TUM President’s Foreword

Shaping our future together

How can we effectively respond to the increasingly frequent shocks and attacks targeting our open society? How can we surmount the unique challenges confronting our generation, challenges so far unprecedented in our collective experience?

Our strength in research and teaching at TUM and the Institute for Advanced Study (TUM-IAS) is based on a climate of diversity, inclusion, fair competition, and mutual respect. Students and researchers from diverse cultures and backgrounds work together to expand the limits of knowledge, advance scientific progress, and shape a better future for humanity.

The future remains open, it does not follow ­predetermined paths. Our collective duty is to mold it, ­transcending disciplinary, institutional, national, and cultural boundaries with clarity, determination, and ­responsibility. We advocate for clearness in our values, exhibit an unwavering determination to uphold them, and acknowledge the responsibility we bear for the young minds shaping their futures under our guidance. As scientists, we recognize our role as exemplars of the values we cherish, fostering a sense of responsibility for the world we temporarily inhabit and will ­eventually pass on.

In line with this vision, TUM aspires to shape the future collaboratively and embraces an international ethos. Recognizing the pivotal role of open-minded pioneers as the catalysts for change, we acknowledge the transformative power of an international scientific community. This global perspective instills in us a deep respect for one another, fosters tolerance in thought and action, and instills trust in our collaborative partners.

Our commitment to this inclusive spirit is integral to being a truly international and diverse university. Over the past four years, TUM has welcomed two hundred new professors from a multitude of countries across the globe. Reflecting our global outreach, 44 % of our 52,000 students hail from international backgrounds.

As a key component of our TUM Global South Initiative, we strategically deepen our collaborations with research institutions across South America, Asia, and Africa. This year, will be dedicated to the execution of additional projects and plans specifically tailored for the African continent. Notably, one of our crucial partner universities is KNUST in Ghana, with whom we are already engaged in twenty-five joint projects. In the realm of medicine, a clinical partnership has been initiated as well. TUM is actively involved in over 150 projects throughout Africa, demonstrating our commitment to impactful collaboration. The TUM-IAS Regional Fellowship stands as a further reinforcement, adding strength to these projects and fostering lasting partnerships.

The forthcoming Munich Medicine Alliance marks the amalgamation of TUM, LMU Munich, and their hospitals, as well as the Helmholtz Environmental Health Center and the German Heart Center Munich. While Munich is already recognized as a leading medical hub in Germany, this union is poised to elevate it to global prominence. Personally, I find it imperative that our pursuits in medical research and the education of thousands of young minds are conducted exclusively within the framework of diversity, inclusion, and utmost respect.

This principle extends to the field of data sciences ­as well. The Munich Data Science Institute plays a ­crucial role in integrating various data-driven research activities across TUM as well as collaborative centers with LMU Munich, the German Aerospace Center, and the Helmholtz Centers. Recognizing the substantial ­responsibility inherent in working with and ­researching data, it is incumbent upon us all to approach these endeavors with care. In this context, as scientists, we must carry out research and education with a sense of responsibility, serving as exemplars and role models in our actions.

In response to the rightful demands of our students, our TUM Sustainable Futures Strategy gained considerable traction in 2023. We are actively shaping a Sustainability Transformation Roadmap, engaging our students profoundly by incorporating their ideas and suggestions. Significant initiatives aimed at large-scale reduction of CO2 emissions are already in progress. The ­inaugural Sustainability Awards, organized in collaboration with the TUM-IAS and the Nobel Sustainability Trust, illustrate our commitment to sustainable practices.

Whether it is championing sustainability, fostering ­interdisciplinary research, or expanding connections to the Global South, the TUM-IAS occupies a pioneering and central position in all TUM endeavors.

The ongoing enthusiasm and fruitful collaborations among our students, researchers, and ­international guests consistently inspire me. These experiences convince me that collectively, we are actively contributing to a future worth living.