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ELLIS Unit Jena Partner

The Friedrich Schiller University (FSU) Jena was in the 2021/2022 winter semester with 17,917 students approx. 400 professorships, more than 9,000 employees and around 200 study-subjects, the largest university and the only full university in the Free State of Thuringia. The FSU Jena is one of the oldest and most traditional universities in Germany. Personalities such as Friedrich Schiller and Johann Wolfgang von Goethe worked in Jena and contributed to the good reputation of the university. In the field of optics, Ernst Abbe, Carl Zeiss and Otto Schott made the university known worldwide. On the 450th anniversary of the university, Jena was given the title City of Science in 2008.

The Michael Stifel Center Jena (MSCJ) was founded in 2015 to bring together scientists from the fields of data analysis, simulation science and model-data integration in Jena. Participants are the Friedrich Schiller University Jena with University Hospital, the Max Planck Institutes for Biogeochemistry and for Geoanthropology, and the German Aero-space Center – Institute of Data Science.
The MSCJ offers a platform for joint research to bring together activities in the above-mentioned areas under one roof and achieve synergy effects. It leverages the development of joint projects and the acquisition of third-party funding. The MSCJ supports the transfer of results from fundamental research in the areas of working with big data, artificial intelligence, data management and analysis as well as simulation and high-performance computing to applications in all disciplines. Other important goals are the development of educational programs in these areas, for undergraduate teaching, the training of doctoral students and advanced training, as well as for industrial training and transfer.
The MSCJ supports the Executive Board of the university with advice concerning all questions of digitization. It is in close contact with the Vice-President for Digitization and the Office for Digital Transformation, and is represented in the CIO (Chief Information Officer) Board of the university.

The Max Planck Institute for Biogeochemistry in Jena conducts research into global material cycles and the associated chemical and physical processes. Carbon, oxygen, hydrogen and nitrogen are four elements that are crucial to life whose compounds are transported by plants, animals and microorganisms and distributed via the air and water. The scientists in Jena seek to gain a better understanding of the complex interaction between the organisms in the soil and the greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, as well as the influence of humans on these natural processes. How do ecosystems react to various climate conditions, land-use practice and species diversity? To this effect, scientists at the Institute compare historical data with current observations from field experiments and measurement campaigns in order to draw conclusions on the future adaptability of organisms. They also work closely with the Max Planck Institutes for Meteorology in Hamburg and Chemistry in Mainz.

The German Aerospace Center is the national center for aerospace, energy and transportation research of Germany.
At the DLR site in Jena, the Institute of Data Science employs around 25 people working to develop concepts for the management, integration and interdisciplinary processing, analysis and preparation of large quantities of data (Big Data). The digital transformation requires innovative methods of using data in all areas of life, particularly in science.


The Carl-Zeiss-Stiftung’s mission is to create an open environment for scientific breakthroughs. As a partner of excellence in science, it supports basic research as well as applied sciences in the STEM subject areas (science, technology, engineering and mathematics). Founded in 1889 by the physicist and
mathematician Ernst Abbe, the Carl-Zeiss-Stiftung is one of the oldest and biggest private science funding institutions in Germany. It is the sole owner of Carl Zeiss AG and SCHOTT AG. Its projects are financed from the dividend distributions of the two foundation companies

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