Germany‘s IT Security Region: Federal Government Awards more than 20 Million Euros for Research Projects in Software-Cluster

Press Release / 4.3.2011

Germany’s expertise for applied IT security research is concentrated in the Software-Cluster between Saarbrücken, Kaiserslautern, Karlsruhe, Darmstadt, and Walldorf – a fact that has been demonstrated impressively by the announcement made at CeBIT that the federal government will pledge more than 20 million euros worth of funding. This includes, on the one hand, all three cyber-security centers, which the Federal Ministry of Education and Research has awarded to the Technical University of Darmstadt, the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), and Saarland University. In addition, partners in the Software-Cluster also scored a double success in the “Trusted Cloud Computing” competition of the Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology.


Security on the web is a major prerequisite if citizens, companies, and public agencies are to accept the opportunities offered by digitalization and make full use of them. The federal government therefore wants to advance research on IT security. With a funding volume of 17 million euros, the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) will establish three competence centers for IT security. As announced during the opening of CeBIT 2011, all three centers will be established in the region of the Software-Cluster. In the competition, the following universities were able to convince the jury of their concept: the Technical University of Darmstadt with the project “European Center for Security and Privacy by Design” (EC-SPRIDE), in which the Center for Advanced Security Research Darmstadt (CASED) and the Fraunhofer Institute for Secure Information Technology Darmstadt (Fraunhofer SIT) will also take part, the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) with the “Kompetenzzentrum für angewandte Sicherheitstechnologie” (Competence Center for Applied Security Technology, KASTEL), as well as Saarland University with the “Center for IT Security, Privacy and Accountability” (CISPA). All universities and institutions are partners in the Software-Cluster, which includes the software development centers Darmstadt, Kaiserslautern, Karlsruhe, Saarbrücken, and Walldorf. For their goal of jointly developing the foundations for the enterprise software of the future, 37 Software-Cluster partners from business and research won the federal government’s “Spitzencluster” (cluster of excellence”) competition in 2010.

“The establishment of all three of the federal government’s cyber-security centers in the region and at partners of the Software-Cluster underlines the leading role played by the cluster in IT security research and development”, says Prof. Dr. Johannes Buchmann, director of CASED, the Center for Advanced Security Research Darmstadt, who is also a member of the Software-Cluster’s strategy board. “Bundling the various research projects in the Software-Cluster also leads to synergies that will benefit companies, public agencies, and citizens all over Germany.”

The partners of the Software-Cluster also managed to score another success in the competition “Secure Cloud Computing for SMEs and the Public Sector - Trusted Cloud” held by the Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology (BMWi). The winners of this competition were also announced at CeBIT on 1 March 2011. With the program “Trusted Cloud”, the BMWi will be funding the development and testing of innovative, secure, and legally conformant cloud solutions with approx. 50 million euros during the next three years. Out of a total of 116 submissions, 12 projects were selected. Two of these were awarded to partners in the Software-Cluster: In the consortium “Peer Energy Cloud”, the participants include the German Center for Artificial Intelligence (DFKI), the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), and SEEBURGER AG, three major partners of the Software-Cluster. The project “Peer Energy Cloud” is about developing solutions for the intelligent distribution and usage of renewable energies.

Holger Kirchner, executive director of the research department at SEEBURGER AG, states: “We are happy to be on board as a leading supplier of products and solutions for the integration of enterprise software and thus to be able to further strengthen the Software-Cluster. The success and acceptance of Cloud Computing and services building on it depend to a large extent on whether people have trust in their security. The IT security competence in the Software-Cluster will therefore also have direct benefits for the success of enterprise software in the cluster region, in Germany, and worldwide.”

The participants in the other winning project, “Cloud Cycle”, also include the Fraunhofer Institute for Secure Information Technology (Darmstadt), another partner in the Software-Cluster. The project will create an open-source platform to support the entire lifecycle of cloud services.

Thanks to the funding for the cyber-security centers and the Trusted Cloud projects, more than 20 million euros worth of funding for IT security projects will flow into the region of the Software-Cluster.

Press Contact
Bernd Hartmann • Press Officer • Software-Cluster Managing Office
TU Darmstadt • Mornewegstraße 32 • 64293 Darmstadt • Germany
Phone  +49 6151 16-75212 • Fax  +49 6151 16-70921
At CeBIT via mobile phone: +49 160 93 90 29 16

About Software-Cluster
The Objectives: Digital enterprises work in highly flexible, Internet-based business networks, and design their dynamic business models and processes to ensure that all data regarding processes, operating funds and resources is available at all times in precise real-time and dimensional resolution for planning, controlling and optimization. The Software-Cluster's goal is to enable the transformation of businesses into fully digital enterprises that use ICT as the key driver for product and process innovation. Studies predict 430,000 new jobs in Germany's software industry by the year 2030. Some of the Software-Cluster's other objectives include educating 5,000 skilled professionals in five years, launching 30 companies in the cluster's core area of expertise, and persuading leading foreign companies to establish a presence in the cluster region. According to recent numbers, at least €300 million will be invested in these efforts.

The means: The Software-Cluster will work on five projects to develop concepts, technologies and business processes for emergent software—an innovative leap in the area of enterprise software, which is a key contributor to the German national economy. Emergent software creates a dynamic and flexible combination of numerous components from various providers to meet the highly complex needs of digital enterprises. Successfully realizing the group's goals will require a joint effort from the science and business sectors, and cross-organizational cooperation within the Software-Cluster.

The region: The Software-Cluster spans centers in Darmstadt, Kaiserslautern, Karlsruhe, Saarbrücken and Walldorf.

The partners:
Strategy Board: DFKI - German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence GmbH, Fraunhofer Institute for Experimental Software Engineering, IMC information multimedia communication AG, intelligent views GmbH, Karlsruhe Institute  of Technology (KIT), proAlpha Software AG, SAP AG, Seeburger AG, Software AG, Technische Universität Darmstadt / CASED

Industry & Regional Networks: CAS Software AG, Competence Center Computer Science, ConWeaver GmbH, Corisecio GmbH, CyberForum e.V., 1&1 Internet AG, EUROSEC GmbH, IHK Darmstadt Service GmbH, Insiders Technologies GmbH, John Deere Werke Mannheim, KOBIL Systems GmbH, mineway GmbH, Netbiscuits GmbH, Ontoprise GmbH, SIEDA GmbH, Sirrix AG, STI Software Technology Initiative Kaiserslautern e.V., Technology Initiative smartFactory KL e.V.,

Research & Development: DFKI - Innovative Retail Laboratory, FZI Research Center for Information Technology in Karlsruhe, Fraunhofer Institute for Computer Graphics Research, Fraunhofer Institute for Secure Information Technology, Fraunhofer Institute for Technical and Business Mathematics, University of Kaiserslautern, Saarland University.

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