The institutions participating in the Collaborative Research Centre – Saarland University, CISPA, MPI-INF, MPI-SWS, DFKI, University of Potsdam, University of Erlangen-Nuremberg, University of Luxembourg and INRIA – have a strong track record of cooperation, as documented for example by several overarching institutes: the Intel Visual Computing Institute; the Saarbrücken Graduate School of Computer Science; the Helmholtz Medical Security and Privacy Research Center as well as the French-German Center for Cybersecurity.

Host Institution – Saarland University

Saarland University – Computer Science Department

The scientific strength in Computer Science at Saarbrücken site has also contributed to the fact that this research field is one of three main focuses of Saarland University along with "Europe" and "NanoBioMed".
From its beginnings in 1969, the Computer Science Department had an interdisciplinary orientation with strong links to computational linguistics, psychology, biology and medicine, law, business, and engineering. The Computer Science Department soon gained and still gains wide recognition and received substantial funding from the German Research Foundation (DFG) for large collaborative research projects. The quality of the ongoing research has attracted the other high-profile players in the computer science field to the university campus.
CISPA, MPI-INF, MPI-SWS, and DFKI are therefore located in close proximity on the campus of Saarland University and have also a track record of excellence in all sub-areas of security and privacy, which they were able to demonstrate through their research activities during the funding period of the CRC 1223.

On-Site Partners

CISPA Helmholtz Center for Information Security

CISPA was established as a competence center of the BMBF in 2011 and a central institution of Saarland University in 2014. The decision of becoming the 19. Helmholtz Center was made in 2017 and CISPA became an official Helmholtz member in 2019. Its research agenda comprises all aspects of Information Security.
With its ongoing growth, CISPA will have the critical mass of researchers (500+) to provide a comprehensive, holistic treatment of the pressing grand Cybersecurity and Privacy research challenges that our society faces in the age of digitalization. CISPA seeks to play a prominent international role on research, transfer, and innovation by combining cutting-edge, often disruptive foundational research with innovative application-oriented research, corresponding technology transfer, and societal outreach. Thematically, it strives to cover the full spectrum from theory to empirical research. It is deeply grounded in computer science and works interdisciplinarily with researchers in adjacent fields such as medicine, law, and the social sciences.


The Max Planck Institute for Software Systems (MPI-SWS) was founded in 2005 and conducts world-class foundational research in all areas related to the design, analysis, modeling, implementation and evaluation of complex software systems. The institute is located both at Saarland University and the University of Kaiserslautern and is currently home to 17 tenure-track and tenured faculty and about 100 postdocs and PhD students.
The Max Planck Institute for Software Systems focuses on various properties and foundations for IT systems to improve their availability, security, scalability, performance, correctness, as well as the interaction of software systems. The research agenda of MPI-SWS has a particular focus on programming languages & verification, distributed, dependable & mobile systems, security & privacy, real-time & embedded systems, social computing, as well as natural language processing.


The Max Plank Institute for Informatics (MPI- INF) is devoted to cutting-edge foundational research in computer science with a focus on algorithms and their applications. At present, the MPI-INF consists of six departments with a total of 27 senior researchers, 77 postdocs, and 121 doctoral students.
The methodology of MPI-INF in particular involves reasoning mathematically about the behavior of algorithms wherever possible. Since in many cases the analysis and sound modeling of individual systems is still far too complex, groups at MPI-INF also apply experimental analysis to assess the involved algorithms of complex systems. This is usually done in the form of systematic validation based on curated application data and specially developed statistical models and of real life systems’ usage in the application field.


The German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence (DFKI) was founded in 1988 and is nowadays the biggest application-oriented research institute in Europe. IT security has always been a core topic at the DFKI with a multitude of conducted projects in this area in the last 15 years. Moreover, the DFKI runs a dedicated IT security evaluation facility, which offers the independent security assessment of information technology. The evaluations are based on the internationally recognized Common Criteria (CC) for Information Technology Security Evaluation standard. The DFKI model of a non-profit public-private partnership (ppp) is nationally and internationally considered a blueprint for corporate structure in the field of top-level research. DFKI is actively involved in numerous organizations representing and continuously advancing Germany as an excellent location for cutting-edge research and technology. At present, 422 permanent researchers and 313 graduate students from more than 60 countries are contributing to 305 DFKI research projects.

National Partners

University of Potsdam – Computer Science Department


The Institute of Computer Science of the University of Potsdam features an interdisciplinary research profile and a great variety of study programs. The University of Potsdam has close ties to more than 20 research institutes in Potsdam and the surrounding region. The institute conducts basic research, interdisciplinary collaborations, and application-oriented collaborations with industrial partners. The start-up network of the university supports graduates and researchers in the process of starting spin-off companies.

University of Erlangen-Nuremberg – Computer Science Department


The Department of Computer Science (formerly the Institute for Mathematical Machines and Data Processing) was founded in 1966 as one of the first computer science institutes in Germany. Since the end of 1966, the Department has been part of the Faculty of Technology at the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg. It is therefore one of the few in Germany with an engineering orientation.
Today, the Erlangen Department of Computer Science comprises 14 chairs. There are 24 professors and more than 180 research assistants working in research and teaching.

International Partners



SnT , the Interdisciplinary Centre for Security, Reliability and Trust at the University of Luxembourg, conducts internationally competitive basic research into information and communication technology. SnT’s scientists are interested in medium to long-term prospects that are of major significance for industry and the public sector. Together with companies and public establishments cooperating with SnT, they mainly develop novel concepts arising from basic research. These present a genuine, long-lasting competitive advantage. With its alignment, the centre effectively supports the process of economic diversification in Luxembourg. Additionally through its expertise the SnT increasingly attracts R&D investments to the country.



LORIA is the French acronym for the “Lorraine Research Laboratory in Computer Science and its Applications” and is a research unit (UMR 7503), common to CNRS, the University of Lorraine and INRIA. This unit was officially created in 1997.
LORIA’s missions mainly deal with fundamental and applied research in computer sciences.
The lab is a member of the Charles Hermite Federation, which groups the four main research labs in Mathematics, in Information and Communication Sciences and in Control and Automation. Bolstered by the 500 people working in the lab, its scientific work is conducted in 27 teams including 16 common teams with INRIA. LORIA is today one of the biggest research labs in Lorraine.