The Einstein Center Digital Future (ECDF) is adigitalization research project which is unique in Germany. It is based on a Public-Private-Partnership (PPP) model which brings together numerous partners from industry, science, and politics. Partners include, for example, the Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs and the Federal Ministry of Education and Research, each sponsoring one professorship at ECDF. Further, more than 20 companies and foundations are involved in the initiative with a funding volume totaling more than 12 million EUR. ECDF’s industry partners are among others Berliner Sparkasse, Berliner Wasserbetriebe, BVG, Bundesdruckerei, Commerzbank-Stiftung, Cornelsen, Daimler-Fonds im Stifterverband, Gesobau, Howoge, Intel, SAP, Telekom, Viessmann, and Zalando. In addition, the Berlin Senate provides 50 cents per Euro that has been raised from companies, referred to as Matching funds. This amount is complemented by funding from the city of Berlin, referred to as Digital Dividend. Together, this resulted in 38 million being raised from industry, the Senate and non-university research institutions. In addition, ECDF’s professors have raised third-party funding such as from DFG and the Federal Ministry of Education and Research, totaling more than 25 million EUR.
Independence of science and teaching
The ECDF creates an interdisciplinary research environment in which the best young minds from around the world collaborate with outstanding researchers from Berlin’s universities, non-university research institutions, and companies to understand, shape, and develop the digital future. Independence of research is the foundation of our work and is guaranteed by Article 5, Paragraph 3 of the German Basic Law. ECDF is committed to Safeguarding Good Academic Practicein research and teaching.The companies involved in the PPP model do hence not exert any direct influence on the professorships they co-finance and research conducted, nor does the ECDF conduct Contract research (“Auftragsforschung”) for donors. This is governed by the grant agreement between ECDF, the universities and the relevant donor.