Division Leibniz Competition
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Funding Line 1: Innovative projects

Polissya as an interventional landscape: Space, Power, Technology and Ecology on the European Periphery 1915-2015 (POLIN)

Herder Institute for Historical Research on East Central Europe – Institute of the Leibniz Association (HI), Marburg

The modern history of Eastern Europe is often conceptualised in catastrophic narratives. The concept of intervention(al) landscape, which is the guiding heuristic concept for our research group, has been developed in order to challenge such views of modern Eastern Europe as an area (and era) of  bloodlands and nuclear wastelands. We chose a paradigmatic “disaster” landscape to evaluate and develop this alternative concept in a trans-disciplinary discussion: Polissya, a marshland in the Ukrainian-Belarusian-Polish border region, has been suffering from occupational regimes, the Holocaust, and the Chernobyl accident. Interventional landscape is a conceptual framework for a research program which provides a better understanding of the interdependence of space utilization, administrative power, and human intervention into natural landscapes. Research focuses on Social Engineering, genocidal action, asymmetric warfare as well as on Soviet technology and agricultural politics, and post-nuclear disaster intervention.

Period: 1. July 2015 – 30. June 2019

Project Website

Geographies of Dissociation: The Social Construction of Value from a Spatial Perspective

Leibniz Institute for Regional Development and Structural Planning (IRS), Erkner

In this research project we seek to analyse processes of social construction of economic value. The main idea is to combine two approaches. In the cultural geographic discourse, contributors highlight that commodities achieve high prices on markets if they are successfully associated with entities representing positive, extra-economic values. Complementary processes of dissociation so far have been ignored. The project makes a conceptual contribution to this discourse by developing a framework encompassing associations and dissociations as equally important mechanisms working together in the social construction of economic value. Empirically, the project will analyse this interplay taking the example of the global fur industry. To this end, we combine the political-economic perspective on value creation as elaborated in the global production network approach with cultural geographic and sociological approaches of the social construction of value.

Period: 1. July 2015 – 30. June 2019

Project Website

Biodiversity informatics to bridge the gap from genome information to educated utilisation of genetic diversity hosted in Genebanks (BRIDGE)

Leibniz Institute of Plant Genetics and Crop Plant Research (IPK), Gatersleben

The BRIDGE project will evolve the Federal ex situ Genebank from a 'storage facility' to an integrated resource and information centre for informed access and utilisation of crop diversity. Genotyping-by-sequencing (GBS) of the entire IPK barley collection will enhance quality, efficiency and cost-effectiveness of conservation management and provide comprehensive information on genetic diversity. The BRIDGE data warehouse will link sequence information to phenotypic data improving the depth of knowledge along with the scientific and practical value of the collection. Collaboration with the ScienceCampus Plant-based Bioeconomy, Halle, will foster capacity building of young researchers in the emerging field of Biodiversity Genomics.

Period: 1. May 2015 – 31. December 2018

Project Website

Water as an aquatic viral vector for emerging infectious diseases (AQUAVIR)

Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research (IZW), Berlin

Water is required for life. We have accumulated evidence suggesting it may be an overlooked viral vector. In climatic zones with seasonally limited precipitation (in East Africa and Central Asia) animals congregate at high densities at scarce water sources. We hypothesise that viruses shed in water in this ecological setting would gain a fitness advantage if they evolve traits permitting both the retention of their infectivity in water and a reduction of host specificity. This proposal will determine if water is a significant viral vector, how viruses behave mechanistically in such settings and to develop mathematical models for the phenomenon.

Period: 1. Juni 2015 - 30. November 2018

Project Website

Final report (PDF)

Digital Power Amplifiers for the Future Wireless Infrastructure

Ferdinand-Braun-Institut, Leibniz-Institut für Höchstfrequenztechnik (FBH), Berlin

Wireless communications have become an indispensable part of everybody's daily live. However, the ever growing demands require continuous efforts on advancing the equipment and the techniques used, both on the user terminal and the infrastructure side. Presently, the major portion of the base station architecture is already digital and thus can be adapted to future needs in a flexible way. The last remaining analogue component in the transmitter chain is the power amplifier before the antenna. There, the combination of challenges, to realise simultaneously high output power and bandwidth, low distortion as well as high energy efficiency, has prevented a digital solution so far. This will be addressed by the project presented here. Novel digital power amplifiers in the microwave frequency range are to be developed that make the wireless infrastructure capable of meeting the requirements of the future. This will involve also a big leap towards "green IT".  

Period: 1. February 2015 – 31. October 2018

Project Website

Final report (in German only) (PDF)

Topography in Space and Time

FIZ Karlsruhe – Leibniz Institute for Information Infrastructure

The project aims at creating a Virtual Research Environment (VRE) for an entirely new form of object and space related research in the humanities. As an example, the topography of a quarter of historical Nuremberg is displayed at three time levels: the early modern period; 1939; and the present. The representation consists of geo-referenced 2D maps and 3D models that serve as a structure for navigation. The novel approach lies in the fact that the 3D objects of the interactive city model are directly linked to research literature and source material (texts, images, sound) via hotspots. The VRE serves as a platform for merging extremely heterogeneous research data. It supports interdisciplinary research approaches and transdisciplinary networking. It also functions as an Open Access publishing platform and offers direct access to research data and results, thus supporting the concept of Open Science.

Period: 1. Mai 2015 – 31. August 2018

Final report (in German only) (PDF)

Interactions of Waves and Tides at Mid and High Latitudes in the Ignorosphere (WaTiLa)

Leibniz Institute of Atmospheric Physics at the University Rostock (IAP)

The general circulation and thermal structure of the mesosphere and lower thermosphere (MLT) region crucially depends on waves such as planetary waves (PWs), thermal tides, and internal gravity waves (GWs). However, the morphology of these waves and their interactions with each other and with the mean flow are only poorly understood. We intend to study these interactions with a special focus on tides. Short-term variability (days to weeks) of the wave parameters is studied using standard as well as novel radar and lidar instruments.  These measurements are complemented by global satellite observations and two unique circulation models (global and regional) with resolved gravity waves.

Period: 1. June 2015 – 31. May 2019

Sensoring with single atoms

Leibniz Institute of Surface Modification (IOM), Leipzig

Aim of this project is the development of a freely selectable arrangement of sensors, which are based on quantum mechanical effects. That way, it shall be realisable in the near-field to achieve a high resolution so that the read-out of single nuclear spins gets possible. This type of sensors is universally applicable for the determination of different physical quantities. Exemplary, nitrogen-vacancy centers (NV centers) generated by single ion implantation will be used for spectrometry as well as for magnetometry, allowing the tomographic determination of single spins at highest local resolution.
This mutual project is carried out in the Joint Lab ‘Single Ion Implantation’ of the Leibniz-Institute of Surface Modification and the Nuclear Solid State Physics department at the University of Leipzig. 

Period: 1. March 2015 – 28. February 2018
Final report (PDF)

Epitaxial phase change superlattices designed for the investigation of non-thermal switching

Paul Drude Institute for Solid State Electronics (PDI), Berlin

Phase change materials (PCM) are leading candidates for an innovative generation of memory. The main objective of this project is to design and realise epitaxial PCM superlattices, consisting of alternating layers of GeTe and Sb2Te3, to investigate the role of non-thermal and electronic excitations during the phase transformation. The fundamental physics underlying the phase change mechanism of such superlattices is still under debate. We will fabricate novel sequences of superlattices to investigate the switching mechanism by means of four complementary time-resolved experiments. We will use both ultra-fast optical pulses and long electrical pulses and compare the switching results. We intend to realise samples designed in their sequence such that the interpretation of time-resolved experimental results will be directly associated to the grown structure, through an atomistic picture.

Period: 1. July 2015 – 30. June 2019

Project Website

Illuminating lake ecosystems (ILES)

Leibniz Institute of Freshwater Ecology and Inland Fisheries (IGB), Berlin

Light is key in structuring biological communities and ecosystems. Skyglow and browning of lakes, two emerging features of global change, disrupt the current light conditions, with skyglow never experienced during evolutionary history. We elucidate the ecological consequences and underlying mechanisms through experiments in a large-scale field facility capturing the complexity of real lakes. We hypothesise that system-level light effects arise through physiological and behavioural responses of key species, triggering changes of trophic and competitive interactions, thereby shifting community structure and nutrient fluxes through the food web. Results promise to yield fundamentally new insights and inform water management.

Period: 1. July 2015 – 30. June 2019

Project Website