The transdisciplinary initiative to establish a research cluster on ‘Collective Behavior’, to which our group contributes, has been selected to receive funding as part of the Excellence Strategy of the German Research Foundation (DFG) and the German Council of Science and Humanities (WR). The new Excellence Cluster focuses on data-driven research on collective behavior ranging from swarm intelligence of animal groups over human decision-making processes to economic networks. For this purpose, the cluster draws on expertise from the fields of biology, psychology, physics, economics, and computer science. The cluster will be located at the ‘Centre for Visual Computing of Collectives’, which is currently being constructed at the University in Konstanz.
In addition to the ‘Collective Behavior’ cluster initiative, a second initiative to establish a research cluster on ‘The Politics of Inequality: Perceptions, Participation and Policies’ at the University of Konstanz succeeded in the fierce competition for excellence funding. Annually, up to €385 million in research funding will be distributed among the 57 approved Excellence Clusters at 34 German universities.
With two approved Excellence Clusters, the University of Konstanz can continue its initiative to retain its status as a ‘University of Excellence’. Konstanz is one of 17 German universities and 2 university consortia that remain in the competition for this status. In July 2019, the DFG and WR will announce their final decision on which universities will continue to hold the Excellence status and hence receive a share of the €148 million in additional research funding distributed among the Universities of Excellence.