The Faculty will continue to play an active, leading role in the aforementioned three main research areas of the University. This makes sense considering the interdisciplinary nature of chemistry. We focus on chemically motivated partnerships with biology and medicine, nanoresearch, the broad field of water, and empirical educational research. The ability of chemistry to combine multiple research topics is one of the discipline’s greatest strengths. This is clearly visible in many projects, such as the WISNA professorship of nanomaterials in aquatic systems, the Alster research group, and the new research buildings that are currently in the application and construction phases. Both the University and the Faculty of Chemistry have welcomed several early-career researchers who have joined us under the Heisenberg Programme and the NRW academic returnee programme. While this underscores our high reputation as an attractive place to conduct research, it also raises several challenges regarding the development of long-term prospects. The integration of these young researchers into the existing and planned coordinated funding programmes, from research groups to Excellence Clusters, is a key component of the strategic evolution of our faculty. In particular, the development of the topic of smart materials is a connecting element: it fits perfectly into the UA Ruhr’s Flagship Program Materials Chain and simultaneously offers great potential for incorporating the UDE’s three main research areas to which the Faculty contributes.

Over the course of the next years, the Faculty of Chemistry will focus on extending the collaborative projects that are based at the Faculty of Chemistry or involve its researchers to a significant extent. This includes several strategic and structural measures launched at the Faculty during the past few years and will contribute to its sustainable development in the near future. Suitable academic appointments will establish a foundation for a joint application and the extension of the RESOLV Excellence Cluster in the next round of the Excellence Strategy. Dr Kai Exner has already been accepted into the current cluster as an associate member. The Faculty of Chemistry is participating in further applications within the scope of the Excellence Strategy, which are currently in preparation. If successful, they will have an effect on the strategic objectives, too.

Our successful, young scientists are already making great contributions to the Faculty with their new projects. They are expanding the Faculty’s portfolio and will further strengthen its research profile, helping to continue the successful work of the Faculty in Essen.