At regular intervals HEiKAexplore dedicates itself to a joint major topic (outside of the established HEiKA Research Bridges: AIP, MTH, OE, PAC and SB), where existing collaborations are being fostered and new ones are being stimulated. At this, supporting topics that are exhibiting a discernible potential to initiate new joint research associations is a major goal for HEiKA. In consequence a HEiKAexplore topic has to show a higher amplitude with regard to content and human resources from both, KIT and Heidelberg University, in order to enable collaboration beyond a basic HEiKA project.
Design and selection of the designated major topic is initiated by means of a bottom-up process. To this, at the end of the year, there is a regular call to the members of KIT and Heidelberg University to submit one-page outlines for a new major topic. From these proposals the HEiKA Research Board, during their spring meeting, then selects the next major topic of HEiKAexplore with which the Research Bridge is participating in the next call for joint projects (annually in May).
In order to support further networking within the new topic a content driven HEiKAexplore workshop is organized in early summer, where interested scientists may discuss further elaboration of the topic and also to find (new) collaborators in preparation of the project call.