North Rhine-Westphalia

Having undertaken to foster its development as a high-performance science and research hub, North Rhine-Westphalia has joined forces with its universities and research institutes in pursuing this goal. Basic research and applied research and development (R&D) are placed on an equal footing as both are conducive to upholding the Land’s innovative strength.

With 72 universities, approximately 730,000 students and over 50 non-university research facilities, North Rhine-Westphalia boasts the densest scientific and research landscape in Europe.

In addition, there are around 100 university-affiliated research institutes and seven medical faculties and university hospitals.

With its research strategy Progress NRW, North Rhine-Westphalia is setting a new course for its research and innovation policy. It is focusing on social and technical innovations that help to increase prosperity and improve our well-being, all the while safeguarding the ecological, economic, social and cultural foundations of our existence.

Progress NRW addresses the major challenges facing society, concentrating on key topics like climate protection, energy supply, resource efficiency or demographic change.

By encouraging interdisciplinary research for sustainable development and involving the relevant social players, the government seeks to bring about economic, ecological and social progress for all mankind.

This aim is also conveyed by the Innovation Award of North Rhine-Westphalia: endowed with the sum of 150,000 euros, it is one of Germany’s major research prizes.

Established in 2015 under the new University Future Act (Hochschulzukunftsgesetz), the NRW higher education development plan (Landeshochschulentwicklungs-plan, LHEP) seeks to implement cross-cutting Land interests in the development of universities in North Rhine-Westphalia. The LHEP is based on planning principles, approved by the Landtag (parliament), which formulate the thematic and structural objectives in the higher education sector. Scheduled for resolution in summer 2016, the LHEP will be in effect for a period of five years.