The Frankfurt area is home to a number of laboratories of international reputation which are dedicated to experimental research at the cutting edge of natural sciences, in particular in the areas of neurobiology and brain research, membrane proteomics and study of macromolecules, atomic and heavy ion physics, and the structure of elementary matter. While these branches of science have many potential connections and areas of overlap, contacts between researchers working in the different disciplines are scarce. Furthermore, while these experimental facilities receive substantial funding, this is not generally the case for theoretical research, which runs the risk of falling behind in the attempt to understand the rapidly accumulating experimental facts. This is particularly deplorable at a time when some of the mentioned disciplines, in particular those in the life sciences, are reaching a stage of maturity which calls for a higher degree of formalization of concepts and mathematical penetration.
This situation has inspired the initiative for founding a new type of research establishment, the Frankfurt Institute for Advanced Studies (FIAS), as an independent research institute performing cutting-edge research in the areas
Fostering interdisciplinary cooperation between these main research fields is a key objective of FIAS.
- Facilitating long-term pursuit of research projects in the domain of the theory of complex systems (both physical and biological), fostering interdisciplinary cooperation and providing a common platform to support existing research resources in the Frankfurt area.
- Enabling research and development of tools and systems which support interdisciplinary approaches and communication between scientists.
- Providing highly flexible, non-bureaucratic organizational structures that can easily be adapted to the rapidly changing needs of interdisciplinary research in a new field.
- Maintaining high international visibility in order to attract outstanding researchers and Ph.D. students from foreign countries.
- Providing a stepping stone to high-potential young scientists for accelerated development of their scientific careers.
- Operating the Frankfurt International Graduate School for Science (FIGSS) to provide the curricular frame for the recruitment and training of young scientists.