JARA – Jülich Aachen Research Alliance
Focusing Expertise – Shaping the Future: This has been the motto of the Jülich Aachen Research Alliance, JARA for short, since 2007. JARA represents the combined expertise of RWTH Aachen University and Forschungszentrum Jülich. In this model, which cannot be found anywhere else in Germany, the partners overcome a simple juxtaposition of university and non-university research and teaching.
The alliance thus establishes a world-class scientific environment that attracts the very best scientists. At the same time, JARA opens up new research opportunities and facilitates projects that would not be attainable for either of the partners on their own.
The cooperation combines the disciplinary research at RWTH Aachen University with programme-oriented research at Forschungszentrum Jülich. JARA currently comprises five sections which have already made significant contributions to solving the grand challenges facing society:
- brain research (JARA-BRAIN)
- sustainable energy (JARA-ENERGY)
- particle physics and antimatter (JARA-FAME)
- information technologies of the future (JARA-FIT)
- soft matter research (JARA-SOFT)
The individual research sections therefore concentrate on the topics of health, energy, and information. The two partners, RWTH Aachen University and Forschungszentrum Jülich, thus selectively combine research fields in which they can effectively complement each other’s specific expertise.
In addition to the sections, the JARA partners have developed new centre structures in 2018. In the JARA Center for Simulation and Data Science, or JARA-CSD for short, the two institutions are pooling their expertise in the field of simulation and data science. The former JARA-HPC section, dedicated to the simulation sciences with supercomputers, has been merged into JARA-CSD.
Furthermore, the JARA institutes complement the research in the cooperation. There are currently four JARA Institutes, two in each of the areas JARA-BRAIN and JARA-FIT.
In JARA-BRAIN, scientists from Jülich and Aachen pool their expertise in medical imaging and clinical research and undertake translational brain research in psychiatry and neurology.
The JARA-ENERGY section, sustainable energy research, represents a highly interdisciplinary consortium for the transformation of the energy system.
The JARA-FAME section, forces and matter experiments, probes the secret of our existence by tracking down the matter–antimatter asymmetry in the universe.
JARA-FIT, fundamentals of future information technology, works on new concepts in information technology.
The sixth section, JARA-SOFT, soft matter science, is devoted to exploring and developing novel smart materials.
Since 2016, the JARA sections have been complemented by JARA institutes. At RWTH Aachen University, the JARA institutes were established as cross-faculty institutes and at Forschungszentrum Jülich as subinstitutes and are headed collegially by several JARA professors. JARA professors are heads of institutes or subinstitutes at Jülich and hold a W3 professorship at RWTH.
The first JARA institutes have been founded in the JARA-BRAIN and JARA-FIT sections:
- JARA-BRAIN Institute Brain Structure-Function Relationships: Decoding the human brain at systemic levels [JARA-BRAIN Institute I: JBI-I]
- JARA-BRAIN Institute Molecular Neuroscience and Neuroimaging [JARA-BRAIN Institute II: JBI-II]
- JARA-FIT Institute Energy-Efficient Information Technology (Green IT)
- JARA-FIT Institute Quantum Information (QI)
In order to create excellent conditions for science, collaboration in JARA goes beyond pure research issues to also include other areas. Infrastructures are jointly proposed and used, early-career scientists are supported and prepared for a scientific career. Furthermore, tailor-made services are provided for researchers.
In this integrated partnership model, strategies for science policy are identified and coordinated. Together, research objectives are defined, investments made, and academic staff appointed and trained. More than 190 professors and heads of institute are currently involved in JARA. About 4,800 scientific and non-scientific employees work at the institutes. The budget amounts to roughly € 500 million.