New DFG Research Training Group to be established at the University of Passau
The German Research Foundation (DFG) is setting up 14 new research training groups (RTGs) throughout Germany to further support researchers at the early stages of their career. On Monday, the DFG gave the University of Passau the go-ahead for one such RTG. From October 2022, the Research Training Group "Digital Platform Ecosystems" will be the University’s pivotal hub for leading-edge, international, and interdisciplinary research and advanced academic qualifications around a central phenomenon of the digital economy.
The Passau Research Training Group "Digital Platform Ecosystems (DPE)"
Digital platform ecosystems are both the basis for fundamentally novel data- and knowledge-intensive business models and a key phenomenon of the digital economy: AirBnB, Amazon, Uber, Google and Microsoft are well-known examples of platforms that form such digital ecosystems. The Research Training Group "Digital Platform Ecosystems (DPE) – Digital Platform-Based Value Creation and its Implications for Data Exchange, Organisation and Socio-Economic Development" seeks to address the research question of "What are the idiosyncratic characteristics of digital platform ecosystems and what are their implications for the transformation and design of economic value-creation architectures as well as for overarching socio-economic and regulatory developments?"
Starting in October 2022, the DFG will fund numerous doctoral and postdoctoral researchers at the University of Passau for four and a half years. They are guided by nine doctoral advisors, including Spokesperson Professor Jan Krämer and Deputy Spokesperson Professor Andreas König, who jointly planned and initiated the RTG over the past three years, and Professors Stefan Bauernschuster, Michael Grimm, Carolin Häussler, Hannah Schmid-Petri, Jan Schumann, Thomas Widjaja, and Dr Daniel Schnurr.
"We are very pleased and grateful for this opportunity to establish Passau as a hub for research on digital platforms", said Professor Jan Krämer. "Our approach is truly unique. We are tackling digital platforms from a combination of disciplines and different perspectives, including information systems, business administration, economics, and communication science. One important focal point of our research is on the societal challenges and opportunities that emerge with these platforms – for industrialised countries and developing countries alike. There have long been calls for such an overarching perspective, but so far no-one has truly adopted and advanced such a discipline-crossing approach to this level of consistency. This is both surprising and problematic because digital platform ecosystems are already having a tremendous impact on nearly all sectors of the economy, and their implications for society as a whole are staggering."
Professor Andreas König added: "I think the first thing we'll do is celebrate – and then we'll immediately begin preparations so that we can hit the ground running next year. We want to attract the cream of the crop of critically thinking and creative doctoral students, and we believe that with our combined expertise, our RTG is certainly attractive. Notably, the generous funding will also enable us to invite even more colleagues from around the world, who are at the top of their respective fields, to Passau. This will bring us one step closer to realising our vision of our University as a leading research centre on the societal implications of digitalisation."
President Professor Ulrich Bartosch thanked all those involved in the proposal and emphasised that "being granted the DFG Research Training Group Digital Platform Ecosystems is a wonderful success for the University of Passau as a whole. Our researchers indeed establish Passau as a hotspot for one of the essential acceleration processes for economic development."
"In demonstrating this level of research excellence in this highly competitive application process, we have reached an important milestone for our university", said Professor Robert Obermaier, the University of Passau's Vice President for Research, adding: "My thanks and congratulations go to all academics involved and the administrative staff supporting them. This was truly an outstanding team performance. And the best thing is: We can now offer excellent young researchers the best possible conditions for starting their career in science for several years."
Professor Schumann, Dean of the School of Business, Economics and Information Systems – which is home to eight of the nine applicants – said: "The DFG grant for the Research Training Group is excellent news. It really highlights the research excellence at our school. There will be many fascinating events and doctoral courses, which will vastly enrich and drive our research forward over the coming years."
Research Training Groups offer doctoral researchers a focused research programme and a structured training strategy as a framework in which to complete their doctorate. Their aim is to prepare doctoral researchers for the complexities of the job market in science and academia and simultaneously to encourage early scientific independence. The DFG currently funds a total of 218 RTGs. For an overview, visit the German Research Foundation's website.
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