In summer 2016, the Federal and State Governments agreed a follow-up programme for the Excellence Initiative – the "Excellence Strategy" (ExStra).
This programme is also being implemented by the German Research Foundation (DFG) and the German Council of Science and Humanities (Wissenschaftsrat).
ExStra is endowed with EUR 80 million in 2017, and with an annual total of EUR 533 million from 2018 onwards. The programme will run for an indefinite period of time and comprises two successive funding lines:
1. Clusters of Excellence for project-based funding of internationally competitive fields of research at universities or university consortia as well as
2. Universities of Excellence to strengthen universities long-term, either as individual institutions or as university consortia, and to further their leading position in research on the international stage
An application to become a University of Excellence can only be granted on the basis of successful Clusters of Excellence. Specifically, the approval of at least two Clusters of Excellence at the same university, or at least three Clusters of Excellence in university consortia, is the prerequisite for a follow-up application for the second funding line, namely Universities of Excellence.
Excellence Initiative of the federal and states governments
The German Universities Excellence Initiative of the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research and the German Research Foundation is a twofold mission: It aims to promote top-level research and to improve the quality of German universities and research institutions. The TU Dresden (TUD) is one of eleven German Universities of Excellence since June 2012.
Phase 1 and 2 of the Excellence Initiative
Between 2006 and 2011, in the first program phase, a total of € 1.9 billion in additional funding for the three funding lines of the initiative was made available. The three funding areas comprise: Graduate Schools to promote young researchers, Excellence Clusters to establish competitive research and training facilities, and Institutional Strategies aimed at developing top-level university research.
As part of the 2nd phase (2012-2017) of the Excellence Initiative Programme launched by the German federal and state governments, the TUD was successful with its entire application package. This consists of:
1st line of funding: Graduate school
2nd line of funding: Cluster of Excellence
3rd line of funding: Institutional Strategy
Please find more information on the German Universities Excellence Initiative at the German Research Foundation (DFG) and the German Council of Science and Humanities (Wissenschaftsrat).