Research institute CASUS in Görlitz will receive annual budget of up to 15 million euros

Saxony’s Minister President Michael Kretschmer and State Secretary Prof. Wolf-Dieter Lukas of the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) signed a declaration on the funding of the Center for Advanced Systems Understanding (CASUS) today at German-Polish research institute’s Open House event. According to the agreement, CASUS will be funded until 2038. This long-term perspective will allow the “Old Capacitor Plant” on the Neisse River to be converted into a modern research facility. CASUS will be shaped as an institute of the Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) along with its partners Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research in Leipzig (UFZ), Max Planck Institute of Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics in Dresden (MPI-CBG), Technical University of Dresden (TUD) and the University of Wrocław. The cooperation agreements were also signed at the CASUS Open House event.

Federal Minister of Education and Research Anja Karliczek commented ahead of the event: “I am very pleased to say that today, in cooperation with the Free State of Saxony, we are successfully setting the course towards a promising future for CASUS. Together, we intend to establish CASUS as an international role model for interdisciplinary research in the field of digitization. From Görlitz, questions on complex topics such as the energy transition or climate change will be addressed at the highest scientific level using new digital methods. I am pleased with the positive development of this institute in the center of Europe and that together with the Free State of Saxony we succeeded in securing long-term funding. Thus, CASUS in Görlitz may become a magnet for scientists from all over the world.”

Saxony’s Minister President Michael Kretschmer emphasizes the momentum expected from this decision: “CASUS significantly strengthens the appeal of Görlitz as a research location. As can be seen here at the Open House Day, CASUS has attracted experts from all over the world to Görlitz, bringing crucial know-how to Lusatia. We need this expertise right here to be well-positioned for tomorrow’s topics such as artificial intelligence, supercomputing and open-source research software. Because of its long-term perspective, CASUS will grow even faster. We as the Free State of Saxony are supporting the development of a new research institute so that the scientists here in Görlitz can fully realize their potential.”

Saxony’s Minister of Science Sebastian Gemkow adds: “With CASUS, research in Saxony is entering new spheres. Here, excellent research and practice are close together, for I am convinced that the digital solutions developed at CASUS open up great potential for later product developments and thus a very concrete benefit for society.”

Dr. Michael Bussmann, Scientific Head of CASUS, attributes the research institute’s success to its interdisciplinary approach: “The digital solutions developed at CASUS are used in disciplines as diverse as climate and environmental research, systems biology, and astrophysics, where they help answer relevant scientific questions.”

Rector of the Technical University of Dresden (TUD) Prof. Ursula M. Staudinger is pleased with the joint appointment of HZDR and TU Dresden for a CASUS professorship: “CASUS is a great example of successful research cooperation between universities and their extramural partners. Together, we can achieve a great deal of scientific progress here and make a substantial impact on the Lusatia region.”

According to HZDR’s Scientific Director, Prof. Sebastian M. Schmidt, the cooperation with the other CASUS partners has proven to be a stroke of luck: “I am proud that we have now sealed the continuation and consolidation of the cooperation with the Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research in Leipzig, the Max Planck Institute for Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics, the Technical University of Dresden, and the University of Wrocław in order to develop CASUS in the long term into an excellent institute of the HZDR.”

The fifth founding partner of CASUS, the University of Wrocław, also acknowledged the positive development of the Görlitz research institute. On CASUS Open House Day, the rector of the Polish university, Prof. Przemysław Wiszewski, and the HZDR Board of Directors signed an extension of their memorandum of understanding. In the future, the Dresden research center will cooperate even more closely with the University of Wrocław.

About the Center for Advanced Systems Understanding

CASUS was founded 2019 in Görlitz/Germany and pursues data-intensive interdisciplinary systems research in such diverse disciplines as earth system research, systems biology or materials research. The goal of CASUS is to create digital images of complex systems of unprecedented fidelity to reality with innovative methods from mathematics, theoretical systems research, simulations as well as data and computer science to give answers to urgent societal questions. Partners are the Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR), the Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research in Leipzig (UFZ), the Max Planck Institute of Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics in Dresden (MPI-CBG), the Technical University of Dresden (TUD) and the University of Wrocław. CASUS is funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) and the Saxon State Ministry for Science, Culture and Tourism.

About the Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf

The Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) performs – as an independent German research center – research in the fields of energy, health, and matter. We focus on answering the following questions:
• How can energy and resources be utilized in an efficient, safe, and sustainable way?
• How can malignant tumors be more precisely visualized, characterized, and more effectively treated?
• How do matter and materials behave under the influence of strong fields and in smallest dimensions?
To help answer these research questions, HZDR operates large-scale facilities, which are also used by visiting researchers: the Ion Beam Center, the High-Magnetic Field Laboratory Dresden, and the ELBE Center for High-Power Radiation Sources. HZDR is a member of the Helmholtz Association and has six sites (Dresden, Freiberg, Görlitz, Grenoble, Leipzig, Schenefeld near Hamburg) with almost 1,400 members of staff, of whom about 500 are scientists, including 170 Ph.D. candidates.