Disappointed – But Confident
“Of course, we are very disappointed about this decision,” Professor Martin Wegener, coordinator of the DFG-Center for Functional Nanostructures (CFN), sums up. Since its foundation in 2001, CFN has turned into an internationally renowned center of nanosciences.
“Selection as a ‘Cluster of Excellence’ in 2006 was another acknowledgement of our scientific work performed until then. It provided us with additional opportunities and incentives over the past years. In all CFN research areas, we have obtained exciting and internationally acknowledged results. On this basis, a total of 40 young CFN scientists were appointed as professors. Five startups have turned the results of CFN into applications and jobs. In addition, CFN as one of the ‘pioneers’ in this field was given the possibility to submit a follow-up proposal extending beyond the initial funding horizon of twelve years. We do not know why we failed in this round. We simply have to accept the decision,” says Wegener.
The CFN had hoped to establish even more young investigators groups with the funds of the Excellence Initiative. Moreover, the newly established CFN research area “Nano-Energy” was planned to grow. “We will now analyze our possibilities of sustaining the achievements. I am very confident that nanoscience at KIT will continue to play an important role in the outstanding and internationally renowned research at KIT,” says Wegener.
CFN Managing Director Dr. Christian Röthig adds: “We will undertake any effort to continue the scientific work at CFN on the actual outstanding level. The Nanostructure Service Laboratory accommodated in the CFN building has already become a major part of KIT and will be integrated formally as a central unit in a few years. Sustainability of our scientific work will be in the focus of our activities in the next weeks and months. This means that we will do the work now that we have planned to do anyway in five years’ time at the latest. Our scientific activities are and will remain excellent and our research concept is trend-setting.”