Berlin has a unique diversity and spatial density of research institutions. The capital city’s non-university research landscape in particular is diverse and covers a wide range of topics. Together with the universities that make up the Berlin University Alliance (BUA), non-university research institutions are key location factors.
During the last years, the Berlin senate strongly supported the interest of science and research in the capital. This commitment should be continued and even be expanded. To achieve this, it is crucial to now pave the way, claimed Berlin Research 50 (BR50) an initiative that was formed in spring 2020. This is essential to strengthen Brain City Berlin and the Berlin-Brandenburg region as research location.
The institutions state that it is necessary to intensify the already existing cooperation between the non-university institutions and with the universities, universities of applied sciences, and the Charité and to strengthen the important role of the Einstein Foundation in terms of the cross-institutional scientific col-laboration.
Ten key points
During a general assembly that took place on September 9th 2021 at the Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine in Berlin Buch, the BR50 institutions agreed on a joint position paper. Within three sections they name 10 key points that are important for the non-university research and that should be addressed by the future senate on state level as well as on the national level:
Attracting the best minds to the metropolitan region
1. Simplification and promotion of joint professorships
2. Equal rights for junior research group leaders
3. International network and diversity as location factors in a global research economy
Ensuring framework conditions for excellent research
4. Taxation of research cooperation hampers science
5. Promotion of infrastructure for excellent research
6. Ensuring of adequate spatial arrangements for research
Recognising and promoting diversity in science
7. Honest and realistic communication on animal experimental research
8. Expansion of support for small and individual projects
9. The Berlin-Brandenburg Metropolitan Region as a healthy place to live
10. Venture capital for a start-up science in Berlin
Attract cutting edge scientists from all over the world
“The research in Berlin is extraordinary diverse and make the capital shine, while the contribution of the non-university institutions, under the umbrella of BR50, is more visible than ever.” States Thomas Sommer, founding coordinator of the Unit Life sciences in BR50 and scientific director of the MDC (in-terim). “We envision to strengthen the connection of the scientists beyond all institutional and discipli-nary borders, because interdisciplinarity is a requirement for good science. “
„Our society has to face huge challenges“, states Michael Hintermüller, founding coordinator of the Unit Technology and Engineering in BR50 and director of the Weierstrass Institute for Applied Analy-sis and Stochastics at the Forschungsverbund Berlin e.V.: “With BR50 we have the chance to promote future topics like artificial intelligence and quantum technology, technological sovereignty, health, cli-mate change and biodiversity by a better exploitation of the synergies of all research institutions in Berlin.”
“To upgrade Berlin towards a worldwide leading research metropolis, it is essential to have new programs that attract cutting edge scientists from all over the world to Berlin enhancing the diversity in science”, states Ulrich Panne, founding coordinator of the Unit Natural Sciences in BR50 and presi-dent of the Bundesanstalt für Materialforschung und -prüfung (BAM). “And, frameworks for state-of-the-art laboratories and IT infrastructure need to be established and usable by all research institutions in Berlin.“
“Science and science politics can function on solidarity only. That is essential to create understanding and trust – a necessary basis for investments, innovation and visions” emphasizes Jutta Allmendinger, founding coordinator of the Unit Social Sciences and Humanities in BR50 and president of the Berlin Social Science Center (WZB) „BR50 is a strong bridgehead and enables science politics that works on national and international level for the well-being of science and society while setting a strong signal for Berlin as science metropolis.“