Cooperations and Alliances
Just as global trade flows have become an established phenomenon in the past decades, modern research also takes place in global networks. Forschungszentrum Jülich is a powerful hub in the international research network.
Together with partners from universities, the science community and industry, Jülich is meeting the major challenges of the future. In line with this, Jülich researchers are working for a sustainable energy supply, protection of the climate and the environment, selective use of biological processes for a post-fossil-fuel age, an efficient ageing society and the refinement of efficient and energy-efficient information technologies.
The ties between Forschungszentrum Jülich and the region's universities in Aachen, Bonn, Düsseldorf and Cologne are particularly close. Collaborative efforts range from joint appointments of top researchers to research networks, such as JARA or the Bioeconomy Science Centre founded in 2010. A particularly prominent feature of this cooperation includes the training of young scientists. Some examples are the German Research School for Simulation Sciences, the International Helmholtz Research School on Biophysics and Soft Matter (Biosoft) and numerous summer schools that benefit students from all over the world.
However, the spectrum of university cooperation extends far beyond the regional and national context. Cooperation agreements with universities in Europe, America and Asia round off the notion of joint research and promotion of young scientists.
At the national level, Forschungszentrum Jülich is a member of the Helmholtz Association. This enables Jülich to work together with the other Helmholtz centres to find holistic solutions not only for isolated questions, but also for complex issues that are relevant for science, society and industry.
In addition, the particle, fusion and simulation researchers in Jülich participate in the major national and international projects in their respective sector. Research groups from Jülich are represented at such renowned institutions as the European CERN, the international ITER fusion project, at the SNS at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) in the USA – one of the most powerful spallation neutron source machines – at the research reactor in Garching outside Munich and at the high-flux reactor of the Institut Laue Langevin (ILL) in Grenoble.
In future, a more prominent role will be played by joint institutions with an international approach such as the Trilateral Euregio Cluster in the area of fusion research or the Joint Laboratory for Superconductivity and Bioelectronics with SIMIT, the Chinese Academy of Sciences.
An example from the area of simulation research is the European PRACE project. Jülich is responsible for coordinating the project, ensuring that Europe's scientists have widespread access to high-performance computers and enabling them to remain competitive among the world leaders in this rapidly growing sector. Forschungszentrum Jülich also works on joint projects with the French Commissariat à l'énergie atomique et aux énergies alternatives (CEA) in the areas of energy, climate, information and brain research.
Forschungszentrum Jülich particularly emphasizes close cooperation with big companies for the further development of supercomputers and semiconductor components for the computer industry and for the new development of environmentally compatible technologies for generating energy.
The institution works together with companies such as IBM and Intel to develop faster and more powerful supercomputers. Supercomputers of the future will master up to a quintillion arithmetic operations per second. At the same time, new avenues are being explored with the semiconductor industry so that future generations of supercomputers will require considerably less energy.
Jülich scientists are working with industrial partner Siemens on projects such as new imaging techniques for brain diagnostics. In the energy sector, Siemens is one of the partners in the area of ceramic materials. Ceramic coatings developed by Jülich scientists help turbines in power plants and turbine aircraft engines release fewer greenhouse gases and use fuel more efficiently. Partners in industry frequently call on the scientists at Jülich for their expertise on fuel-cell use in vehicles or buildings.