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From the deep sea up to outer space

Exploring deep-sea biodiversity and tropical coastal ecosystems, conducting atmosphere research to shed light on climate change, conceiving robots to explore distant planets: the scholars and scientists in the U Bremen Research Alliance are involved in some of the world’s most ambitious research projects – from basic research up to and including its application. Research in Bremen means intensive and interdisciplinary cooperation. The twelve members of the Alliance join forces to formulate mutual strategies, establish bridge and cooperation professorships together, and promote young researchers via graduate programs and junior research groups. They complement each other in their strengths.

At the heart of their collaboration are four high-profile areas, in which the members of the Alliance are particularly active:

The high-profile area addresses the role of the oceans and coastal waters, the Polar Regions and the atmosphere in the context of global change as well as in the geological past and present. There is also a focus on the development of large research equipment. Examples for this are the remote-controlled underwater robots that act as the eyes and arms of researchers in the deep-sea environment, or even mobile drilling facilities that can fetch up core samples from depths of up to 2,000 meters. In addition, scientists explore the atmosphere with satellite-supported remote sensing – and in the marine ecosystem they research the adaptation strategies of selected microorganisms.

The core of this high-profile area is the DFG Research Center and Cluster of Excellence MARUM - Center for Marine Environmental Sciences of the University of Bremen, the Institute for Environmental Physics (IUP) and BreMare (Bremen Marine Ecology - Center for Research & Education) of the University of Bremen and the U Bremen Research Alliance partners Alfred Wegener Institute, the Helmholtz Center for Polar and Marine Research (AWI), the Max Planck Institute for Marine Microbiology (MPI), and the Leibniz Center for Marine Tropical Research (ZMT).


Resource-efficient, tailor-made, durable: These criteria are at the center of our work, which covers the entire process chain from the development phase to the industrial application of materials of all kinds – as well as targeted measures for educating young researchers in new technologies. One focus of our work is on the unpredictable behavior of materials during their synthesis, manufacture and use. The goal is to predict such changes at the atomic level and thus contribute, for example, to producing completely new materials with individually tailored and locally varying properties. Another focus is on the development of resource-efficient materials and processes in order to make the production of the high-tech products we use every day, such as cars, airplanes or smartphones, more sustainable, reliable, and efficient.

The scientific exchange in the high-profile area takes place via cooperation in the MAPEX Center for Materials and Processes. MAPEX unites all disciplines of the natural and engineering sciences as well as industrial mathematics and materials informatics. MAPEX operates across the borders of five Faculties of the University and the U Bremen Research Alliance partners Leibniz Institute for Materials Engineering - IWT and Fraunhofer Institute for Manufacturing Technology and Applied Material Research IFAM.


Cognition, robotics, mediatized worlds – these are the three fields in which researchers explore the complex processes that determine human intelligence and perception. They are working on new intelligent and reliable systems that will enable a smooth exchange between humans and machines. The high-profile area has earned an international reputation, not least grounded in the research field of spatial cognition developed in Bremen. The aim is to develop „Living Technologies“ based on the core cognitive elements found in products such as smartphones and domestic robots. Such artificial intelligence systems are not only intended to assist humans in everyday applications: At the same time, the high-profile area recognizes that humans must always have rights to data privacy and control over the use of their data.

The high-profile area operates across the borders of six Faculties of the University of Bremen and the U Bremen Research Alliance partners German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence Bremen (DFKI), DLR Institute of Space Systems, and Fraunhofer Institute for Digital Medicine (MEVIS).


Prevention, health care and nursing are at the center of the health and epidemiological research done by partners in the U Bremen Research Alliance. For example, the field examines how lifestyles and the environment contribute to the development or prevention of chronic diseases; or which health promotion measures are most effective and efficient. Particular attention is paid to questions of equity in healthcare. A further focus is on the relationship between health and the aging process. The overall goal is to gain fundamental insights for the preservation and improvement of health.

The U Bremen Research Alliance partners Leibniz-Institut für Präventionsforschung und Epidemiologie - BIPS and the University of Bremen cooperate closely in this high-profile area.