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NIM nanosystems initiative munich

Monday, 29 June, 2020

Thank you for 13 years of NIM!

The funding of the "Nanosystems Initia­tive Munich" by the German Research Foundation (Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft, DFG) terminated in October 2019.

The Nanosystems Initiative Munich (NIM) was funded as a Cluster of Excellence by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG) under Germany’s Excellence Initiative between November 2006 and October 2019. The Cluster brought together more than 60 research groups in the Munich area and merged their  interdisciplinary expertise in physics, chemistry, electrical engineering, biology, pharmacy and medicine into a coherent nanoscience cluster.

While many individual nanoscale building blocks and components had already been devised in the early 2000s, their integration into entire functional systems had not been attempted. Hence, the overarching vision of NIM was to realize and achieve control of a broad range of multi-functional nanoscale systems, to operate them in complex and realistic environments, and to unlock their potential for applications in fields as diverse as information and energy technologies and the life sciences. Research areas dominated by quantum effects included single-electron and -spin behavior at ultra-low temperatures, nanophotonic systems, and the investigation of practical strategies for quantum computation. These were complemented by research areas that addressed the realization of extremely sensitive nanosensors, artificial and natural molecular machines, nanoscale objects and vehicles in live cells, and drug delivery nanosystems. In the second funding period, the original research areas were complemented by “Nanosystems for Energy Conversion”, focusing on nanotechnological solutions for the conversion of light into other forms of energy.

The highly interdisciplinary nature of this cluster ensured the efficient utilization of synergies and an internationally competitive research program, generated a stimulating environment for graduate education, and provided ideal conditions for technological innovation. One of the main structural goals of NIM was to establish a world-leading nanoscience research site in Germany, attracting the most gifted young scientists in the field. Special emphasis was put on early independence of junior scientists, offering them competitive start-up packages, seed-funding and tenure-track professorships to provide a long-term career perspective.

NIM scientists published more than 2500 articles in the most highly ranked scientific journals. In addition, the cluster generated numerous patents, awards, prizes and grants from the European Research Council (ERC) as well as a series of globally successful spin-off companies. NIM also gained world-wide visibility by initiating active partnerships with leading nano-centers such as the California NanoSystems Institute (CNSI), by running a Graduate Program, by effective outreach activities, and by organizing a series of international conferences. NIM has set the ground for a number of new initiatives, and we anticipate that also in future projects within the exciting field of nano research the Munich area will continue to act as a leading hub with worldwide visibility.

You may download the final report of the "Nanosystems Initiative Munich" Opens external link in new windowhere.


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