The Institute

The Heidelberg Institute for Theoretical Studies 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. It 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.

Main shareholder of the HITS gGmbH is the HITS-Stiftung (HITS Foundation, see below), which is a subsidiary of the Klaus Tschira Foundation (KTS). Its primary purpose is to provide base funding for HITS, with funds received by the KTS. Other shareholders are Heidelberg University and the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT). Part of their cooperation are shared appointments of HITS group leaders, who will also hold a professorship at one of the two universities. In addition, HITS cooperates with other universities and research institutes, as well as with industrial partners; its primary third-party funding agencies are the Federal Ministry of Education and Research, the German Research Foundation and the European Union.

The international Scientific Advisory Board is composed of distinguished scientists and supports the management of HITS in directing the institute and orchestrates the evaluation of the research groups.

The HITS campus is located near Heidelberg Castle, a second site is at the “Mathematikon” on the Heidelberg University campus. Larger events, such as the colloquia series, scientific workshops and conferences take place in the conference center Studio Villa Bosch, next to the HITS main building.  

The “HITStory” provides a historical review of the institute.

HITS Stiftung

The “HITS-Stiftung” is a foundation vested with legal capacity. Its primary purpose is to provide base funding for HITS, with funds received by the Klaus Tschira Foundation. Other purposes include:

  • Organization of scientific and outreach events in the context of HITS’ agenda.
  • Cooperation with international research organizations for promoting scientific exchange and interdisciplinary research.
  • Funding of research projects.
  • Funding of scientific awards.
  • Providing scholarships for undergraduate and graduate students.

The Council of the HITS-Stiftung consists of

  • Representatives of the Tschira family
  • Prof. Dr. Karl-Ulrich Mayer, former president of the Leibniz Association
  • Prof. Dr. Tim de Zeuuw, former director general of the European Southern Observatory (ESO)

The Managing Directors are Carsten Könneker (Klaus Tschira Stiftung) and Wilfried Juling (Karlruhe Institute of Technology, KIT).

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