Heidelberg Karlsruhe Research Partnership

About the HEiKA Research Partnership

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Since 2011, KIT and the Heidelberg University have combined their complementary competencies in specific research fields (research bridges) in the Heidelberg Karlsruhe Research Partnership in order to leverage synergies and increase international visibility.

The goals of founding the Heidelberg Karlsruhe Research Partnership were to bring together the strengths of both institutions in basic research, but also to promote transformative research approaches with "barrier-free" transition from basic research to innovation in order ultimately to be able to jointly address the major societal challenges through interdisciplinary research approaches. Optimal conditions for this research cooperation are provided by the complementary structure and long-term cooperation of the Heidelberg University with KIT.

Within the first five years of collaboration between the two partners, the focus was on the five topics Advanced Imaging Platform (AIP), Medical Technology for Health (MTH), Nature, Technology and Society (NTS), Organic Electronics (OE) and Synthetic Biology (SB ). Following the evaluation of HEiKA by an international panel of experts at the beginning of 2016, cooperation within HEiKA has been extended to six Research Bridges and its profiles have been sharpened again.

Within the Research Bridges, start-up funds for joint research projects are awarded annually by the Research Board. As part of this project funding, but also in the, since July 2016 active, HEiKA Center for "Functional Materials and Technologies for 3D Structures and Systems (FunTECH-3D)" in particular, the promotion of young scientists will be supported and thus contribute to the profile development of young Scientists after graduation done.


The Heidelberg Karlsruhe Research Partnership wants to contribute to increasing the research reputation, scientific output and international visibility of KIT and Heidelberg University.

To achieve this, both partners are intensifying their joint efforts with a view to the following goals:

  •     Pooling complementary competencies
  •     Increasing national and international competitiveness by achieving "critical mass"
  •     Initiation and support of cooperation projects in the research bridges
  •     Implementation of new or further development of existing research bridges
The structure of Heidelberg Karlsruhe Research Partnership


Research Board

The Research Partnership is strategically assisted by a "Research Board" chaired by the KIT Vice-President for Research, which alternates annually with the Vice-Rector for Research and Structure at the University of Heidelberg. 

Some of the main responsibilities of the Research Board are:

  • Selection and decision on the funding of projects (quality assurance)
  • Decision on memberships of external partners
  • Decision on strategic expansion, e.g. new Research Bridges
  • Suggestions for new strategic co-operations

Board of Directors

HEiKA is led by a "Board of Directors", in which each research bridge is equally represented by two scientists - one from the KIT and the other from the Heidelberg University. In addition, since 2016, two representatives of young academics have been appointed as advisory members of the Board.

Some of the main responsibilities of the Board of Directors are:

  • Direction of Heidelberg Karlsruhe Research Partnership
  • Further development of Research Bridges
  • Implementation of the strategic decisions of the Research Board (eg establishment of new Research Bridges)
  • Promotion of joint research activities
Prof. Dr. Ulrich Nienhaus
Director Research Bridge AIP
Institute for Applied Physics
Karlsruhe Institute of Technolgoy


Contact the HEiKA Office

@ KIT - Campus Nord

Hermann-von-Helmholtz Platz 1

76344 Eggenstein-Leopoldshafen

Fon: + 49 721 608 22035/37

@ Heidelberg University

Im Neuenheimer Feld 329

69120 Heidelberg

Fon: +49 6221 54 5541



All daily affairs are managed by the HEiKA Management Team. In addition to the administrative support of the HEiKA projects and the support of the Board of Directors and the Research Board, some of the main responsibilities of the HEiKA Management Team are:

  • Organization of annual HEiKA project tenders
  • Reporting and controlling
  • Public relations (website, information, etc.)
  • Event management