National Biodiversity Centre
The German Research Foundation DFG intends to establish a National Research Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research in the region around Leipzig, in order to consolidate the competences from universities and extramural research institutions existing already in the area. The new research centre will be funded for an initial period of four years and is to receive some 33 million Euro during that time. Leipzig will be the central site for this institution, which is to be called "German Centre of Integrative Biodiversity Research – iDiv".
"The German Centre of Integrative Biodiversity Research is yet another example for a future-oriented cooperation model between universities and extramural research institutions", says Prof. Dr Jürgen Mlynek, President of the Helmholtz Association. He continues to say, that the critical mass achieved by this consolidation has the potential of rendering the Leipzig institution an internationally visible beacon of biodiversity research and that it could become the nucleus for other strategic networks marked by a high degree of participation from Helmholtz centres.
In addition to the centre's scientific concept, the scientific and structural conditions at the three neighbouring sites proved to be particularly positive arguments towards establishing the centre.
Already now, the three universities of Leipzig, Halle and Jena maintain numerous research projects as regards biodiversity- related sciences, some even on an international level. The same applies to the involved extramural research institutions, such as the Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research - UFZ and the Max Planck and Leibniz Institutes. The cooperation between the three universities and the extramural institutions was assessed exemplary.
"The iDiv opens up the unique perspective of establishing together with our partners an absolute world-class centre of the highest degree. This will require us to appoint the best of the best to staff the eight new professorships: Two from each university and two from the UFZ”, said Prof. Dr Georg Teutsch, Scientific Director of the UFZ.