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New Year’s Reception of the RESOLV Cluster of Excellence

RESOLV Research Teams Boost Transfer of Excellent Research

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A group of six persons in front of a poster with the RESOLV logo. © Martina Hengesbach​/​TU Dort­mund
Looking back at RESOLV’s successes during the New Year’s reception: Professor Kristina Tschulik from RUB, Albrecht Ehlers, Chancellor of TU Dort¬mund University, Professor Gabriele Sadowski, Prorector Research at TU Dort¬mund University, Professor Axel Schölmerich, Rector of RUB, RESOLV’s spokesperson Professor Martina Havenith, and Professor Andreas Pinkwart, NRW’s Minister for Economic Affairs (from left to right).

New insights from research and more transfer to the commercial sector – the RESOLV cluster of excellence of TU Dort­mund University and Ruhr-Uni­ver­si­tät Bochum (RUB) can look back on a successful 2019. The outlook for its 2020 targets is also very promising – something which Professor Andreas Pinkwart, Minister for Economic Affairs, Innovation, Digitalization and Energy of North Rhine-Westphalia, was also able to learn about at the RESOLV New Year’s reception on 30 January at TU Dort­mund University.

Within the cluster of excellence, the research teams in Dort­mund and Bochum are working on decoding the role of solvents in chemical reactions, industrial operations, and biological processes. The cluster is engaged in basic research and has defined new and immediate goals for the commercial sector: “In 2019 we began campaigning more extensively for the rapid transfer of basic research into practice – for example in the field of renewable energies,” said Professor Martina Havenith, RESOLV’s spokesperson, at the cluster of excellence’s New Year’s reception.

From basic research to application in practice

Since it is more difficult for start-up entrepreneurs in the chemical sector to set up a business than in other fields – for example because of a lack of infra­structure – RESOLV launched the “Start4Chem” incubator last year, which also enjoys the support of the federal state. In the framework of the “Exzellenz Start-up Center.NRW” program, the regional government is supporting start-up initiatives at RUB and TU Dort­mund University with funds amounting to around € 35 million. “RESOLV is pioneering in interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary collaboration, technology transfer, and exchange of students,” said Professor Andreas Pinkwart, NRW’s Minister for Economic Affairs. “By linking excellent research and long-term support for start-ups, the two universities are sending out an important signal for the future of the region as a business location and the enhanced innovation capacity to be found in the Ruhr region.”

The new “Start4Chem” incubator is part of the Start-up Center.NRW in Bochum and affiliated to RESOLV. Professor Kristina Tschulik, its initiator, has already begun a series of lectures that familiarize students and doctoral researchers with the necessary know-how and steps required to set up a business. “RESOLV offers doctoral researchers a special environment for entrepreneurship and initial assistance for starting their own company,” says Havenith.

Chemistry under extreme conditions 
One of RESOLV’s core research priorities is chemistry under extreme conditions: At low temperatures in space, for example, or high pressure in the deep sea. Here, researchers want to explain how the first cell-like structures formed under past conditions as well as how more complex chemical molecules formed in space. In total, the researchers in the cluster have authored over 1,300 publications since 2012, of which more than 230 have been produced in cooperation between at least two RESOLV groups.

New research building, new school project 
In the coming years, the whole cluster could profit from a new research building which will hopefully be built at TU Dort­mund University: The team led by Professor Gabriele Sadowski, Prorector Research at TU Dort­mund University and researcher in the RESOLV cluster, is pushing on this year with the application for the new “Center for Advanced Liquid-Phase Engineering Dort­mund (CALEDO)”.

RESOLV is also starting on a new project in 2020 aimed at making solvation research known in schools too and at awakening school students’ interest in research from an early stage. In the “Solvation Science at School” project, older high school students will deal with topics such as sustainable energy in their term papers.


The national and regional governments have supported the RESOLV cluster of excellence since 2012; the second funding period for the research alliance began in 2019. Speaker universities are TU Dort­mund University and RUB. Up until 2025, the con­sor­tium will receive about € 42 million from the Excellence Strategy. RESOLV is the acronym for “Ruhr Explores Solvation”. The team comprises over 200 researchers at six different locations in the Ruhr region. Together with 20 in­ter­na­tio­nal partners worldwide, they want to understand the role of solvents in the control, mediation, and regulation of chemical reactions. After all, the majority of chemical reactions, important industrial operations, and almost all biological processes take place in the liquid phase.

More in­for­mation about RESOLV

Cafeteria menus

Location & approach

The campus of TU Dort­mund University is located close to interstate junction Dort­mund West, where the Sauerlandlinie A 45 (Frankfurt-Dort­mund) crosses the Ruhrschnellweg B 1 / A 40. The best interstate exit to take from A 45 is "Dort­mund-Eichlinghofen" (closer to Campus Süd), and from B 1 / A 40 "Dort­mund-Dorstfeld" (closer to Campus Nord). Signs for the uni­ver­si­ty are located at both exits. Also, there is a new exit before you pass over the B 1-bridge leading into Dort­mund.

To get from Campus Nord to Campus Süd by car, there is the connection via Vogelpothsweg/Baroper Straße. We recommend you leave your car on one of the parking lots at Campus Nord and use the H-Bahn (suspended monorail system), which conveniently connects the two campuses.

TU Dort­mund University has its own train station ("Dort­mund Uni­ver­si­tät"). From there, suburban trains (S-Bahn) leave for Dort­mund main station ("Dort­mund Hauptbahnhof") and Düsseldorf main station via the "Düsseldorf Airport Train Station" (take S-Bahn number 1, which leaves every 20 or 30 minutes). The uni­ver­si­ty is easily reached from Bochum, Essen, Mülheim an der Ruhr and Duisburg.

You can also take the bus or subway train from Dort­mund city to the uni­ver­si­ty: From Dort­mund main station, you can take any train bound for the Station "Stadtgarten", usually lines U41, U45, U 47 and U49. At "Stadtgarten" you switch trains and get on line U42 towards "Hombruch". Look out for the Station "An der Palmweide". From the bus stop just across the road, busses bound for TU Dort­mund University leave every ten minutes (445, 447 and 462). Another option is to take the subway routes U41, U45, U47 and U49 from Dort­mund main station to the stop "Dort­mund Kampstraße". From there, take U43 or U44 to the stop "Dort­mund Wittener Straße". Switch to bus line 447 and get off at "Dort­mund Uni­ver­si­tät S".

Dort­mund Airport offers flights to several destinations in Central Europe. There are regular connections to Katowice, Kraków, London and Munich. For the approximately 20km-trip from Dort­mund Airport to TU Dort­mund University, you can use a shuttle bus to the railway Station "Bahnhof Holzwickede", from which trains depart to Dort­mund main station (please visit Verkehrsverbund Rhein-Ruhr for more in­for­mation). Normally, the fastest way is to catch a taxi at Dort­mund Airport.

The H-Bahn is one of the hallmarks of TU Dort­mund University. There are two stations on Campus Nord. One ("Dort­mund Uni­ver­si­tät S") is directly located at the suburban train stop, which connects the uni­ver­si­ty directly with the city of Dort­mund and the rest of the Ruhr Area. Also from this station, there are connections to the "Technologiepark" and (via Campus Süd) Eichlinghofen. The other station is located at the dining hall at Campus Nord and offers a direct connection to Campus Süd every five minutes.