Press Release No. 20 | 30 April 2010
DFG to Fund the Research Centre "Matheon" for Another Four Years
Berlin institution again successful in the second intermediate evaluation
The DFG Research Centre "Matheon: Mathematics for key technologies" in Berlin will receive funding from the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG, German Research Foundation) for another four-year period. The decision to award approximately €27 million to the centre was made by the Joint Committee of the DFG on 30 April 2010. The research centre, established in 2002, was again convincing in its second project-renewal review with its scientific accomplishments and attractive environment for mathematicians. Furthermore, with its extensive school and public relations work, Matheon helps to shape mathematics as a modern and exciting scientific discipline. The DFG Research Centre is jointly operated by the three Berlin universities, the Konrad Zuse Institute for Information Technology and the Weierstrass Institute for Applied Analysis and Stochastics (Weierstraß-Institut für Angewandte Analysis und Stochastik, WIAS), which support the centre with great dedication and clear perspectives. Matheon unites more than 50 working groups under its roof.
The researchers at Matheon consider mathematics to be the common thread of success in all application areas that rely on abstraction and flexibility. In times of increasingly complex technologies and ever-shorter innovation cycles, they employ mathematical methods as a decisive key for success. By means of efficient algorithms, optimum solutions and, not least of all, solid theoretical knowledge, mathematics contributes to value creation.
Against this backdrop, Matheon unites numerous mathematical disciplines and, in a total of seven fields of application, examines practically oriented questions from a wide range of areas: from the life sciences to production processes to finance. The researchers apply their knowledge and methods, for example, to the identification of active agents in medications; crystal growth, which is relevant for coatings of all types; the optimisation of subway schedules; improved mobile phone networks; and improvements in the efficiency of the Hamburg container port. During the course of many projects, they cooperate with industry, business and the public sector. Matheon represents a true model of success and demonstrates the benefits that are possible with the interaction of basic research and practical applications. Time and again, real-world problems lead to challenging tasks for theory, from which new mathematical methods arise.
Schools and the general public are important target groups for Matheon. With periodic presentations for school classes and continuing-education programmes for teachers, the centre contributes to the modern image of mathematics at schools. Every December, the Matheon advent calendar regularly invites students and adults to solve puzzles on the Internet with great success. Video diaries on www.dfg-science-tv.de explain the work of the mathematicians. In addition, the research centre informs the public at a number of events and cooperations and shows that math is fun!
Matheon is one of six DFG Research Centres. The centres "The Ocean in the Earth System" in Bremen, "Functional Nanostructures" in Karlsruhe, and "Experimental Biomedicine" in Würzburg were established in 2001 and, after two very successful funding periods, were approved for a third funding period in April, until the middle of 2013. In addition to Matheon, the centre "Molecular Physiology of the Brain" in Göttingen was also established in 2002 and will undergo its second project renewal review in 2010. The DFG Research Centre "Regenerative Therapies" in Dresden (CRTD) was established in 2006 and was approved for another four years of funding following the intermediate evaluation in 2009.
Introduced as a brand-new and particularly strategic funding instrument, the research centres, with their bundled scientific competence and cooperation between universities and non-university research institutions, have - not least of all - become a model for the excellence clusters in the Excellence Initiative. As a result, a total of four of the research centres are, following appropriate supplementary proposals, now also funded as clusters of excellence.
Further information on Matheon can be found at
Further information on the DFG Research Centres can be found at: