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Clusters of Excellence

CIBSS – Centre for Integrative Biological Signalling Studies

The objective of the Cluster of Excellence “CIBSS – Centre for Integrative Biological Signalling Studies” is to gain comprehensive understanding of signalling processes across biological scales – ranging from interactions between single molecules and cells to processes in organs and entire organisms. The researchers will apply the knowledge they obtain to develop strategies for the targeted controlling of specific signals. In addition to achieving new research findings, these new technologies will allow innovation in medicine and plant science.

Building on a years-long tradition of excellence in biological signalling research at the University of Freiburg, the CIBSS is following a new, integrative approach that redefines the bounds of this discipline. The CIBSS research program integrates three complementary research strategies: (1) Signalling Across Scales, (2) Signal Integration, and (3) Control-of-Function.

CIBSS was designated for funding as a Cluster of Excellence on 27 September 2018 under the auspices of the Excellence Strategy competition.

Living, Adaptive and Energy-autonomous Materials Systems (livMatS)

The Cluster of Excellence “Living, Adaptive and Energy-autonomous Materials Systems” (livMatS) develops new, bioinspired materials systems. Like living structures, they will be independently able to adapt to diverse environmental influences, harvest clean energy from their surroundings, and repair damage. Nevetheless, the materials systems are purely technical objects, so they can be produced using synthetic methods and applied under extreme conditions. During development of the systems, the cluster addresses issues such as sustainability, psychological acceptance, and ethical consent.

Energy autonomy, adaptivity, longevity, and sustainability are the central characteristics of materials systems developed in the livMatS cluster. They are divided into four linked research areas: A – Energy Autonomy, B – Adaptivity, C – Longevity, and D – Societal Challenges and Sustainability.

The Excellence Commission selected livMatS for funding as an Excellence Cluster on 27 September 2018 as part of the Excellence Strategy competition.

Notice: Two Cluster of Excellence initiatives at the University of Freiburg have taken an important step forward in the current round of the Excellence Strategy of the German federal and state governments: The German Research Foundation has invited the cluster initiatives Constitution as Practice in Times of Transformation (ConTrans) and Future Forests – Adapting Complex Social-ecological Forest Systems to Global Change to submit a full proposal by August 22, 2024.