Interdisciplinary cooperation is a key feature of research at the University of Bremen. Inside the University, interdisciplinary research exists primarily across faculties within the high-profile areas. In addition, University researchers cooperate in numerous projects with top-level non-university research institutes on the campus and in the Land of Bremen. Collaboration is organized through formal cooperation agreements. On the basis of these agreements it has been possible to establish a large number of intensive cooperation projects and collaborations between the outstanding researchers at the University of Bremen and at the excellent non-university research institutions. For instance, the non-university research institutions hold joint professorships at the University and conduct collaborative research with their University colleagues in a Cluster of Excellence and DFG Collaborative Research Centres. These professors also supervise master and doctoral theses autonomously.
Since 2007 alone, it was possible to double the number of research institutions located in Bremen (from four to eight) belonging to Max-Planck, Helmholtz, Leibniz and Fraunhofer societies. Another new arrival is the German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence. The Institute for Epidemiology and Prevention Research is now an associated member of the Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz-Association. These research institutions are financed mainly from federal funds. Further eleven top-level research institutions are funded by the Land of Bremen and, last not least, there is the Research Center for Eastern European Studies, which is funded by the Land of Bremen and the Standing Conference of Länder Ministers of Education.
The Institutional Strategy “Ambitious and agile” of the Excellence Initiative in 2012 anchors the high-profile areas in international and national top-level research. The Strategy’s measures M1 (New Governance), M2 (Bridge Professorships) and M3 (Cooperative Junior Research Groups) strengthen the cooperation with non-university research institutions and other neighboring universities.