Central scientific objectives

The central scientific objective of UniSysCat is to master the next stage of future challenges in catalysis: how to elucidate, create, and control reaction networks in chemical and biological catalysis at different levels of complexity in space and time.

The systems targeted cover various coupled catalytic and non-catalytic processes that fail to work or cannot be controlled if their key parts are spatio-temporally apart. Here, a catalytic system is defined as a set of interacting chemical and/or biological catalysts and reactants.

UniSysCat’s Research Units A – E are crosslinked via the exchange of materials, methods, and concepts, and ultimately by common scientific aims:

  • Elucidation of the mechanisms and dynamics of specific catalytic systems and their components
  • Identification of common and specific coupling concepts
  • Design of coupled networks with new functions

Coupling of catalytic reactions requires a comprehensive understanding of the elementary steps as well as the nature and dynamics of the catalytic sites. UniSysCat’s research program takes advantage of cutting-edge achievements of the internationally renowned center for research in chemical and biological catalysis UniCat, including an indispensable tailored toolbox of experimental and theoretical methods.

Main structural objectives

The overall structural objective of UniSysCat is to further strengthen catalysis as a research priority in the Berlin region.

Sustainability of catalysis research relies on an appropriate undergraduate educational concept that mirrors UniSysCat’s broad interdisciplinary research approach. This will be accomplished by:

  • Fostering an integrated concept of career development for young researchers both in academia and industry
  • Continuation and conceptual development of the Berlin International Graduate School of Science and Engineering (i.e., BIG-NSE 2.0) supported by the Einstein Center for Catalysis (EC2)
  • Establishing and ‘catalyzing’ a higher level of interdisciplinarity by opening perspectives towards novel ideas, topics, and methods of research areas beyond catalysis
  • Promotion to Junior Professors including a tenure track option
  • The establishment of the Chemical Invention Factory (CIF) that will constitute the first incubation center for start-ups in green chemistry in Germany

The CIF complements the BasCat, the joint lab of UniCat and BASF located at the TU Berlin as an interface with industry for the transfer of fundamental research results of UniSysCat into industrial applications.