The Rhine-Main region is Europe’s number one transport junction and hub, home to the financial centre and a cultural region of international repute. The enchanting landscape along the Rhine and Main rivers, with the UNESCO World Heritage sites of the Abbey of Lorsch, Messel Pit Fossil Site and the Upper German-Raetian Limes, as well as countless castles, museums, theatres and historic old towns, is uniquely attractive to visitors.
In addition, the region between Frankfurt, Darmstadt and Wiesbaden stands out with a large number of first-class teaching and research institutions, many of which are unique in Germany. The region reflects the entire spectrum of Hessen’s higher education landscape, from universities, universities of applied sciences and art academies to privately-run universities, in close cooperation with non-university research institutions such as the Fraunhofer, Max-Planck, Leibniz and Helmholtz institutes. These institutions not only enable young people to obtain an academic education, but also provide qualified employees for research institutions and companies.
ngenuity and innovation are trademarks of our state. They stand for the special efficiency of our society and its citizens. However, the leading position our state enjoys can only be maintained if a sufficient number of qualified young professionals keep the innovative engines in universities, research institutions and companies running. The Rhine-Main research and science location contributes significantly to this driving force. The success enjoyed by universities, research institutions and companies in Hessen provides the foundation for innovation and prosperity. That is why continued investment in science and research is essential for the future viability of our state.
By focussing on science, research and teaching from 1999, the Hessian state government has planted the seeds of success, and the fruits of its labour are visible today, particularly in the Rhine-Main region. Leading the way are the massive investments in nationally and internationally competitive university locations such as Frankfurt, Offenbach, Darmstadt, Wiesbaden, Rüsselsheim and Geisenheim. The university construction programme HEUREKA, with the special investment programmes from the federal and state governments, as well as funding provided by the Higher Education Pact 2020, have resulted in investments in universities that are four times higher than in 1999.
This made it possible to establish the necessary framework conditions early on for over 100,000 students currently studying in the region – even when the increasing number of students is taken into account. The Johann Wolfgang Goethe University Frankfurt am Main, one of the largest universities in Germany with over 45,000 students, has benefited especially from these measures. The university is being rebuilt practically from the ground up as part of the HEUREKA programme. The Westend Campus, as a centre for humanities and social sciences studies; the Riedberg Campus, as a cross-discipline natural sciences institution; and the Niederrad Campus, as a location for university medical studies, are examples of the efforts being made by the state government to use investments totalling several billion euros to create a basis for excellent teaching and top research.
Along with Frankfurt University of Music and Performing Arts and the Offenbach University of Art and Design – two forges of creativity – the character of the science location is further shaped by the universities of applied sciences in Wiesbaden, Darmstadt and Frankfurt, with their strong application drive and close relationship between business and science. They ensure that innovative ideas move quickly from the laboratory to the workbench.
Both modern infrastructure and top-level research are the trademarks of the science location along the Rhine and Main rivers. This success is due not only to the successes enjoyed by the Goethe University and Technische Universität Darmstadt in national competitions such as the Excellence Initiative. Another example is the various projects sponsored by the federal government that have been awarded to Frankfurt, such as the Centre for Islamic Studies and the German Centres for Health Research. In addition, all universities in the region enjoyed above-average success in the Germany-wide Quality Pact for Teaching.
|The “Hessen creates knowledge” initiative aims to make Hessen even better known as a science landscape.|
This is also possible because the Rhine-Main region has always been especially attractive for research-intense companies, as well as non-university research institutions. This also includes dozens of renowned research and scientific institutions, including the GSI Helmholtz Center for Heavy Ion Research. With billions of euros in investment, the GSI is developing one of the world’s largest facilities for fundamental physical research: the FAIR particle accelerator. FAIR is one of Europe’s most important infrastructure projects in fundamental research. It will provide research opportunities found nowhere else in the world and attract scientists from all around the globe to southern Hessen – from talented young professionals to renowned professors.
All this makes the Rhine-Main region the true home of numerous future-oriented technologies, an attractive location for the education of the next generation of academics and a training ground for the most brilliant minds in science and research. Hessen creates knowledge: this is especially true in the Rhine-Main region.
The fully qualified lawyer was a member of the Hessian State Parliament from 1999 to 2006. From 2006 to 2009, he was a municipal councillor in Frankfurt/Main. From 2009 to 2010, he was Secretary of State in the Hessian Ministry of the Interior and until 2014, Minister of the Interior and Sports before being appointed Minister for Science and Arts of the state of Hesse.