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TUM Strengthens Campus Heilbronn with Informatics

Dieter Schwarz Stiftung to Fund 11 More Professorships

Information engineering will complement the range of courses offered in Heilbronn. Image: Matt Stark photography / TUM

The Heilbronn campus of the Technical University of Munich (TUM) is taking on a leading role in shaping the digital transformation: The Dieter Schwarz Stiftung is endowing 11 informatics professorships at TUM. Together with the professorships in economics funded since 2018, the new professors will engage in research and teaching at the interface of management and technology. The focus will be in information engineering – a key component in the digital transformation of companies.

TUM and the community service foundation Dieter Schwarz Stiftung have signed an endowment agreement for 11 chairs in various informatics fields. They will be fully funded by the foundation, including resources and infrastructure, for an initial period of 30 years. Nine of the chairs will be located at the TUM Campus Heilbronn and two others at TUM’s Garching campus. Two years ago, the Dieter Schwarz Stiftung endowed 20 chairs in management sciences at TUM, including 13 in Heilbronn. With the expansion of this commitment – unique in Germany – 22 TUM professors will be teaching and doing research in Heilbronn in the future. The funds are not subject to any conditions, with the endowment agreement governed by the TUM Fundraising Code of Conduct, which rules out any influence on research and teaching by parties providing funding.

From the Sensor to the IT System Through to the Business Model

The TUM Campus Heilbronn is gaining a unique, interdisciplinary profile at the interface of management and informatics. The field of information engineering will play a key role: New digital technologies are opening up more and more ways for companies to capture, network and analyze information. Information engineering looks at the entire chain, from the sensor to the IT system through to the business model, and is thus an important building block in the digital transformation. The research will be linked via interdisciplinary cooperation to the management chairs at the campus that study how companies can shape the far-reaching and rapid technological transformation – one of the crucial questions for Germany’s economic future. The Center of Digital Transformation researches issues related to digital transformation and its challenges and opportunities. By focusing on the management of digital change, TUM School of Management was able to implement one of its major strategic objectives in two important economic regions in Europe: Heilbronn and Munich. TUM Campus Heilbronn furthermore closes a major gap by building connections with family-run businesses in the economically vibrant Heilbronn-Franken region. In comparison, the Heilbronn campus enables close cooperation with local, family-run businesses that are hidden champions in the high-tech sector and important players in the economy; while the Munich campus focuses more on working with DAX companies, large corporations and start-ups. Hence, the Global Center for Family Enterprise is uniquely positioned to conduct research on a broad range of topics such as succession, strategy, innovation and governance in family firms. The interdisciplinary focus in the future will be on technology start-ups and family enterprises that shape the identity of the Heilbronn-Franconia region with many “hidden champions”.

In this successful high-tech region, TUM is educating young graduates ideally prepared to work at technology-driven companies. The range of degree options at the campus, which now offers one bachelor’s and two master’s programs centered around management sciences, is to be expanded to include a new bachelor’s and master’s program in information engineering. In addition, TUM plans to introduce a master’s program for working professionals and new MBA programs combining management and information technology.

“Helping to shape the digital transformation”

“We’re delighted that the Dieter Schwarz Stiftung has again shown their trust and is expanding one of the most important endowments in the history of higher education in Germany,” said TUM President Prof. Thomas F. Hofmann. “With the new professorships, we are creating an outstanding academic program in Heilbronn, combining informatics and management sciences, that will be unrivalled in Germany. It represents an important contribution to shaping the digital transformation. In this way, in times of the coronavirus pandemic, we are delivering power impetus to help secure future employment and prosperity in our country.”

“To strengthen tomorrow’s society and economy, we need extraordinary innovations in the field of informatics, which will fundamentally transform our future working world,” explains Prof. Reinhold R. Geilsdörfer, the Managing Director of the Dieter Schwarz Stiftung. “The 11 additional endowed professorships will contribute to the study of the transformation processes in our region and support companies in the digital transformation.”

TUM Informatics at the Forefront in Germany

TUM is among the international leaders in informatics. With around 45 professorships, TUM’s Department of Informatics has undergone highly dynamic growth in recent years and, with 6,600 students, is now the university’s largest department. One of its strengths is the close networking with engineering, natural, life and social sciences. Consequently, a strong foundation is in place for the planned cooperation with management sciences in Heilbronn. Several degree programs are jointly operated and various professors are members of both departments, such as Prof. Helmut Krcmar, the founding dean of TUM Campus Heilbronn.

 

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