosophy, ensures the social acceptance, feasibility and marketability of the testing methodology to be designed. At the same time, a special focus on the North Rhine-Westphalian economy will sustainably strengthen the local location by giving companies the opportunity to actively participate in shaping the corresponding standards and to develop new business models.
The Chair of Epistemology, Philosophy of the Modern and Contemporary Era at the University of Bonn will work at its Center for Science and Thought (CST) to first analyze the use cases of Kt applications with regard to challenging ethical and philosophical aspects. This individual case analysis will be consistently documented in a system of use contexts to be developed in-house. In doing so, we will cooperate particularly closely with the partners of Fraunhofer !AIS and the Chair of Criminal Law and Criminal Procedure Law at the University of Cologne in order to constantly take into account the technological framework and the legal aspects in the analysis and development of the systematics. From the analysis,operationalized, on the other hand, in concert with the legal minimum requirements, they form the basis for the final design of the other dimensions of the test framework to be technically tested.

Duration

2021 - 2025

Website


BMBF Projects

The Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) supports the implementation of research and innovation projects within the framework of topic-specific as well as open-topic funding programs. The broad range of funding is tailored to important fields of innovation or technology, but also to different challenges and starting conditions. Within the framework of BORA, the discourses of "sustainability" and "digitalization" stand out, in which the university cooperates with the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft, in particular IAIS, SCAI, FKIE, BICC, IDOS and UNU-EHS.

Eine Wissenschaftlerin und ein Wissenschaftler arbeiten hinter einer Glasfassade und mischen Chemikalien mit Großgeräten.
© Volker Lannert / Universität Bonn

Joint BMBF Projects

Coordinator

Dr. Tina Beuchelt
Zentrum für Entwicklungsforschung
Genscherallee 3
53113 Bonn

Summary

Land management and the securing, use, control and governance of land-related natural resources is one of the key drivers for sustainable development in Africa. Sustainable land management should contribute to food security, adaptation of agriculture and forestry to climate change, nature and environmental protection, and be organized in a way that contributes to social justice. Since October 2022, the German Research Ministry (BMBF) is supporting four regional research and development (R&D) projects that will contribute to this aim.

INTERFACES is a support project that will support the BMBF-funded regional projects in their endeavor to drive change for sustainable land management in Sub-Saharan Africa. It will do so through impact-driven support activities which build on networking for the regional projects, science communication, social learning processes and capacity development, and by complementary transfer analyses that enable or facilitate the implementation as well as improve the relevance and outreach of the regional projects' research-based findings.

To achieve changes towards sustainable land management, a fundamental reorganization is needed across technological, economic, political, institutional and social factors, including paradigms, goals and values. Changes must be gender-responsive and socially inclusive, which means that implementation pathways for sustainable land management must be based on thorough gender and power analyses and lead to outcomes that benefit both women and men of different ethnicities, ages, classes, and income levels.

Therefore, INTERFACES has four work areas that together strengthen the integration, coherence and reach of the regional projects with regard to sustainable land management: 1. Knowledge synthesis through dialogues about future visions and theories of change for sustainable land management - together with the regional projects and actors from science, policy and practice, 2. Support of innovation and implementation processes by identifying change strategies to bridge knowledge-behaviour gaps, 3. Communication, networking and knowledge management and 4. Education, e.g. through the integration of teaching content into African and German graduate programs. The methods and results of the regional projects find their way into the training of project partners and students with regard to the training of future "change agents".

The outputs from INTERFACES are expected to include scientific and non-scientific publications, the promotion of transdisciplinary research and social learning approaches in order to produce research results that are relevant to practice, the strengthening of already existing networks on land management issues and linking them up with different African networks to further contribute to the implementation of the R&D results in the area of land management. Finally, INTERFACES will anchor implementation-oriented research in education and training.

Participating Institutions

  • Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa (FARA), Ghana
  • West African Science Service Centre on Climate Change & Adapted Land Use (WASCAL), Burkina Faso
  • University of Business and Integrated Development Studies (UBIDS), Ghana
  • University of Applied Sciences, Hochschule Bonn-Rhein-Sieg (H-BRS), Germany
  • German Institute of Development and Sustainability (IDOS), Germany 

Duration

01.10.2022 - 30.09.2026

Website

Projektbeschreibung
Derzeit erleben wir einen weltweiten Siegeszug des Maschinellen Lernens (ML), insbesondere der tiefen neuronalen Netze (TNNs), der sich nicht nur auf verschiedene Anwendungsbereiche, sondern auch auf mathematische Themen wie inverse Probleme auswirkt. Große vorhandene Datenmengen und die deutlich gestiegene Computerleistung machen die Anwendung und das erfolgreiche Training tiefer neuronaler Netzwerke möglich. Dabei wurden bisher meist sogenannte „end-to-end“-Lernansätze verwendet, für die in der Regel sehr große Mengen strukturierter Daten notwendig sind. Dies führt dazu, dass diese Ansätze in vielen realen Anwendungsfällen aus den Naturwissenschaften, der Medizin und der Industrie nur bedingt einsetzbar sind. Denn meist sind nur komplexe und heterogene Datenbestände vorhanden, und die Generierung zuverlässiger Daten ist teuer und aufwändig. Hier setzt MaGriDo an und verfolgt das Ziel, existierendes Domänenwissen zu integrieren, um so insbesondere die Anzahl der notwendigen Daten für ausreichend genaue TNNs substantiell zu reduzieren.

Im Fokus von MaGriDo stehen praxisrelevante Problemstellungen aus den Materialwissenschaften, vor allem Polymere und Gläser. Zum Beispiel werden Polyurethan-Lacke seit über 60 Jahren für Automobile, Möbel oder Parkett genutzt. Abhängig von den Anforderungen kommen mehrere Grundstoffen zum Einsatz. Gerade durch die große Variationsmöglichkeit dieser Komponenten sind die Eigenschaften (Härte, Lösungsmittelbeständigkeit, Kratzfestigkeit, Hydrolysebeständigkeit, Glanz) wie in einem Baukastensystem einstellbar. Die Vorhersage der Eigenschaften basiert bisher zum großen Teil auf Versuch-und-Irrtum-Methoden und auf jahrelanger Erfahrung der Hersteller und Anwender. Ein weiteres Beispiel ist die Herstellung von Gläsern. Auch hier gibt es eine Vielzahl einsetzbarer Grundstoffen und eine große Variationsmöglichkeit der Prozessparameter. Für diese Probleme sollen Lernverfahren weiterentwickelt, untersucht und auf Daten der Praxispartner angewendet werden. Ein Schwerpunkt liegt auf Regressionsproblemen.

Beteiligte Institutionen
Institut für Numerische Simulation der Universität Bonn: Prof. Dr. Jochen Garcke
Fraunhofer-Institut für Algorithmen und Wissenschaftliches Rechnen SCAI: Dr. Jan Hamaekers
LMU München: Prof. Dr. Gitta Kutyniok
TU Braunschweig: Prof. Dr. Dirk Lorenz

MaGriDo wird im Rahmen des Programms »Mathematik für Innovationen« vom Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung (BMBF) unter der Projektkennziffer 05M20PDB gefördert.

Webseite Universität Bonn
Webseite SCAI

In the project, existing courses are to be extended by practical phases. In the practical phases, the focus will be on aspects of engineering for machine learning, which often play only a subordinate role in classical, theory-oriented courses (lectures, seminars). Furthermore, the project will produce teaching materials (slides, programming examples, but especially teaching videos) that cover the required theory and are available on the Internet. The materials will be published under Creative Common to enable the use by teachers of other universities.

Project P3ML is funded by the Ministry of Education and Research of Germany (BMBF) under grant number 01IS17064.

Participating Institutions
Bonn-Aachen International Center for Information Technology (b-it):
University of Bonn
RWTH Aachen
Hochschule Bonn Rhein-Sieg, University of Applied Sciences (H-BRS)
Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft

Website

The biodiversity of insects, birds and mammals continues to decline. This trend is also reflected to a similar extent in the plant world, especially in the agricultural landscape. However, while climate researchers have been collecting data on climate development for decades and are thus able to demonstrate changes and make forecasts, comparable data material on the Earth's biodiversity is lacking. To date, there is no broad-based and automated monitoring program, nor are the necessary technical prerequisites and infrastructure in place. In the public perception, the topic therefore remains abstract. Reliable figures and conclusions are needed to give it the attention it urgently deserves. So far, however, these have either not been available at all or have been spatially limited, which diminishes their significance. Experts agree that the extent of the problem can only be understood with the help of a sound data basis on the status quo and development of the biosphere.

Coordination
Leibniz-Institut für Biodiversität der Tiere (Zoologisches Forschungsmuseum Alexander König), Bonn
 
Project partners
Fraunhofer FKIE
Friedrich-Alexander University Erlangen-Nuremberg, Chair of Computer Science 12
Friedrich Schiller University Jena, Chair of Digital Image Processing
Society for Scientific Data Processing mbH Göttingen (GWDG)
ION-Gas, Dortmund
Jacobs University Bremen gGmbH
Justus Liebig University Giessen, AG Special Botany
Leibniz Institute for Innovative Microelectronics (ihp), Frankfurt (Oder)
Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, Leipzig
Museum of Natural History Berlin, Animal Voice Archive
Hamburg University of Technology, Institute for High Frequency Technology
Technical University of Munich, Faculty of Computer Science
University of Bonn, Institute for Computer Science 4
University of Bonn, Nees-Institute for Plant Biodiversity
University of Bremen, Zemtrum for Marine Environmental Sciences
University of Bristol, Department of Computer Science

Website

The aim of the project is to demonstrate the viability of organic rice production in the MKD in order to improve product safety, environmental sustainability and livelihoods through organic production and improved land and water management. OrganoRice will holistically analyze the opportunities and challenges for a transition to organic rice production including environmental, social and economic aspects. It will also demonstrate its viability in a pilot region (Vinh Long province) of the MKD. Finally, OrganoRice will draw conclusions, which will help to successfully implement organic rice production systems in other Vietnamese regions. Our working hypotheses are:

Rice based organic farming is a means to improve product safety, environmental sustainability and livelihoods and will help to improve land and water management when measures are taken simultaneously on the farm, landscape and value chain scale.
Conversion from conventional to rice based organic farming can be accomplished faster than 3 years by adaptation of land and water management on the farm and landscape scale.
Suitable tools such as a digital knowledge platform can help farmers and authorities in the transformation process and will enable ecologically and economically sustainable farming in the long run.

Participating Institutions
Can Tho University
Forschungszentrum Jülich
KIAG Knowledge Intelligence Applications
L.U.P.O. GmbH (SME)
University of Bonn, Institute of Crop Science and Resource Conservation (INRES)
United Nations University, Institute for Environment and Human Security (UNU-EHS)
University of Social Sciences and Humanities, Vietnam National University Hanoi

Duration
01.12.2022 - 30.11.2025

Website

The goal of COINS is the sustainable intensification of agriculture, i.e. increasing productivity without converting additional land. The German-African project team is investigating which efficient forms of land management are effective in intensifying agriculture on the same area in a sustainable manner – taking into account local conditions such as water availability and soil properties, but also socio-economic conditions in particular.

In COINS, the relevant options are catalogued and assessed for their suitability in local contexts in study areas in northern Ghana and the Senegal River Valley in northern Senegal. In COINS, a landscape-based approach with modelling, earth observation, and data science is being pursued. This will promote improved cropping practices and management practices of sustainable intensification on productive land and soil rehabilitation practices on degraded land.

The operationalisation of support mechanisms, including comprehensive risk management strategies and an incentive and monitoring program, will set the stage for sustainable land management. Great importance is also attached to the development of a range of advisory services for farmers to implement sustainable intensification, thus supporting the achievement of the goals defined by the stakeholders.

Participating Institutions

  • Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt (DLR), Deutsches Fernerkundungsdatenzentrum (DFD), Weßling
  • Leibniz-Zentrum für Agrarlandschaftsforschung e. V. (ZALF), Müncheberg
  • United Nations University Institute for Environment and Human Security (UNU-EHS), Bonn
  • Universität Hohenheim (UHOH), Stuttgart
  • Universität Bonn (UBonn), Institute of Crop Science and Resource Conservation (INRES), Institute for Food and Resource Economics (ILR), Bonn
  • University of Ghana (UGHA), Soil & Irrigation Research Centre, School of Agriculture, Accra, Ghana
  • United Nations University Institute for Natural Resources in Africa (UNU-INRA), Accra, Ghana
  • West African Science Service Centre on Climate Change and Adapted Land Use (WASCAL), Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso
  • International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) and Manobi Africa Group Company, Dakar, Senegal
  • Initiative Prospective Agricole et Rurale (IPAR), Dakar, Senegal
  • Savanna Agriculture Research Institute (SARI), Tamale, Ghana
  • Agriculture and Climate Risk Enterprise Limited (ACRE Africa), Nairobi, Kenya

Duration
2022-2026

Website

Even though there has been some improvement in the global electricity supply over the past years, more than a billion people still have no access to electricity. The majority of these people live in sub-Saharan Africa, where food and water security is often not a given. A sustainable economy needs to be established in rural areas of West African countries to ensure that basic standards of living are met and to guarantee the well-being of the people who live there. The RETO-DOSSO research project aims to create lasting and sustainable means of subsistence in rural areas; establishing these essential means will also pave the way for the founding of small and microenterprises.

The RETO-DOSSO research project aims to help establish sustainable means of subsistence in rural areas of Niger by establishing a foundation on which residents can earn a livelihood, thus paving the way for rural business activities. To do so, the researchers plan to use electricity generated from renewable energy sources to secure basic needs, such as food and water. Excess electricity from solar stand-alone systems will strengthen the rural economy by creating simple yet innovative business ideas as local sources of income.

Participating Institutions

  • Abdou Moumouni University of Niamey, Niger
  • Foyer-Tech Pvt. Ltd., Niger
  • University of Sciences, Techniques and Technologies of Bamako, Mali
  • Pan African University, Institute for Water and Energy Sciences, including Climate change, Algerien
  • Technische Hochschule Köln, Institut für Technologie und Ressourcenmanagement in den Tropen und Subtropen (ITT)
  • Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn, Zentrum für Entwicklungsforschung (ZEF)
  • Universität der Vereinten Nationen, Institut für Umwelt und Menschliche Sicherheit (UNU-EHS)
  • Forschungszentrum Jülich GmbH
  • Technische Universität München
  • Wertsicht GmbH
  • Yandalux Solar GmbH

Duration
01.07.2020–30.06.2023

Website

The project “digitainable” investigates possible positive and negative impacts of the rapid progress in digitalization and artificial intelligence on sustainable development. For this purpose the project will map the different aspects of digitalization and artificial intelligence systemically onto the more than 200 indicators of the UN Agenda 2030 (and national sustainability strategies derived from the Agenda 2030). The results of the projects should support and objectify the discussions on the relation between digitalization and sustainability.

Duration
Juli 2019 – Juni 2022

Coordination
Bonn Alliance for Sustainability Research, University of Bonn

Beteiligte Institutionen
Bonn Alliance for Sustainability Research:
BICC (Bonn International Centre for Conflict Studies)
German Institute of Development and Sustainability (IDOS)
Hochschule Bonn-Rhein-Sieg, University of Applied Sciences (H-BRS)
Institute for Environment and Human Security of the United Nations University (UNU-EHS) and the University of Bonn with its Center for Development Research (ZEF)

Coordinator
Prof. Dr. Jakob Rhyner
Scientific Director / 
Professor of Global Change and Systemic Risks at the Faculty of Agriculture, University of Bonn
Meckenheimerallee 172
D-53115 Bonn

Website

The Competence Center ML2R became the Lamarr Institute for Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence. All the latest information about the Lamarr Institute can be found here.

The Competence Center Machine Learning Rhine-Ruhr aims at bringing Machine Learning (ML) technologies in Germany to a worldwide leading level. The ML2R Center is funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) as one of six nationwide nodes for AI and ML research and transfer. The Technical University of Dortmund, the Fraunhofer Institutes for Intelligent Analysis and Information Systems IAIS in Sankt Augustin and for Material Flow and Logistics IML in Dortmund and the University of Bonn are involved.

The scientists at ML2R conduct research on Machine Learning (ML) solutions and thus on the technological foundations for Artificial Intelligence. The guiding idea for our research is to build hybrid and modular systems that use both data and knowledge and can be flexibly adapted to a broad range of applications. We design ML applications that are trustworthy, resource-efficient, and work on a wide variety of platforms – from mobile devices to quantum computers.

Participating Institutions
University of Bonn
TU Dortmund University
Fraunhofer Institute for Intelligent Analysis and Information Systems IAIS
Fraunhofer Institute for Material Flow and Logistics IML 

Sprokespersons
Prof. Dr. Katharina Morik
Professor of Computer Science at the Technical University of Dortmund

Prof. Dr. Stefan Wrobel
Professor of Computer Science at the University of Bonn
Director of the Fraunhofer Institute for Intelligent Analysis and Information Systems IAIS

Website


Foundation Projects

Foundations such as the VolkswagenStiftung also fund a large number of research projects at the University of Bonn.

From BORA, the University of Bonn and the DZNE are currently working together in a research network that uses artificial intelligence to analyze distributed data.

uni_vl_Forschung_Pharma_091_Volker Lannert  Universität Bonn.jpg
© Volker Lannert / Universität Bonn

Joint work in projects funded by foundations

Several German research centers, universities and university hospitals want to use artificial intelligence (AI) to jointly evaluate decentralized data on COVID-19. Their approach is based on "swarm learning", a new type of AI technology that makes it possible to analyze distributed data sets while fully complying with data protection requirements. The DZNE is coordinating the three-year research project. The Volkswagen Foundation is funding it with five million euros. Experts from the field of scientific ethics will accompany the project. The aim of the initiative is to pave the way for an international research network and infrastructure to better respond to pandemics. The University of Bonn is involved in the project.

Members of the research consortium
Prof. Dr. Joachim Schultze, Deutsches Zentrum für Neurodegenerative Erkrankungen (DZNE) and University of Bonn, speaker of the consortium
Prof. Dr. Marylyn Addo, University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf
Prof. Dr. Alena Buyx, Technical University of Munich
Prof. Dr. Susanne Herold, University Hospital of Giessen and Marburg
Prof. Dr. Florian Klein, University Hospital Cologne
Prof. Dr. Percy Knolle, Technical University of Munich
Prof. Dr. Leif Erik Sander, Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin, co-speaker of the consortium
Prof. Dr. Martina Sester, Saarland University Hospital
Prof. Dr. Fabian Theis, Helmholtz Munich
Prof. Dr. Birgit Sawitzki, Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin

Press Release DZNE


Transdisciplinary Research Areas (TRAs)

With the funding for excellence, the university has opened up innovation spaces in research and teaching to facilitate cross-faculty and cross-disciplinary collaboration as well as working with practice partners - these are the six Transdisciplinary Research Areas (TRAs) at the University of Bonn.

In the TRAs, top researchers work together across faculty boundaries on key scientific, technological and societal issues of the future.

BORA members work in all six TRAs.

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© Volker Lannert / Universität Bonn

Joint Work in Transdisciplinary Research Areas (TRAs)

Website

BORA cooperation partners
b-it (Bonn-Aachen International Center for Information Technology)
Max Planck Institute for Mathematics (MPIM)
Fraunhofer Institute for Algorithms and Scientific Computing SCAI
Fraunhofer Institute for Intelligent Analysis and Information Systems IAIS
Fraunhofer Institute for Communication, Information Processing and Ergonomics FKIE

Website

BORA cooperation partners
Max Planck Institute for Radioastronomy (MPIFR)
Max Planck Institute for Neurobiology of Behavior – caesar (MPINB)

Website

BORA cooperation partners
German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases (DZNE)
Max-Planck-Institut für Neurobiologie des Verhaltens – caesar (MPINB)
Fraunhofer Institute for Intelligent Analysis and Information Systems IAIS
Fraunhofer Institute for Algorithms and Scientific Computing SCAI

Website

BORA cooperation partners
BICC (Bonn International Centre for Conflict Studies)
Fraunhofer Institute for Communication, Information Processing and Ergonomics FKIE
German Institute of Development and Sustainability (IDOS)
Max Planck Institute for Mathematics (MPIM)
United Nations University, Institute for Environment and Human Security (UNU-EHS)

Website

BORA cooperation partners
Leibniz Institute for the Analysis of Biodiversity Change, Research Museum Koenig

Website

BORA cooperation partners
Bonn Alliance for Sustainability Research:
BICC (Bonn International Center for Conflict Studies)
German Institute of Development and Sustainability (IDOS)
United Nations University, Institute for Environment and Human Security (UNU-EHS)


Research Groups

The University of Bonn and BORA members have a large number of joint professorships. These are closely involved in research and teaching at the university, which also involves the management of research groups.

In this way, excellent research at the university can be combined with practical relevance. This creates a new quality, especially in the application-oriented disciplines. In addition, research and teaching can be combined with professionally operated infrastructure.

This strong interaction is a real locational advantage for students and researchers.

Eine Wissenschaftlerin und ein Wissenschaftler arbeiten hinter einer Glasfassade und mischen Chemikalien mit Großgeräten.
© Volker Lannert / Universität Bonn

Research Groups of joint Professors

Innovation arises at the interface of different areas of science. We specialize in the interface between neurosciences, immunology and metabolic research on one side and genomics and bioinformatics on the other side. High-throughput sequencing down to single-cell resolution plays a pivotal role in our research at the Platform for Single Cell Genomics and Epigenomics at the German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases (DZNE) and the University of Bonn.

Our research comprises both, lab-based experimental approaches as well as computer-based analyses. We are thus in an excellent position to address questions of systems biological nature. However, our expert knowledge is also applied to assist collaborators in neurobiological and immunological research at the DZNE and worldwide.

Our research group is also involved in a variety of national and international research initiatives:

Group Leader

Prof. Dr. Joachim L. Schultze
DZNE / LIMES Institute, University of Bonn
Platform for Single Cell Genomics and Epigenomics

Venusberg-Campus 1
Gebäude 99
53127  Bonn

Prof. Dr. Joachim L. Schultze is Professor of Genomics and Immunoregulation at the University of Bonn and Head of the Platform for Single Cell Genomics and Epigenomics at the German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases (DZNE). 

Website

Research focus
Research in the Bradke lab focuses on how nerve cells grow during development and how these processes can be reactivated to induce nerve regeneration in the injured spinal cord.

This laboratory has a special interest in the skeleton of the cell, called the cytoskeleton.

Bradke and his coworkers showed that manipulation of the cytoskeleton with low doses of anticancer drugs leads to regrowth of nerves and reduction of scarring.

His lab also developed a novel imaging technique that enables visualization of nerves at microscopic resolution within whole tissue.

Group Leader
Prof. Dr. Frank Bradke
Group Leader, German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases (DZNE)
Venusberg-Campus 1/99
53127  Bonn

Prof. Dr. Frank Bradke is Professor at the University of Bonn and Group Leader at the German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases (DZNE) and Investigator of the Bonn International Graduate School of Neuroscience (BIGS Neuroscience).

Research Focus
Alzheimer’s disease is characterized by two hallmarks, extracellular Ab-deposition and intracellular aggregation of hyperphosphorylated tau. Furthermore, synapse and neuron loss correlates well with cognitive decline. Sterile inflammation carried out by microglia that are part of the innate immune system in the brain, are in the focus of current research. We try to understand how these components contribute to learning and memory deficits under AD-like conditions. On the one hand, we investigate the hypothesis that an imbalance of excitation and inhibition related to synapse and neuron dysfunction contributes to neuronal network disturbance. In this direction we investigate how structural and functional deficits of GABAergic neurons in the hippocampus contribute to learning and memory deficits. On the other hand, we investigate how microglia contribute to synaptic and neuronal deficits. Especially, we are interested in the interaction of microglia with individual synapses and neurons and how that impacts on the integrity neuronal network connectivity. To address these questions we use state of the art in vivo imaging techniques and combine them with electrophysiological, histological and biochemical techniques in transgenic mice. Moreover, we use optogenetics and chemogenetics to specifically activate or inactivated neuronal subsets.

Group Leader
Prof. Dr. Martin Fuhrmann
Group Leader, German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases (DZNE)
Venusberg-Campus 1/99
53127  Bonn

Prof. Dr. Martin Fuhrmann is Professor at the University of Bonn, member of TRA 3 Life and Health as well as Group Leader at the German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases (DZNE) and Investigator of the Bonn International Graduate School of Neuroscience (BIGS Neuroscience).

Our aim is to investigate mechanisms that contribute to neurodegeneration and cognitive impairment in Alzheimer's disease, vascular dementia, and acute stroke. We are particularly interested in the role of astrocytes and the neurovascular unit in these conditions. We use techniques such as multiphoton imaging of cellular network activity in awake behaving animals, complex behavioral tasks, cell-type specific transcriptomics, ultrahigh field MRI, electrophysiology, whole-brain clearing and imaging tools, and computational analyses.

We focus on these topics:

  • Role and functional impact of reactive astrocytes in Alzheimer's disease
  • Role of astrocytes and glial scar formation in the pathophysiology of acute stroke
  • Contribution of neuroinflammation to white matter damage in models of vascular dementia
  • Pathophysiology of cerebral microinfarcts and microhemorrhages in vascular cognitive impairment and Alzheimer's disease
  • Cellular mechanisms contributing to blood-brain barrier dysfunction and neurodegeneration in cerebral amyloid angiopathy
  • Interplay of genetic and acquired risk factors in Alzheimer's disease
  • Ultrahigh field MRI as a preclinical biomarker in normal aging, vascular cognitive impairment and Alzheimer's disease

Informed by the mechanistical insight gleaned from these studies, we also conduct translational and clinical trials focused on the pathophysiology and treatment of acute stroke, small vessel disease, post-stroke dementia and cerebral amyloid angiopathy.

Group Leader
Prof. Dr. Gabor Petzold
Group Leader, German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases (DZNE)
Venusberg-Campus 1/99
53127  Bonn

Prof. Dr. Gabor Petzold is Professor at the University of Bonn, Head of the Section of Vascular Neurology at the University Hospital Bonn and Group Leader "Vascular Neurology" at the German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases (DZNE).

Research Focus
We investigate extracellular vesicles (EVs) in neurodegenerative diseases. We are especially interested in EV mediated release of toxic, aggregated proteins, such as a-Synuclein, the determinants of their sorting into EVs and the contribution of their release to toxicity and propagation of disease pathology throughout the brain. We also explore physiological functions of EVs in the CNS, e.g. the effects of oligodendroglial EVs, using primary cell culture and mouse models. Furthermore, we are interested in oligodendroglial pathology in neurodegenerative diseases.

In addition, we are focus on the detection of novel biomarkers from blood and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) which may enable diagnosis and prognosis of neurodegenerative diseases in the prodromal or even preclinical stage. 
An important aspect of our work is the translation from basic research to clinical application and vice versa.

Group Leader
Prof. Dr. Anja Schneider
Group Leader, German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases (DZNE)
Venusberg-Campus 1/99
53127  Bonn

Prof. Dr. Anja Schneider is professor at the University of Bonn, member of the TRA Steering Committee (TRA 3 Life and Health), group leader of the research group "Translational Dementia Research" at the German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases (DZNE)) and Director of Geriatric Psychiatry at the University Hospital Bonn (UKB). She is also an Investigator at the Bonn International Graduate School Neuroscience (BIGS Neuroscience).

Research Focus
We are devoted to the design and implementation of computational tools for scientific applications. We develop novel numerical techniques for the simulation of physical, chemical, engineering and economic processes.

Our group is part of the Division for Numerical Simulation in the Natural and Engineering Sciences at the Institute for Numerical Simulation of the Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn.

Group Leader
Prof. Dr. Michael Griebel
Institute for Numerical Simulation
Friedrich-Hirzebruch-Allee 7
53115 Bonn

Prof. Dr. Michael Griebel is Research Group Leader and Professor of Scientific Computing and Numerical Simulation at the Institute for Numerical Simulation at the University of Bonn and Director of the Fraunhofer Institute for Algorithms and Scientific Computing SCAI.

Reaearch Focus
Numerical Data-Driven Prediction

Group Leader
Prof. Dr. Jochen Garcke
Institute for Numerical Simulation
Friedrich-Hirzebruch-Allee 7
53115 Bonn

Prof. Dr. Jochen Garcke is research group leader and professor for Scientific Computing and Numerical Simulation at the Institute for Numerical Simulation at the University of Bonn and Head of Business Area Numerical Data-Driven Prediction at the Fraunhofer Institute for Algorithms and Scientific Computing SCAI.

Research Focus

  • Meshfree Methods for Partial Differential Equations
  • Multilevel and Algebraic Multigrid Methods
  • Parallel Computing
  • Tree Codes, Spatial Data Structures, Space Filling Curves and Range Queries

We devote ourselves to the development, analysis and implementation of numerical methods for the adaptive and efficient solution of partial differential equations. We are especially concerned with problems involving nonlinearities, singularities and discontinuities. Our focus is on the adaption of algorithms and their components to the problems at hand. Special emphasis is placed on the integration of solutions from particle methods into more conventional continuum methods.

Group Leader
Prof. Dr. Marc Alexander Schweitzer
Institute for Numerical Simulation
Friedrich-Hirzebruch-Allee 7
53115 Bonn                                                                                                                        

Prof. Dr. Marc Alexander Schweitzer is professor and research group leader at the Institute for Numerical Simulation at the University of Bonn and deputy director of the Fraunhofer Institute for Algorithms and Scientific Computing SCAI.

Usability problems are a major cause of many of today’s IT-security incidents. Security systems are often too complicated, time-consuming, and error prone. For more than a decade, researchers in the domain of usable security (USEC) have attempted to combat these problems by conducting interdisciplinary research focusing on the root causes of the end-user problems and on the creation of usable security mechanisms.

Our group is particularly focusing on the human factors of experts such as IT administrators and developers, since many of the most catastrophic security incidents were not caused by end-users, but by developers or administrators. Heartbleed and Shellshock were both caused by single developers yet had global consequences. The recent Sony hack compromised an entire multi-national IT-infrastructure and misappropriated over 100 TB of data, unnoticed. Fundamentally, every software vulnerability and misconfigured system is caused by developers or administrators making mistakes.

We are studying these kind of incidents and developing strategies to prevent them from happening in the future.

Website

Grou Leader
Prof. Dr. Matthew Smith
Fraunhofer FKIE / Institute of Computer Science 4
Friedrich-Hirzebruch-Allee 8
53115 Bonn                                                                                                                          

Prof. Dr. Matthew Smith is a computer science professor at the University of Bonn, head of department of the Institute of Computer Science 4, and head of the Usable Security & Privacy (USP) department at the Fraunhofer Institute for Communication, Information Processing and Ergonomics FKIE.

The Institute of Computer Science 4 is a strategic partner of the Fraunhofer-Institute for Communication, Information Processing and Ergonomics FKIE.

We research and teach on IT security and technical data protection related topics. Under the supervision of Professor Dr. Michael Meier, in particular we work on:

  • Distributed Cooperative Security Monitoring
    - Security monitoring with data and confidentiality protection
    - Pseudonymization of logfiles content and pseudonymization techniques
  • Anomaly Detection
    - Detection and analysis of Internet routing anomalies
    - Intrusion detection and prevention
  • Security in Building Automation
    - Traffic normalization
    - Attack detection and data leakage protection
    - Building automation penetration testing
  • IT Security Awareness
    - Measurements inside enterprises
    - Systematic awareness penetration testing
  • Threat Intelligence
    - Situational awareness and Early Warning Systems
    - Approaches for automatic self defense
  • Applied Cryptography
    - Application of homomorphic encryption mechanisms for
      privacy preservation

Group Leader
Prof. Dr. Michael Meier
Fraunhofer FKIE / Institute of Computer Science 4
Room: 1.019
Friedrich-Hirzebruch-Allee 5
53115 Bonn

Prof. Dr. Michael Meier is full professor and group leader for IT-Security in the computer science department at the University of Bonn, Vice-Dean for Studies and Teaching (Dean of Studies) of the Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences and head of the Cyber Security Department at Fraunhofer FKIE. 

The Institute of Computer Science 4 is a strategic partner of the Fraunhofer-Institute for Communication, Information Processing and Ergonomics FKIE.

Under the direction of Prof. Dr. Frank Kurth, we deal with concrete applications in the areas of audio and speech signal processing, pattern recognition and multimedia information retrieval.

In our research we try to work out general solution methods on a solid foundation of theoretical computer science, algorithms and applied mathematics and to implement them in concrete prototypes. In doing so, we build on results of the research of the Multimedia Signal Processing group of Prof. Dr. Michael Clausen (retired).

Ansprechperson
Prof. Dr. Frank Kurth
Fraunhofer FKIE / Institute of Computer Science 4
Fraunhoferstraße 20
D-53343 Wachtberg

Prof. Dr. Frank Kurth is research group leader at Fraunhofer FKIE and associate professor at the University of Bonn. There he leads the working group "Audio Signal Processing" at the Institute for Computer Science 4, Security and Networked Systems.

The Institute of Computer Science 4 is a strategic partner of the Fraunhofer-Institute for Communication, Information Processing and Ergonomics FKIE.

Sensor Data and Information Fusion is the process of combining incomplete and imperfect pieces of mutually complementary sensor data or non-sensor information in such a way that a better understanding of an underlying real-world phenomenon is achieved. Typically, this insight is either unobtainable otherwise or a fusion result exceeds what can be produced from a single sensor output or other information source in accuracy, reliability, or cost. Appropriate collection, registration and alignment, stochastic filtering, logical analysis, space-time integration, exploitation of redundancies, quantitative evaluation, and appropriate display are part of sensor data fusion as well as the integration of related context information.

Group Leader
Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Koch
Fraunhofer FKIE / Institute of Computer Science 4
Fraunhoferstraße 20
53343 Wachtberg

Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Koch is associate professor at the University of Bonn, head of the research group "Sensor Data and Information Fusion" at the Institute of Computer Science 4, Security and Networked Systems and head of the department "Sensor Data and Information Fusion" at Fraunhofer FKIE.

The Institute of Computer Science 4 is a strategic partner of the Fraunhofer-Institute for Communication, Information Processing and Ergonomics FKIE.

Our group is part of the Chair of Intelligent Analysis and Information Systems (Prof. Dr. Stefan Wrobel) and jointly led by Prof. Dr. Stefan Wrobel and Prof. Dr. Christian Bauckhage.

Our group focuses on the neighboring subfields of computer science known as machine learning (ML), artificial intelligence (AI), and knowledge discovery in databases (KDD, sometimes referred to simply as data mining).  For us, these fields include on the one hand the automated analysis of large data sets using intelligent algorithms that are capable of extracting from the collected data hidden knowledge in order to produce models that can be used for prediction and decision making.  On the other hand, they also include algorithms and systems that are capable of learning from experience and adapting to their environment or their users.

Given the enormous growth of collected and available data in companies, industry and science, techniques for analyzing such data are becoming ever more important.  Today, data to be analyzed are no longer restricted to sensor data and classical databases, but more and more include textual documents and webpages (text mining, Web mining), spatial data, multimedia data, relational data (molecules, social networks).

Research in knowledge discovery and machine learning combines classical questions of computer science (efficient algorithms, software systems, databases) with elements from artificial intelligence and statistics up to user oriented issues (visualization, interactive mining). In our work, we strive to combine theoretical and technical advances in research with real-world applications to show that things really work.

Our group is part of the Chair of Intelligent Analysis and Information Systems (Prof. Dr. Stefan Wrobel) and thus carried by two institutions, namely the computer science department of the University of Bonn, where we are part of Informatik III, and Fraunhofer IAIS, the Fraunhofer Institute for intelligent analysis and information systems, where Prof. Wrobel is also director. 

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Group Leaders
Prof. Dr. Stefan Wrobel
Prof. Dr. Christian Bauckhage
University of Bonn, Institute of Computer Science 3
Friedrich-Hirzebruch-Allee 8
53115 Bonn

Prof. Dr. Stefan Wrobel is Professor of Computer Science at University of Bonn (Chair of Intelligent Analysis and Information Systems) and Director of the Fraunhofer Institute for Intelligent Analysis and Information Systems IAIS.  He is also the Managing Director of the Bonn-Aachen International Center for Information Technology (b-it) and Director of the Lamarr Institute for Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence.

Prof. Dr. Christian Bauckhage is Professor of Computer Science (Pattern Recognition) at the University of Bonn and Lead Scientist for Machine Learning at Fraunhofer IAIS. He ist also Co-Director of the Lamarr Institute for Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence.

Prof. Kaupp's Lab has moved to University of Bonn but used to be part of the MPINB.

Our research group is investigating signal processing in cells. We want to understand how cells detect stimuli and convert them into a physiological response. Cellular signal conversion is a fascinating field of research in which many scientists worldwide are working. A profound understanding of this complex question requires the use of the most modern biological, chemical and physical techniques. That is why biologists, chemists and physicists work closely together in our group.

In particular, we investigate the signal conversion into sensory cells and sperm. Visual cells in the retina of the eye generate an electrical signal using a chain of biochemical reactions. Smelling cells also react to fragrances with an electrical signal. We want to elucidate the molecular mechanisms of signal conversion, in particular the structure, interaction and function of signal proteins. We are particularly interested in receptors, ion channels and transporters. The receptors include the visual pigment rhodopsin and chemoreceptors; the ion channels include the cyclic nucleotide-controlled (CNG) channels from photoreceptors and the pacemaker channels (HCN channels) in the heart and brain; the transporters include the sodium/proton exchanger.

The success of fertilization depends on whether sperm find the egg. Sperm swim with the help of a flagellum. On their way to the egg, they are oriented towards chemical attractants (chemotaxis) or physical stimuli, such as temperature differences in the fallopian tube (thermotaxis) or flow velocities in the surrounding environment (rheotaxis). The "sensory organ" with which sperm register stimuli is mainly the sperm tail, which also serves as a rudder with which they navigate. Although attractants are registered by similar mechanisms as fragrances or light in olfactory or photoreceptor cells, sperm use special signalling molecules that do not occur in other cells. These molecules look, in passing, like old acquaintances known from sensory or heart cells or neurons. However, they have completely different properties and serve other physiological functions. We investigate the cellular signalling pathways and proteins in sperm of sea urchins, zebrafish, salmon, herring, eel, mice and humans. 

Finally, we develop optical switches that are used for photonic control of receptors and ion channels. These are "Trojan horses" that are introduced into the cell and release signalling molecules inside the cell with the aid of light. With the help of these Trojan horses, the cellular signal conversion can be precisely tracked in time and space. These so-called caged compounds in combination with fast mixing and quenching techniques are also used to track conformational changes in proteins in time and space.

Group Leader
Prof. Dr. U. Benjamin Kaupp
Senior Professor at the LIMES Institute of the University of Bonn
Emeritus Director Molecular Sensory Systems
Max Planck Institute for Neurobiology of Behavior – caesar (MPINB) 
Ludwig-Erhard-Allee 2
53175 Bonn

Prof. Dr. Benjamin Kaupp is Senior Professor at the LIMES Institute of the University of Bonn and Emeritus Director Molecular Sensory Systems at the Max Planck Institute for Neurobiology of Behavior – caesar (MPINB).


Clusters of Excellence

Since January 2019, the University of Bonn has six Clusters of Excellence, more than any other university in Germany.

Transdisciplinary Research Areas

Our six Transdisciplinary Research Areas (TRAs) create areas for exploration and innovation in research and teaching at the University of Bonn.

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