To forge a bridge between technological research and social responsibility – this was the founding mission of Technische Universität Berlin in 1946. We regard as one of our foremost tasks the exploration and shaping of technological and societal change using interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary approaches, while offering our students outstanding preparation for addressing these challenges.
By pursuing a holistic strategy, we contribute in an innovative manner to shaping the future. In doing so, we acknowledge our responsibility – a responsibility which is historically based – to conduct research and teaching for the benefit of society as a whole, while remaining true to our ethical values and our commitment to a humanistic approach.
Against this background, research and teaching in the natural, planning and engineering sciences take place on equal footing, and in close cooperation, with the humanities and the educational and social sciences.
In order to master the approaching challenges, and in line with TU Berlin’s mission statement, the Executive Board has reflected on questions such as:
In this context, the Executive Board launched a strategy process, during which we first drafted a strategy for the future, which – for the first time in the history of our university – was then further developed in a participatory dialog with the university members.
All TU Berlin members were given the opportunity to submit comments and make suggestions. Based on the results, the Executive Board identified ten fields of action that are of strategic importance to our university.
TU Berlin has placed its focus on the advancement of research and technology for the benefit of our society. To this end, we conduct interconnected research at the highest international level into fundamental principles and their applications. Making use of our entire spectrum of subjects, we strive to establish new future-related fields of research and promote inter-faculty research activities in networks with external players.
The range of disciplines at TU Berlin makes it possible to assume a holistic approach to research dealing with the urgent issues of the future. The research success of TU Berlin is as much due to the outstanding performance of many scientist working on their own individual projects (funded, for instance, with individual grants from the German Research Foundation or ERC grants) as it is to their collaborative activities (in clusters of excellence, Knowledge and Innovation Centers [KICs], collaborative research centers, Einstein Centers, research campuses, etc.) and other cooperative ventures with industry (for instance, BASCat, Industry and Science Campus Berlin – IWCB). TU Berlin has supplemented its competencies by building strategic networks through targeted cooperation with players from the worlds of science, business, politics and civil society. Conducting integrative research in interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary research cooperation groups is a key element of TU Berlin’s research strategy. This means that we prioritize joint research activities, while placing the greatest value on attracting top-level researchers. The basis for all this is created by the strategies coordinated with the faculties for the purpose of promoting collaborative projects in fundamental and applied research.
High-quality top-level research is only possible if global perspectives are taken into account and global demands are met – here, we view leading universities around the world as our benchmark. We strive to expand our own skills and competencies, and enhance our options for shaping TU Berlin by entering into strategic alliances with other universities and non-university research institutions – at the regional, national and international level.
Over the years, TU Berlin has strategically strengthened at various levels its long-nurtured collaborative network with other research institutions.
Non-university research institutions at the regional and national level (Fraunhofer Society, Helmholtz Association, Leibniz Association, Max Planck Society) are already strategically important partners with whom TU Berlin cooperates in major research projects and joint projects. No fewer than 58 of around 345 professors at TU Berlin have been jointly appointed with other research institutions. Together with the medical faculty Charité-Universitätsmedizin Berlin, TU Berlin acquired a new research building in 2018, where research is conducted on the “The Simulated Human.”
A special form of scientific cooperation can be found within the city limits of Berlin: in 2016, TU Berlin, in conjunction with Freie Universität Berlin, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin and their joint medical faculty, Charité-Universitätsmedizin Berlin, decided to establish the Berlin University Alliance. As part of the 2018 Excellence Strategy, TU Berlin and the other Berlin universities jointly submitted an application for funding as a consortium of Universities of Excellence. This requires close cooperation in a variety of strategic fields. The implementation of the projects outlined in the application will strengthen TU Berlin as an individual university, while raising Berlin’s profile as a research and science location in the international arena.
Strategic partnerships with selected universities in Europe and Australia demonstrate the strength of our engagement in these regions. Through its regional presence, TU Berlin – partly in alliance with the Berlin universities – currently has local representation in Brussels, Cairo and São Paulo; in the future, this will also extend to North America. Furthermore, TU Berlin has supported international research, teaching, and administrative exchange through an active network of global partnerships. A variety of such partnerships can be found in Europe, Australia, the USA, Israel, China, the MENA region and in research cooperation projects with the Global South.
We aim to promote the transfer of knowledge and technology between our university and the world of practice by means of reciprocal exchange during the entire research process. We endeavor to enter into strategic alliances with selected players from the spheres of business, politics, culture and civil society. In addition, we will promote the transfer of innovation through spin-offs and support members of TU Berlin in their efforts to establish companies. We are dedicated to communicating research results of societal relevance to the general public, advising political players, and engaging in active exchange with civil society, as well as non-university networks and players, thereby enriching our research and teaching activities.
For many years, TU Berlin, as a university of technology, has made the transfer of knowledge and technology a major focus of its activities. We consider this focus to be on equal footing with research and teaching. Technology exploitation plays an important role and is successfully supported by various structures within our university. With regard to its entrepreneurial activities, TU Berlin occupies a leading role in Germany. Our university has enabled transfer in the sense of reciprocal exchange in different forms and formats – not only in cooperation with the private sector, but with all sections of society. The focus in this regard has been on communication, application and consultation.
TU Berlin is already engaged in intensive communication about science and scholarship to strengthen trust in science, research and scientific findings, thereby fostering academic freedom in a national and international context. We increasingly make use of new means of communication for the purpose of initiating and maintaining dialog.
For many years now, TU Berlin has been working closely, and successfully, with various partners in the private sector; examples here include T-Labs (Deutsche Telekom AG), BASCat (BASF SE), the Industry and Science Campus Berlin (IWCB, Siemens AG), and the Einstein Center Digital Future (ECDF). Issues concerning society itself are specifically addressed at the research campus Mobility2Grid (Federal Ministry of Education and Research), at Campus Charlottenburg, as well as at two EIT KICs, in each of which TU Berlin is involved as a Core Partner.
TU Berlin regards transdisciplinarity as a forward-looking research principle, for both academic and non-academic society. Research questions are formulated and explored thematically and methodologically from the perspectives offered by various disciplines and, beyond the borders of the academic world, by partners from the world of practice – and this all takes place throughout the entire research process. Participatory research already has a long tradition at TU Berlin and is visible, for instance, in the activities conducted in the field of planning and social sciences or at the Center for Technology and Society (ZTG).
We endeavor to strengthen TU Berlin’s standing as an attractive educational institution that enables students to acquire the professional and social skills they need to actively shape not only their own individual futures, but also the future of our society. Our wide range of subjects enables students to pursue a transdisciplinary academic education that reflects the University’s social and global responsibility. Continued academic education and the transfer of knowledge and technology are integral components of the courses offered at TU Berlin and enable lifelong learning. We strive to continuously improve the quality of teaching by encouraging a dialog between teaching staff and students, with the supplementary involvement of partners from the world of practice, and by providing means to professionalize teaching.
With about 34.500 students, around 23% of whom are international students, TU Berlin is one of the largest academic educational institutions for technology in Germany. In its so called Ziethen Manifesto of 2012, TU Berlin committed itself to an approach to teaching that places students and their learning processes at the center. Since then, we have already implemented a number of measures that have noticeably raised the importance of teaching. All 140 study programs offered at TU Berlin already pursue the overarching goal of educating students to have an open-minded attitude, to think critically, to act responsibly, and to possess a specialist grasp of their subjects. Broadly conceived bachelor’s programs – mostly taught in German – are conceptualized to lay the foundations for further studies in specialized, English-taught master’s programs. In 2018, with a view towards the further development of its teaching practices, TU Berlin formulated as a permanent aspiration a new Mission Statement for Teaching. This formulates as an objective a modern, future-oriented and practice-oriented form of education that opens up a range of different career paths for students. This Mission Statement will serve as the basis for all of the regulations, guidelines and strategies pertaining to teaching at TU Berlin that are to be implemented over the coming years.
With the launch of the School of Education (SETUB) in 2015, TU Berlin has consolidated its expertise in the field of teacher training and aligned it to its new guiding principles. Likewise, it is imperative that we implement these principles consistently in the future.
A modern and efficient administration is an essential requirement for excellence in research and teaching. Every day, the University’s administrative staff, whether in the central departments and sections or in the faculties and institutes, strive to achieve this goal.
It is also essential to keep pace with the developments and challenges of modern science management and to develop structures and processes to fully harness the potential of administration as a means of providing support to scientific activities. University-specific reform measures, a growing university, the increasing digitalization of work and the increased rate of work which this demands represent challenges for TU Berlin, as do changes in society and the shortage of skilled labor. The entire university system is subject to a strong dynamic of change leading to an increased importance and increasingly visible role for units providing scientific support.
TU Berlin offers its staff a wide-ranging continuing education program to equip them with the skills to meet the changing requirements of their jobs and to enable them to develop their personal skills. As a family-friendly university, TU Berlin offers a range of options to help achieve a good work-life-balance. This includes models for part-time work, flextime and home office.
Participative processes are part of the University’s daily working culture. Through their involvement in various working groups, TU staff participate in the joint shaping of processes with University management.
We aim to provide attractive and challenging jobs and trainee positions to all our staff members. Utilizing a holistic approach to personnel development, we endeavor to open up innovative opportunities for individual development, taking into account the many different possible career paths. The range of what we have to offer in this area has been partly defined together with the Berlin University Alliance and is aimed at our junior scholars, permanent staff members in the academic field, and administrative staff. It is our goal to successfully attract and retain in the long term top-level researchers from Germany and beyond. Furthermore, we aim to cooperate with our highly successful alumni to gain support for our efforts in this field.
Attracting, promoting and retaining the brightest minds – this is decisive for TU Berlin’s long-term performance and applies to research, teaching and administration. Today, TU Berlin is already characterized by its strong international profile and the growing diversity of its members. Equally diverse are the fields and contents of work, the ways of working, and, last but not least, the biographies, talents and professional backgrounds of TU Berlin’s members. This diversity must be adequately taken into account and expanded. Equal opportunities, internationalization and equality are the guiding principles of action in all areas of responsibility. In order to ensure the implementation of these principles in the long term, TU Berlin is currently engaged in a participatory process with the target groups to further develop its personnel policy as an integral part of its personnel development.
The members of TU Berlin are committed to the principle of sustainable development through the connection of ecological, economic and social issues. They aspire to meet the requirements of the present, while seeking not to burden future generations.
We are committed to the 17 Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations. Sustainability, in this regard, includes all of TU Berlin’s fields of activity. We research and teach on the topic of sustainability, and the University’s operations increasingly follow the principles of sustainable, environmentally-friendly development. With the establishment of a Sustainability Council that advises the Executive Board, the Academic Senate and the faculties, TU Berlin has taken a further step towards addressing the issue in a comprehensive and systemic manner. The next steps are the development of a sustainability strategy and the application of the German Sustainability Code for Higher Education Institutions. To include all TU Berlin members, the Executive Board initiated a competition of ideas and provided funds to implement the winning concepts. Many of the winning ideas have been included in new teaching projects. Since 2017, TU Berlin has offered a sustainability certificate program that is open to all students.
In our teaching, research and transfer of knowledge and technology we aim to explicitly consider and embrace the plurality of world views and diverse ways of life. The members of TU Berlin shall actively engage in promoting equal opportunities for all individuals and in creating family-friendly study and working conditions. We strive to ensure equal opportunities and non-discrimination at all levels of the University organization.
TU Berlin views the diversity of its members as a driving force for creative scientific work and the academic support that underlies it. In this regard, diversity means the profile of students and staff members in terms of age, disabilities and chronic illnesses, ethnic background, gender, ideological outlook, social background and sexual orientation. TU Berlin understands diversity management as being the conscious and resource-oriented engagement with diversity at the University. All members of our university shall actively promote and support in an appreciative and respectful manner the acceptance of diversity and ensure equal opportunities as well as freedom from discrimination throughout TU Berlin. TU Berlin is committed to creating a structure and promoting a culture of research, work and studies that opens up and integrates the largest possible spectrum of opinions, perspectives and experiences. In doing so, we not only connect with the diversity of Berlin as a city, but also with all global-oriented life visions.
TU Berlin is strongly committed to being a gender-equitable university. As early as 2015, it set itself qualitative and quantitative targets for each faculty in order to increase the proportion of women. In addition, it has drawn up a comprehensive portfolio of measures to achieve these targets. The measures range from attracting female pupils and supporting female students in the completion of their studies to recruiting female junior scholars. With regard to students, early successes have already been registered as a result. TU Berlin’s gender-equality work is focused on three areas: strengthening the advancement of women, further developing the organization, and changing the organizational culture.
At TU Berlin, we regard digital transformation as an important field of research and we engage our entire spectrum of disciplines to make significant contributions to society. Furthermore, all our other areas of activity benefit from the application of digital technologies by proactively using them for innovative design and development.
Digital transformation is fundamentally changing everyday university life in all areas of activity: research, teaching, studies and administration. It is in TU Berlin‘s own interest to promote this process intensively and proactively. However, digitalization is not an end in itself, but rather a way to simplify work procedures and increase productivity.
In addition, TU Berlin regards digital transformation as an object of strategic importance in its research. TU Berlin embraced the topic of digitalization early on, thereby making a significant contribution to Berlin establishing itself as Digital Capital.
The use of digital technologies already extends to all fields of science and research; digital models, simulation, visualization, and the analysis of large quantities of data have already become integral parts of the sciences. Nevertheless, from TU Berlin’s point of view, digital transformation also leads to fundamental changes in the way research is conducted and knowledge exploited, as well as in research processes and the way results are handled; all of this gives rise to new challenges.
For TU Berlin, the provision of open access to academic publications is a desirable paradigm shift in dealing with research results. For this purpose, TU Berlin has already formulated its own open access strategy. In addition, TU Berlin supports the provision of open access to data generated at the University (open data), thus enabling the data’s reusability. In this regard, the FAIR principle (findable, accessible, interoperable, reusable) is the starting point for all considerations. To this end, a repository for various types of data was set up in 2016.
TU Berlin regards itself as a learning organization that provides its staff members with continuous development opportunities. We expect all status groups to contribute to the creation of modern organizational and managerial structures and to participate in the organization of everyday university life. We are committed to operating our facilities in a safe, healthy, resource-saving and environmentally conscious manner.We are open to innovation and consider it the basis for the continuous renewal of our university.
TU Berlin is aware that the strength of its performance, its adaptability, and its ability to renew itself in a highly dynamic environment are determined significantly by competent and committed staff members – both in research and administration. It is not just people who should be continuously developed through appropriate measures for individual growth aimed at staff members; this should apply equally to the entire organization, including its rich and diverse culture.
The tasks, structures and processes at TU Berlin are constantly subjected to review and, if necessary, adapted, expanded or simplified. Digitalization is used as a means to simplify and accelerate processes and, at the same time, create transparency about information, thereby laying the basis for decision-making and control processes. Among other measures implemented in recent years, TU Berlin has pooled and concentrated the competencies within its organization, thereby promoting internationalization and the transfer of knowledge and technology. This has resulted in new, focused structures that include easily identifiable contact persons and simplified procedures that strengthen and better support TU Berlin’s activities.
Changes such as these require knowledge, participation and the willingness to change on the part of those involved. TU Berlin is aware of the fact that the possibility to participate at the levels of everyday university life is essential for the University’s further development and its ability to renew itself. To this end, various steering committees have been established that work together to continuously develop the organization. Additional projects focused on change are conceptualized and carried out with the involvement of the staff members concerned, and also include training measures for the latter.