NATURE | Germany's science hubs win in major research revamp


Research clusters emerge as the big success of Germany’s Excellence Initiative — despite its focus on eliteinstitutes

Munich’s fame rests on the Oktoberfest beer festival. But for astrophysicist Stephan Paul, what makes the Bavarian capital so charming is its universities’ rise to stardom in studies on the origin and structure of the Universe. The region has long been a national hub for physics, but its appeal to theorists and particle physicists has soared in recent years thanks to a well-funded research programme that brings together the city’s two large universities — the Technical University of Munich (TUM)and Ludwig Maximilian University (LMU) — and several Max Planck institutes in nearbyGarching. “The research infrastructure here is top-notch and the concentration of expertise is quiteunique,” says Paul, a physicist at the TUM who coordinates the programme.

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