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Hasso Plattner Institute becomes University Faculty – First privately financed faculty at a public university

Photo: Karla Fritze.

Photo: Karla Fritze.

Minister of Science Martina Münch, together with Oliver Günther, President of the University of Potsdam, and Christoph Meinel, Director and Manager of the Hasso Plattner Institute, introduced today the first privately financed faculty at a public university in Germany. The Hasso Plattner Institute (HPI), previously an affiliated institute at the University of Potsdam, became the new Digital Engineering Faculty at the University of Potsdam on April 2017. This is the University of Potsdam’s sixth Faculty. The Minister of Science has accompanied and supported this process.

Minister of Science Martina Münch welcomed the connection between the University of Potsdam and the Hasso Plattner Institute as a cooperative arrangement between two strong partners that points the way to the future. “The University of Potsdam is an international, dynamic institution with an outstanding record in research and teaching. As such, it attracts students and scientists from Germany and the world, and is pointing the way forward for the issues and technologies of the future. The Hasso Plattner Institute has developed since its founding into one of the world’s greatest institutions in the field of information science, and its curriculum regularly wins top spots in the rankings. Both are internationally visible research institutions and are also an engine for a diverse and sustainable knowledge society, as well as dynamic economic development. I am pleased that the new Faculty is supporting efforts by the state of Brandenburg to expand a strong science and research landscape in the field of health by establishing a Digital Health degree program. This will also create new opportunities to attract and retain specialists, and to improve medical and nursing care in Brandenburg.” 

Oliver Günther, President of the University of Potsdam, said: “The new Faculty is the first of its kind: a public-private partnership that sets new standards. The Hasso Plattner Institute, an affiliated institute at the University, will become a new Faculty. The Hasso Plattner Foundation is providing the financing for the Faculty; however, the Faculty will still be subject to public law regulations that guarantee freedom in research and teaching over the long term. Thanks to the unparalleled commitment of Hasso Plattner, the new Faculty will have more than 20 professorships, in addition to the approximately 20 professorships related to information science in our other five Faculties. Forty IT professorships in Potsdam – this puts us in an outstanding position in Europe.”

Christoph Meinel, Director and Manager of the Hasso Plattner Institute “I am very grateful to the Brandenburg Ministry of Science, under Minister Martina Münch, and the President of the University of Potsdam, Oliver Günther, for their enthusiasm in heading down a new road with us and for their support in founding the Digital Engineering Faculty. The expansion and the creation of the Faculty creates the right conditions for attracting top researchers to the region. This strengthens Potsdam as a location for scientific research in these essential subjects of the future.” 

The Digital Engineering Faculty at the University of Potsdam is being financed by the Hasso Plattner Foundation. Our objective is to further develop the Hasso Plattner Institute into a university excellence center in the field of digital engineering. In the course of the expansion, four new master’s degrees will join the IT Systems Engineering program: Digital Health, Smart Energy, CyberSecurity, and Data Engineering. Overall, there will be twelve additional professorships, and the new professors will be appointed shortly. The Department for Digital Health will be the first new institution, and it will be located in the August Bebel Strasse. At this time, there are already ten joint appointments shared by the University of Potsdam and the Hasso Plattner Institute, and this will form the foundation for the new Faculty.

Text: Stefan Breiding 
Translation: Dr. Lee Holt 
Online published by: Daniela Großmann
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