Prof. Dr. Volker Linneweber: Saarland University – Break down barriers

Break down barriers is the signum of Saarland University – borders be­­tween cultures just as barriers be­­­­tween disciplines or traditional di­­viding lines between science, econ­­omy and culture. With 15,000 students, 280 professors as well as 1,200 scientific em­­ployees, the uni­­versity campus with its large re­­search establishments is a singularly creative centre in the association.

Combining top research with top teaching
Computer sciences, nano and biosciences as well as the European focus determine the Saarland university’s profile. Saarbrücken is one of the worldwide leading locations for computing sciences.
Besides researchers of the university, scientists from the Max Planck Institutes for Computer Science and Software Systems and the German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence (DFKI) belong here. A new research establishment on the campus can be named as the youngest example of successful technology transfer: The opening of the Intel Visual Computing Institute was held in May 2009. The company Intel will in­­vest around twelve million US dollars in the most ex­­tensive co-operation with a Euro­­pean university to date.

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The university also performs top re­­search in the subject field of “NanoBioMed”, which joins together the specialized dis­ciplines of natural and engineering sciences, bioinformatics, medicine and pharmaceutics.

The university’s establishments at the interfaces of disciplines, such as the Human and Molecular Biology Center or the Center for Bioinformatics, open new perspectives.
Biomedicine is a particular focus in the re­­search and teaching of the Medical Fac­­ulty. Besides this, the Leibniz In­­sti­­tute for New Materials (INM) and the Fraunhofer Institute for Biomedical En­­gineering (IBMT) have already made a name for themselves in the future-oriented research. An effective economic use of know-how has been achieved with the help of the NanoBioNet competence network. Establishments at the interface be­­tween industry and science, such as the Steinbeis-For­­schungs­­zentrum Ma­­te­­rial Engineering Center Saarland (MECS), pro­­vide resilient structures for tech­­no­­lo­­gy transfer. Numerous externally finan­­ced re­­­­search projects proof the quality of scientific work across the entire spectrum of subjects.

Study and research practice
With their outstanding research, Saar­­land University and the on-campus re­­search institutes carry the columns of the scientific location of Saarland.

Research carried out here creates ideas for the economy and counts as a directing engine for the structural transformation of the state. In this way, the crossing-point for knowledge and technology transfer plays a special role. Also here, science and economy in Saar­­land are well-positioned through their long-term experience with cross-border co-operation.

Already during a study course, the university offers wide-spread support for the start of a career or for start-up businesses. Students can test corporate in­­de­­pen­­dence and register in an industry under the lead­­er­­ship of the contact section for science and technology transfer.

As jUNIts (young entrepreneurs in training), they independently work on project assignments of regional companies. Beside this, the Kontaktstelle für Wis­­sens- und Tech­­no­­­­­­logietransfer of the uni­­versity offers start-up companies an own study option and comprehensive course programme.
In, currently, three starter centres, close to 200 newly founded companies have created over a thousand work­­spaces in 13 years. The impressive buildings of the Science Park, in which successful spin-offs can further unfold, highlight promising relations between the university and the state’s economy.

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In the middle of Europe
A pronounced European profile and special relations with France are trademarks of Saarland University. Renowned Europe-related establishments have their home here: the Europa-Institut with world-wide sought after legal and economic sciences foundation study courses, the Centre of France and the Centre juridique franco-allemand.
Studying and researching across borders – Saarland University hopes to reach this target also through its newly-coordinated project “university of joint region”.

A joint further education area with singular study opportunities and re­­search co-operation is being established together with four partner universities in Belgium, Luxembourg and France as well as partners in Rhine­­land-Pa­­la­­ti­­nate.

The university lives from its students, professors and employees. They prove the variety and scientific excellence of the science culture on the Saar.

Linneweber06-bellProf. Dr. phil. habil. Volker Linneweber studied psychology, sociology and ed­­ucational sciences in Münster between 1972 and 1978. After his doctorate and a study placement at the University of California, Irvine, USA, he habilitated at Saarland University in 1991. He taught, among other places, at the Otto-von-Guericke University Magdeburg. Volker Linneweber has been the president of Saarland University since late 2006.