Umbach12 Eberhard Umbach

»Among small and medium-sized businesses, particularly in nanotechnology, we see a high innovative pace and a strong interest in the news that research can deliver in this area.«

»Almost all major scientific and technological developments that have shaped our economy, our life and our insights in the past and future will go back to the results of basic research. Where technology and innovation are labeled on the outside, basic research can be found on the inside. The assertion was not quite without substance, 20-30 years ago, that innovative development must arise from the fundamental research in the industry, as the researchers felt very comfortable in their ivory towers. From the back four defense: Fundamental, application- or target-oriented research, product development and production, the latter three, sometimes even all four stages, had been carried out earlier in the most part by the industry. Unfortunately, many industrial firms have largely pulled out of basic research and, in large part, also from application-oriented research in the last two decades. The reason is that the managers of large firms, under the strict supervision of the finance departments and "shareholders", perceive future-oriented research and development as a primary cost factor on the expenditure side and one must minimize costs, as you know. The researchers, who have long ago come out of their ivory towers against the prevailing assertion, now find themselves in a poor industrial research landscape and often search in vain for industrial partners.

All the more important are initiatives such as This initiative has committed itself to science and industry networking, in particular medium-sized and start-up enterprises. Among small and medium-sized businesses, particularly in nanotechnology, we see a high innovative pace and a strong interest in the news that research can deliver in this area. Therefore, it is necessary to build bridges and bring together suitable cooperation partners. In addition, we should also present our capabilities internationally based on the combined efforts in our local research institutions and enterprises. By the way, the individual universities or research facilities no longer stand in direct competition with one another for the best minds and research results - nor the economic enterprises for the best products and market positions; today, global competition increasingly lies between entire technology regions. One of the indicators for the performance of a technology region is the level of networking between science and industry. A central key task of is not only to initiate and further support this, but also to ensure international visibility to attract talents from the two areas.«


1969-1980 Physics studies and doctorate at the TU München
1980 - 1981 Research visits at the Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Laboratory (SSRL) and at the Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory
1986 Habilitation at the Faculty of Physics, TU München

Professional activities

1981-1986 Academic Council (temp.), Department E 20, Faculty of Physics, TU München
1986-1987 Academic chief counselor and lecturer, Faculty of Physics, TU München
1987-1993 C3-Professor, Institute of Physics, Universität Stuttgart
1993-2007 C4-Professor and Head of the Institute of Physics, Universität Würzburg
1994/95, 1998/99, 2002/03 Managing Director of the Institute of Physics, Universität Würzburg
2006-2008 President of the Deutsche Physikalische Gesellschaft
2007-2009 Chairman of the Forschungszentrum Karlsruhe GmbH
2007- present Vice President of the Helmholtz-Gemeinschaft Deutscher Forschungszentren
2009-present President of the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology KIT