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Science in Cologne

Scope for science

Home to one of Europe's oldest universities and numerous internationally renowned research institutions, such as the four Max Planck Institutes, but also the German Aerospace Center (DLR), Cologne is a key economic center as well as a regional science center.

Cologne is a knowledge-driven city and part of a rich scientific landscape that is open to innovation and transformation. From aging research to aerospace research through forward-looking sectors of life sciences and healthcare, Cologne is an innovative, forward-looking, and extremely well-networked science center.

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The future is bright

Medicines from 3D printers, 100 million euro investents for Biocampus Cologne, Cologne as the new address for a leading global pharmaceutical company and new research networks at the University of Cologne.

Read more about future orientated science projects in Cologne!

Fostering the future through knowledge transfer.

University of Cologne

With around 23 universities, 100,000 students and a lively start-up scene, Cologne counts among the Rhineland's outstanding scientific locations. In addition to the university landscape, numerous internationally renowned research institutions are based here. Knowledge transfer to industry plays a k role. Proven transfer structures exist in the form of the GATEWAY Excellence Start-up Center, the hochschulgründernetz cologne e.V. and the Digital Hub Cologne.

Founded in 1388, the University of Cologne is one of the oldest and largest universities in Europe. Almost 8,000 students graduate from it every year – over fifty percent of whom stay in Cologne and contribute to the city's future. The University of Cologne cooperates closely with the University Hospital Cologne, as well as the Max Planck Society and the Helmholtz Association – renowned institutions that are headquartered in the Cologne region. Through this collaboration, the university conducts excellence research into contemporary societal challenges.

Excellence research

Key areas of expertise at a glance

  • Aging and demographic change

  • Social and economic behavior

  • Quantitative modeling of complex systems

  • Cultures and societies in transition

  • Social inequalities and intercultural education

Science at first hand

Interviews with professors and researchers from Cologne

Cologne University of Technology – TH Köln

The Cologne University of Technology – TH Köln for short – sees itself as a University of Technology, Arts and Sciences. It provides students and scientists from Germany and abroad with an inspiring learning, working and research environment in the social, cultural, social, engineering, and natural sciences. TH Köln was founded in 1971 as the University of Applied Sciences Cologne and is one of the most innovative universities for applied sciences.

The German Sport University Cologne

The German Sport University Cologne combines qualified teaching with international research and top-level sport. Not only is it the largest sports university in Europe, but it is also the only university in Germany dedicated exclusively to sport and exercise. Its social commitment is reflected in its focus on lifestyle research. In this interview, Prof. Dr. Christine Graf tells us how her findings apply to everyday life.

University Hospital Cologne

The University Hospital Cologne offers almost the entire range of medical services across 59 clinics and institutes. With the Max Planck Institute for the Biology of Aging, the CECAD Research Center and the Center for Molecular Medicine Cologne, the hospital campus offers an excellent infrastructure for collaboration between clinicians and researchers as well as for scientific training. Together with the university hospitals of Aachen, Bonn and Düsseldorf, new therapeutic approaches for the treatment of many types of cancer are being developed at the Center for Integrated Oncology (CIO) of the University Hospital of Cologne. As one of the largest outpatient cancer centers, the CIO is amongst Germany’s 13 top oncological centers.

© KölnTourismus GmbH, Foto: Axel Schulten

Overview of Colognes' universities and research institutions

BioCampus Cologne

BioCampus Cologne offers innovative technology companies, startups, and scale-ups an ideal environment for sustainable growth. On 25 hectares, the BioCampus provides cleanrooms, laboratory, office, and hall space as well as space to expand. Cross-industry synergies in pioneering sectors such as life sciences, chemistry, ICT, engineering, energy, and mobility are leveraged for interdisciplinary collaborations, thus forming a perfect ecosystem for startups, SMEs, and large companies.

By 2030, the Rhine metropolis will have invested over 100 million euros in the Biocampus Cologne (BCC) project. The new buildings are a response to the strong demand for laboratory capacity in the life science and healthcare sectors. By focusing on key 21st century technologies, Cologne is strengthening its position as an innovative location.


Shining a light on science

The Cologne Science Roundtable (Kölner Wissenschaftsrunde - KWR) aims to shine a spotlight on the potential of local science and business. With the support of the City of Cologne and the Cologne Chamber of Industry and Commerce (IHK Köln), representatives of numerous Cologne university and research institutions work together to strengthen and develop Cologne's profile as a knowledge-rich and sustainable urban society. The KWR uses various event formats to make numerous topics comprehensible and relatable to everyone.

German Aerospace Institute

The German Aerospace Institute (DLR) is headquartered in Cologne. Among other things, it conducts research into technologies for the transition to renewable energy, the exploration of space and new ways of communicating. Thanks to its aerospace control center, Cologne has a direct line into space. In partnership with the European Space Agency (ESA), DLR provides aerospace medicine to astronauts, such as Alexander Gerst, pre and post spaceflight. At the European Astronaut Centre (EAC), European astronauts have been training since 2013 at the envihab research facility for missions on the International Space Station (ISS).

In the near future, a LUNA facility to test and train for future moon missions will be built on the 1,000 square meter site. Cologne’s status as an aerospace center is enhanced by the European Aviation Safety Agency, EASA, which is also headquartered in the city.

ESA astronaut Matthias Maurer talks about his job, research on the ISS and – at the time of the interview – the planned LUNA facility at the European Astronaut System in Cologne.

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