On April 15, 2016, Andreas Reuter stepped down as managing director of HITS. 18 years before, the computer scientist had given up his post as prorector of Stuttgart University to establish a private English-speaking university, at the same time accepting Klaus Tschira’s offer to mastermind the development of the EML European Media Laboratory GmbH as its scientific and managing director. In 2003 he went on to found EML Research gGmbH, a basic research institute from which HITS originated in 2010. Andreas Reuter’s extensive experience as a science manager has proven invaluable – particularly in the cooperation with KIT and Heidelberg University on various joint appointments and the decision by both universities to become shareholders of HITS in 2014.
When Klaus Tschira passed away in March 2015, Andreas Reuter remained as the sole managing director for another year. Despite retirement as managing director of HITS in 2016, Andreas Reuter continued to be active in other institutions founded by Klaus Tschira, such as the HITS Stiftung and the Heidelberg Laureate Forum Foundation. He retired from these positions as of 15 May 2020.
The Heidelberg Institute for Theoretical Studies (HITS) was established in 2010 by the physicist and SAP co-founder Klaus Tschira (1940-2015) and the Klaus Tschira Foundation as a private, non-profit research institute. HITS conducts basic research in the natural sciences, mathematics and computer science, with a focus on the processing, structuring, and analyzing of large amounts of complex data and the development of computational methods and software. The research fields range from molecular biology to astrophysics. The shareholders of HITS are the HITS-Stiftung, which is a subsidiary of the Klaus Tschira Foundation, Heidelberg University and the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT). HITS also cooperates with other universities and research institutes and with industrial partners. The base funding of HITS is provided by the HITS Stiftung with funds received from the Klaus Tschira Foundation. The primary external funding agencies are the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), the German Research Foundation (DFG), and the European Union.