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Triumph in the first round of the Excellence Initiative: Research into "Quantum Frontiers" and "Optical Systems" moves into the next round

A major success for Leibniz Universität Hannover: two research proposals headed by the university and two joint proposals have cleared the first hurdle in Germany’s Excellence Strategy.

The draft proposals for the projects QuantumFrontiers (Light and Matter at the Quantum Frontier: Foundations and Applications in Metrology), Coordinators: Prof. Dr. Karsten Danzmann, Prof. Dr. Piet O. Schmidt, Prof. Dr. Andreas Waag, and Phoenix-D (Photonics, Optics, and Engineering Innovation - Across Disciplines), Coordinators: Prof. Dr. Uwe Morgner, Prof. Dr. Ludger Overmeyer, Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Kowalsky, have been invited to submit full proposals, and could thus receive funding as Clusters of Excellence from 1st January 2019.

Two further projects where Leibniz Universität is a co-applicant have also been invited to submit full proposals: REBIRTH (From Regenerative Biology to Reconstructive Therapy - Translation 4 Success) jointly with the MHH; Coordinator: Professor Dr. Dr. h.c. Axel Haverich, and Hearing4All (Research for personalized treatment of hearing deficits) jointly with MHH and Carl von Ossietzky Universität Oldenburg, Coordinators: Prof. Dr. Dr. Birger Kollmeier (Carl von Ossietzky Universität Oldenburg) and Prof. Dr. Lenarz (MHH). For further information please see the links at end of the press release.

The final funding decision on the 45 to 50 Clusters of Excellence over the whole country will be taken in September 2018. A Cluster of Excellence is funded for seven years in the first instance with the option of a second funding period. A Cluster of Excellence can be funded to the amount of 3 to 10 million Euros per year.

"I am absolutely delighted and proud that our scientists have managed to clear this crucial hurdle," says Prof. Dr. Volker Epping, President of Leibniz Universität Hannover. "This round of the Excellence Initiative is subject to extreme competitive pressure. The success demonstrates all the more the quality of top-level research in the designated priority areas of our university. Our role now is to provide every support to the scientists involved for the next decisive phase. My thanks go also to those scientists involved in the research proposals that were not selected for their extraordinary commitment and creative drive. I am sure that their work can be incorporated positively in further applications."

The scientists have been working for some time in partnerships on the topics with which they are applying for Excellence Funding. Out of the four proposals headed by Leibniz Universität, the following have been invited to submit full proposals:


(Coordinators: Prof. Dr. Karsten Danzmann, Prof. Dr. Piet O. Schmidt, and Prof. Dr. Andreas Waag)

Light and Matter at the Quantum Frontier: the scientists in the research partnership are concerned with new measuring technology at the nano-level. Physical units such as mass, length and time should become more precise at this extremely small scale. Here targeted application of quantum mechanics effects aims to improve measuring accuracy. A wide spectrum of experts in physics, astronomy, geodesy and geoinformatics, semiconductor research, circuits and integrated systems are collaborating here.

This fundamental research will provide the basis for many different innovations, for example for improved observation of the earth and navigation. This should enable new developments of materials at the nano-level and progress in semiconductor technology, which are a key element of almost all electronic devices. Apart from Leibniz Universität Hannover, institutions involved in QuantumFrontiers are TU Braunschweig, the Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt PTB in Braunschweig, the Laser Zentrum Hannover (LZH), the Centre of Applied Space Technology and Microgravity (ZARM) in Bremen, and the Max Planck Institute for Gravitational Physics (Albert Einstein Institute, AEI) in Hannover.


(Coordinators: Prof. Dr. Uwe Morgner, Prof. Dr. Ludger Overmeyer, and Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Kowalsky)

Making optical precision instruments quickly and inexpensively using additive production methods such as 3D printing: what sounds like a vision is the aim of the research partnership Phoenix-D ("Photonics, Optics, and Engineering- Innovation across Disciplines"). Scientists in mechanical engineering, physics, electrical engineering, computer science and chemistry are working together on the simulation, fabrication and application of optical systems. Up to now, optical glass lenses and the surrounding frames have been made in several stages - often by hand. In the research partnership, experts from a wide range of disciplines are working on a digitalised manufacturing system that can produce individualised products.

This system opens up far-reaching applications. In agriculture, for instance, the use of herbicides can be minimized. By means of precision optics, a sensor can register the plants and recognise weeds, which can then be targeted and destroyed using laser. So far, the production of optical components has been too expensive. A further application is individualised optics in the medical field. A faster blood analysis for diagnosing illnesses will be possible, for example. Phoenix-D was initiated by Hannover Centre for Optical Technologies (HOT). Apart from Leibniz Universität Hannover, participating institutions are TU Braunschweig, the Laser Zentrum Hannover (LZH), and the Max Planck Institute for Gravitational Physics (Albert Einstein Institute, AEI) in Hannover.

Scientists from Leibniz Universität Hannover are also involved in the draft proposal "SE²A - Sustainable and Energy-Efficient Aviation" at TU Braunschweig, which has also been invited to submit a full proposal. They are: Prof. Dr.-Ing. Friedrich Dinkelacker, Prof. Dr.-Ing. Bernd Ponick, Prof. Dr.-Ing. Axel Mertens, Prof. Dr.-Ing. Jörg Seume, Prof. Dr.-Ing. Jörg Wallascheck and as a Junior Research Group leader Dr.-Ing. Florian Herbst). Coordinators: Prof. Dr. Jens Friedrichs and Prof. Dr. Rolf Radespiel (TU-BS). The aim of the Cluster is the integration of air traffic in energetic recycling management.

Further information is available at:





Notes for Editors

For further information please contact Mechtild Freiin v. Münchhausen, Press Officer of Leibniz Universität Hannover and Head of Communication and Marketing, telephone +49 511 762 5342, E-Mail kommunikationuni-hannover.de