Welcome to Bonn, welcome to BORA!
Sustainability science in a Global North-South dialogue
Roundtable Discussion on July 18, 2024
Welcome to Bonn, welcome to BORA!
Sustainability science in a Global North-South dialogue

Bonn Research Alliance (BORA)

For decades, the University of Bonn has maintained strong collaborations with a large number of non-university research institutions in the Bonn region. In order to provide these collaborations with more visibility and a stronger framework, the University of Bonn initiated the Bonn Research Alliance (BORA) in 2018.

The collaboration in BORA promotes the growth of Bonn as a research location through the development of the University of Bonn and its members: in the expansion of the research profile, the support of young scientists and the improvement of research infrastructure. BORA is also a key measure in the successful Excellence Strategy. The network currently consists of 12 scientific institutions in the region, belonging to the four national research communities Fraunhofer, Helmholtz, Leibniz and Max Planck, the regional Johannes Rau research community and the United Nations University (UNU).

On this website we inform about joint activities and successes as well as plans between the University of Bonn and its cooperation partners in BORA.




BORA Members


years of successfull cooperation

Fields of action for cooperation

Promotion of excellent young scientists

With joint supervision and qualification models as well as the offer of good career opportunities after the doctorate, the university wants to support its scientists and contribute to keeping excellent talents in the region.

Recruitment and long-term retention of the best minds

Comprehensive and contemporary concepts are needed to create attractive conditions for the entire scientific career. Joint appointments, tenure-track procedures and the promotion of young scientists strengthen career opportunities and the science region.

Joint approach to research infrastructures

The joint use, further development and new establishment of infrastructures creates a unique research landscape for scientists in the region; e.g. laboratories, large-scale equipment and research data storage are of crucial importance for modern research and sound education.

BORA in a Nutshell

BORA in brief

Read everything at a glance or tell colleagues about BORA? We have compiled all the information briefly and concisely in our info flyer.

Connected with the World

The University of Bonn is part of an extensive global network bringing together institutions of research and higher education with companies and organizations.

BORA in Numbers

© Stabsstelle BORA
  • 2018 Established by the University of Bonn with
  • 12 current members in non-university research, from
  • 5 major non-university research societies in Germany,
  • 3 globally ranked Think Tanks, approaching
  • 3 initial fields of collaboration:

1. Fostering excellent young researchers
2. Recruiting and retaining the best minds
3. Common approach to research infrastructures

  • 26 Joint Appointments
  • 24 Joint high-profile research projects:
    • 4 of which are Clusters of Excellence,
    • 6 of which are CRCs/TRRs.
  • 18 Joint PhD programs:
    • 7 Bonn International Graduate Schools (BIGS),
    • 5 Cluster Schools,
    • 4 International Max Planck Research Schools (IMPRS),
    • 1 NRW program,
    • 1 Leibniz school.
LdUdG_16-11-2022_gh_043_httpsdez8hk-0001_Gregor Hübl  Universität Bonn.jpg
© Gregor Hübl / Universität Bonn

The Bonn Research Alliance (BORA) currently consists of 12 members, some of whom have been working successfully with the University of Bonn for 20 years.

BORA Members

The Fraunhofer Institute for Algorithms and Scientific ­Computing SCAI combines know-how in mathematical and computational methods with a focus on the development of innovative algorithms and their take-up in industrial practice – bringing benefits to customers and partners.

SCAI‘s research fields in Computational Science include machine learning and data analysis, optimization, multiphysics, energy network evaluation, virtual material design, multiscale methods, high performance computing, and computational finance.

In the field of bioinformatics, SCAI offers its customers comprehensive services in information extraction (text ­mining). Here, the most important application field is the ­modelling of neurodegenerative diseases.

Connections to university research are established through the chair of Prof. Dr. Michael Griebel at the University of Bonn.

The Fraunhofer Institute for Communication, Information Processing and Ergonomics FKIE is an institution of the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft and develops technologies and processes with the aim of identifying existence-threatening risks at an early stage, minimizing them and making them controllable. In close cooperation with strategic partners, the institute is dedicated to the entire processing chain of data and information: from acquisition, transmission and processing to their reliable protection.

As part of the largest organization for applied research in Europe, the Fraunhofer Institute for Intelligent Analysis and Information Systems IAIS, based in Sankt Augustin/Bonn and Dresden, is one of the leading scientific institutes in the fields of Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning and Big Data in Germany and Europe. Around 350 employees support companies in the optimization of products, services, as well as in the development of new technologies, and processes, and new digital business models. Fraunhofer IAIS is shaping the digital transformation of our working and living environments: with innovative AI applications for industry, health, and sustainability, with forward-looking technologies such as large-scale AI language models or Quantum Machine Learning, with offers for training and education or for the testing of AI applications for security and trustworthiness.

The Fraunhofer IAIS is at the center of a strong research and transfer network. There are many years of close cooperation in research with the University of Bonn and the "Bonn-Aachen International Center for Centre for Information Technology" (b-it), which is funded by the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft, the University of Bonn, the RWTH Aachen, and the Bonn-Rhein-Sieg University of Applied Sciences.

The German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases (DZNE) was founded in 2009 as a member of the Helmholtz Association and the first member of the German Centers for Health Research (DZG). Today, it consists of ten sites and pools expertise distributed nationwide within a single research institute. More than 1,100 professionals collaborate to understand the causes of diseases of the brain and the nervous system and to find novel approaches for effective prevention, therapy, and patient care. Worldwide, DZNE is one of the largest research institutes dedicated to these topic.

With some 600 employees, Bonn is the DZNE’s largest site as well as the seat of the Executive Board and the central administration. The location’s research covers a wide variety of topics and disciplines, ranging from studies in the laboratory to human clinical studies and population health studies.

The DZNE Bonn cooperates closely with the University of Bonn and the University Hospital Bonn.

The Leibniz Institute for the Analysis of Biodiversity Change (LIB), Museum Koenig Bonn has extended its research in the area of Zoology & Systematics by important tasks around the global biodiversity crisis. Through this approach, the Museum Koenig staff provides an important contribution towards the protection of the biological resources on Earth, because our results are made available to the scientific community and are discussed worldwide. These scientific results contribute to the properly competent economical and political decisions aimed at safeguarding the basis of human life. With this spectrum of tasks, the Museum Koenig does a highly topical and future-oriented research. At the same time it holds an important position within the frame of many and diverse co-operations on international efforts to preserve the biodiversity on Earth.
The Museum Koenig is a member of the Leibniz community (WGL). The Leibniz Association is a network of 97 scientifically, legally and economically independent research institutes and scientific service facilities. Leibniz Institutes perform strategic- and thematically-oriented research and offer scientific service of national significance while striving to find scientific solutions for major social challenges.

Initially founded as a Max Planck institute that investigates the provision of collective goods, the MPI Collective Goods has developed into an international hub that focuses in its research mainly on applied economics and on behavioral law. Moreover, the institute hosts three independent research groups on “moral courage”, “economic cognition”, and “mechanisms of normative change”. The set of researchers from various disciplines, such as economics, law, psychology, and sociology, constitutes a truly interdisciplinary environment that facilitates a cross-fertilization of ideas. The institute’s research expertise covers a wide range of subjects, including the formation of economic preferences, team decision-making, the analysis of credence goods markets, the definition of normative problems that call for legal intervention, the effects of legal interventions, rule generation and rule application, the psychological processes of bystander interventions against norm violations, the cognitive and affective processes leading to choices, and reasoning about social norms.

The Max Planck Institute for Mathematics is a research institute for pure mathematics and belongs to the Max-Planck-Gesellschaft zur Förderung der Wissenschaften. With its well known guest program the institute aims at stimulating the exchange of ideas within the international mathematics community.

Together with the University of Bonn, the MPI for Mathematics runs the International Max Planck Research School on Moduli Spaces.

Since 2022, the MPI for Neurobiology of Behavior – caesar (MPINB) is one of the 85 Max Planck Institutes. As the name implies, the institute's research focus is on Neuroethology, the study of how an animal's nervous system produces behavior. Research at the MPINB is interdisciplinary and spans from imaging neural circuits at the nanoscale to analyzing neural activity during naturalistic behavior in freely moving animals.

The MPINB has two research departments and seven independent research groups (as of Feb 2023). The institute is part of a cluster for neurosciences in the Bonn-Cologne region and has multiple ties with the University of Bonn and the University of Cologne. In collaboration with the University of Bonn and the German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases (DZNE), it runs the International Max Planck Research School (IMPRS) for Brain and Behavior to train the next generation of outstanding scientists.

The MPINB is run by the two scientific directors Jason Kerr and Kevin Briggman.

The activities of the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy (MPIfR) encompass the whole area of astronomical observations throughout the electromagnetic spectrum. Radio astronomy is the main area of research. Theoretical Astrophysics is an additional research field.

To research the physics of stars, galaxies and the universe, radio astronomy looks into subjects like stellar evolution, young stellar objects, stars at a late stage of their evolution, pulsars, the interstellar medium of the Milky Way and other galaxies, magnetic fields in the universe, radio galaxies, quasars and other active galaxies, dust and gas at cosmological distances, galaxies at early stages of the evolution of the universe, cosmic ray(s), high-energy particle physics as well as the theory of stellar evolution and active galactic nuclei (AGN).

As an independent, non-profit organization, bicc (Bonn International Centre for Conflict Studies) deals with a wide range of global topics in the field of peace and conflict research. Our vision is a more peaceful world. Our mission is to conduct critical, problem-oriented, policy relevant research in response to the problems posed by organized violence.

To do so, we engage in active exchanges with scholars and politicians as well as stakeholders in everyday practice and civil society. As a think tank, bicc seeks to engage in a dialogue with NGOs, governments, private organizations, research institutes and universities and well as with interested individuals.

The University of Bonn is home to the Chair of Peace and Conflict Studies held by bicc's Director, Prof. Dr. Conrad Schetter.

The German Institute of Development and Sustainability (IDOS) is one of the world’s leading research institutions and think tanks for global sustainable development. Our work is based on the interplay between Research, Policy Advice and Training. IDOS is building bridges between theory and practice.

The research is theory-based, empirically driven and application-oriented. It provides the basis for the activities in policy advice of the Institute. We develop policy-relevant concepts, advises ministries, governments and international organisations, and refers to current policy issues. The training programmes of the Institute for university graduates and young professionals are integrated into the research and advisory process.

Since March 2020, Prof. Dr. Anna-Katharina Hornidge, Director of IDOS, holds the Chair of Global Sustainable Development at the University of Bonn.

The United Nations University (UNU) is the academic arm of the United Nations and acts as a global think tank. The mission of the Institute for Environment and Human Security (UNU-EHS) is to carry out cutting edge research on risks and adaptation related to environmental hazards and global change. The institute’s research promotes policies and programmes to reduce these risks, while taking into account the interplay between environmental and societal factors.

Research areas include climate change adaptation incorporating insurance-related approaches, environmentally induced migration and social vulnerability, ecosystem services and environmental deterioration processes, models and tools to analyze vulnerability and risks linked to natural hazards, with a focus on urban space and rural-urban interfaces. Research is always conducted with the underlying goal of connecting solutions to development pathways.

Beyond its research mandate, UNU-EHS is actively engaged in education. It offers the joint Master of Science degree programme “The Geography of Environmental Risks and Human Security” with the University of Bonn. UNU-EHS also hosts a number of international PhD projects and courses on global issues of environmental risks and sustainable development. The institute is based in Bonn, Germany.

Family life

Bonn and the region have over 200 day-care centers and more than 100 general and vocational schools

Top 100 companies

There are about 15,000 companies in Bonn. The largest employers include Deutsche Post and Deutsche Telekom.

Experience Bonn

41 museums, 12 cycling and theme tours, 620km of hiking trails and 1001 other ways to discover Bonn and the region.

UN City

Bonn is the German city of the United Nations, with over 1,000 employees in more than 25 UN organizations.

Avatar Gilgan

Dr Sandra Gilgan

Head of Unit

Room 2.006

Dechenstr. 3-11

D-53115 Bonn

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Una Kliemann

Communications Manager

Room 2.006

Dechenstr. 3-11

D-53115 Bonn

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