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Objective 2 – Stimulating new ideas

The challenge

Science is the quest for new insights. These can emerge by trial and error, along proven pathways or just as likely through more unconventional means, in cooperative projects, open networks and platforms, and in dialogue and exchange with other people and other cultures. Universities must ensure that fundamental research remains the key starting point of their activities. This entails not always pursuing the safest option but having the courage to tread new territory – more often than not without regard to any considerations of practical benefit. To be able to pursue new lines of research – but also to build up pioneering infrastructures, collaborative ventures and new study programmes – universities must be autonomous and free to decide for themselves on the course they take.

Our approach

As a University with an international outlook, with the adjacent technology park and several non-university partner institutes in its immediate vicinity, the University of Bremen is a powerhouse of interaction and inspiration. Its Central Research Development Funding and internal competition have a tradition spanning several decades of encouraging new ideas and bold approaches across the disciplines. We also facilitate potentially risky research with uncertain outcome, without making success a condition for supporting future research endeavours. The Institutional Strategy pursued within the German Excellence Initiative has created new opportunities for early-career researchers, for individual researchers in exploration projects, and for interdisciplinary approaches in small groups – so-called Creative Units. Internationality offers the opportunity to question things that are otherwise taken for granted. Aspects of gender and diversity can open up new perspectives in all fields of research. The University will continue to be open to internal and external impulses and prepared to face the challenge of constant change. Our aim is to be able to quickly translate viable ideas into structural changes and, if need be, also divest ourselves of old ideas.

Our goals

  • To promote the further development of emerging fields outside the high-profile areas with clear and transparent goals and agreed evaluation criteria.
  • To further develop our appointments strategy so as to be able to flexibly recruit outstanding academics of all career stages.
  • To develop improved management and organisational models in the areas of teaching, research, innovation and public engagement as well as for the division of responsibilities between the Faculties, the high-profile areas and the University Executive Board.
  • To make adaptable, cross-disciplinary use of resources and share equipment and services so as to create innovation-friendly conditions for research and to preserve strategic flexibility.
  • To expand our scope for action over the longer term by also attracting private funding providers who contribute to the University’s goals.