Since 2011, KIT and the Heidelberg University have combined their complementary competencies in specific research fields (research bridges) in the HEiKA Research Bridges (formerly known as Heidelberg Karlsruhe Research Partnership) in order to leverage synergies and increase international visibility.
The goals of founding the HEiKA Research Bridges were to bring together the strengths of both institutions in basic research, but also to promote transformative research approaches with "barrier-free" transition from basic research to innovation in order ultimately to be able to jointly address the major societal challenges through interdisciplinary research approaches. Optimal conditions for this research cooperation are provided by the complementary structure and long-term cooperation of the Heidelberg University with KIT.
Within the first five years of collaboration between the two partners, the focus was on the five topics Advanced Imaging Platform (AIP), Medical Technology for Health (MTH), Nature, Technology and Society (NTS), Organic Electronics (OE) and Synthetic Biology (SB ). Following the evaluation of HEiKA by an international panel of experts at the beginning of 2016, cooperation within HEiKA Research Bridges has been extended to six research bridges and its profiles have been sharpened again.
Within the Research Bridges, start-up funds for joint research projects are awarded by the Extended Board of Directors. As part of this project funding, the promotion of young scientists will be supported and thus contribute to the profile development of young Scientists after graduation done.
The HEiKA Research Bridges wants to contribute to increasing the research reputation, scientific output and international visibility of KIT and Heidelberg University.
To achieve this, both partners are intensifying their joint efforts with a view to the following goals:
- Pooling complementary competencies
- Increasing national and international competitiveness by achieving "critical mass"
- Initiation and support of cooperation projects in the research bridges
- Implementation of new or further development of existing research bridges
In the Board of Directors each research bridge is equally represented by two scientists - one from the KIT and the other from the Heidelberg University.