Rektor Professor Dr.-Ing. Gerhard Sagerer: 'We are delighted with the decision. Once again, Bielefeld University shows that it is a top player and can hold its own compared to the best universities in Germany and the world. We are proud of this further recognition of our university with its strong research tradition and thank the academics responsible for these successful projects. It is their work and their passionate commitment that have first made this success possible'. The Cluster of Excellence CITEC and the Graduate School BGHS are being funded for five more years until October 2017 in the third and final round of the Excellence Initiative. The Cluster of Excellence CITEC has applied for 33.7 million Euros and the Graduate School BGHS for 6.6 million Euros.
The speakers for the projects receiving further funding CITEC and BGHS see this special day as an opportunity not only to look back over the previous funding period since 2007 but also to look towards the future. Professor Dr. Helge Ritter (CITEC) says: 'Our renewed success in the Excellence Initiative is an important milestone for us and an incentive to pursue our work with even more vigour. The robot head Flobi developed in Bielefeld, our research on robot hands with manual intelligence, and the interactive virtual robots MAX and Vince have gained increasing international attention. With the new research team, we now want to find out how we can get a greater number of intelligent sub-skills to collaborate in such ways that the systems can fill in knowledge gaps by themselves, adapt to individual persons and tasks, and be helpful and useful aids in carrying out practical everyday tasks. This will help us to expand our very good international position even further and strengthen the cooperation between CITEC and both local partners and research institutes in Europe, Japan, and the USA'.
The Director of the Graduate School BGHS, Professor Dr. Thomas Welskopp, also draws a positive balance: 'Currently, more than 200 graduate students are working on their doctorates at the BGHS and laying the foundations for their future careers. The range of dissertation topics extends from identity formation in Korean nurses working in Germany to using the example of birds as domestic pets to study the history of the relation between people and animals. The creative environment in which this Graduate School was founded attracts them to us and will radiate beyond the Excellence Initiative'.
The proposal for a new Cluster of Excellence: 'Communicating Comparisons: From the Onset of Modernity to World Society' (ComCom) was not approved. Rektor Sagerer: 'The academics involved in the projects put in a lot of good work, and I thank them for all their efforts. We shall have to wait for the expert reviews from DFG and the German Council of Science and Humanities and then decide what other types of funding are available to pursue these exciting projects in any case'.
Provided by University of Bielefeld
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