Heidelberg University established the programme Scientific Computing within its Institutional Strategy “Realising the Potential of a Comprehensive University”, funded by the German Excellence Initiative.

The programme Scientific Computing has the goal to build bridges across the disciplines of the University and its four Fields of Focus (FoF) by triggering collaborative interdisciplinary research and supporting “pioneering” projects in new and classical application areas. In many disciplines, scientific research can profit enormously from the possibilities of current computing technology and digitalization. However, only the development of new problem-specific mathematical and computational methods in interdisciplinary research projects leads to real innovation and unique features.

Due to its specific research profile, the Interdisciplinary Center for Scientific Computing (IWR) plays a leading role at this cutting point between methodology and application and within the University’s Institutional Strategy. Since its foundation, the IWR gained high visibility and reputation in the classical application areas of computational chemistry, computational physics (particularly astrophysics, environmental physics and biophysics) and industrial applications of scientific computing. Since the 1990s, the computational biosciences (particularly systems biology, BIOMS and BioQuant) expanded the IWR’s portfolio. The current focus of the programme lies on the following five application areas of the Computational Sciences:

Medicine and Health Care (FoF 1)
Industrial Applications (FoF 2)
Advanced Materials (FoF 2)
Humanities (FoF 3)
Social and Behavioural Sciences and Economics (FoF 4)

The two classical application areas Astrophysics (FoF 2) and Environmental Sciences (FoF 2) have previously been featured in the programme (2014-2015).