Unifying Concepts Catalysis (UniCat) is internationally the only Cluster of Excellence dedicated to the research of commonalities between chemical and biological catalysis.

UniCat (Foto: Schumann)More than 200 scientists from four universities active in the fields of chemistry, physics, biology and process engineering work in this interdisciplinary research association – alongside Technische Universität Berlin as the lead institution, they come from Freie Universität Berlin, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin and the University of Potsdam – as well as two Max Planck institutes.

Also part of the cluster is BIG-NSE (Berlin International Graduate School for Natural Sciences and Engineering), where young scientists from 20 different countries enjoy an interdisciplinary education.

A strategic partnership with the global player BASF SE has given rise to the “UniCat-BASF Joint Lab” BasCat, founded in 2011. Furthermore, the UniCat researchers have set up a national and international partnership network that interconnects academic and industrial bodies from over 20 countries. They are using the network to further the goals of the cluster and are gradually expanding it. These activities are also taking place as part of the Clara Immerwahr Award, which has been presented annually to outstanding young scientists in the field of catalysis since 2012. The “International Summer School” held every two years with the ICIQ (Institute of Chemical Research of Catalonia) in Tarragona is also worth highlighting in this context.