Collaborative Research Centers (SFB) are long-term research facilities of the universities in which scientists work together within the scope of an interdisciplinary research program. The collaborative research centers are funded by the German Research Association (DFG). DFG is the central self-management institution of science, with the aim to support research at universities and publicly financed research institutions in Germany. TU Dortmund University is participating in two SFBs and speaker university of three of them.
Transregios (SFB/TR) are collaborative research centers located at different sites. The contributions of the cooperation partners have to be essential, complementary and synergetic for the common research goal. Structural goal is the trans-regional cross-linking of all interdisciplinary research interests and material resources. TU Dortmund University is speaker university for one Transregio and participating in three.
The European Union (EU) has set itself the ambitious target to be the most competitive knowledge-based economy in the world in 2010. And it has realized that this target can only be reached when the EU invests more money into research and development. European research funding aims at a surplus value for the competitiveness of the EU.
The public sector – ministries, scientific and non-scientific institutions – are an important source for financing research projects. More than 200 single projects, from scholarship-programs to the research into quantum effects in microelectronic elements, are funded with federal money in the amount of about two million Euros at present. And there are 80 more projects which are funded by other institutions of the public sector, and more than 100 which are funded by private and public foundations.