We did it! On 19 July 2019 at 16:13 loud cheers erupted from those watching the live stream at Urania Berlin. Federal Minister of Education and Research Anja Karliczek had just announced the results of the Excellence Strategy competition of the federal government and states. This was the first year Technische Universität Berlin was awarded the title of Excellence – in a consortium together with Freie Universität Berlin, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, and Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin.
As the Berlin University Alliance, the four partners have been implementing their concept “Crossing Boundaries toward an Integrated Research Environment” since 1 November 2019. Their goal: to shape and develop the science hub of Berlin into an integrated research area.
The presidents of the participating Berlin universities and the chief executive officer of the Charité issued this joint statement the day of the announcement: We are very happy to have an opportunity to work even more closely together and to further develop our cooperation, which has steadily evolved over the past three decades. Crossing boundaries together – with this motto we intend to usher in a new era of cooperation and establish a unique alliance with international appeal. We are extremely proud of our researchers and staff members and all of the many individuals who contributed to this stupendous success – we wish to thank them all for their dedication!”
A total of 17 universities and two university consortia had applied for the special grants, which include funding and enhanced reputation. 11 were awarded the coveted grant. The Berlin University Alliance is among them and is the first and only consortium with excellence status in Germany. Following the funding approval for seven Clusters of Excellence in the first funding line in September 2018, this is the second major success for Berlin in the German Excellence Strategy.