Mission Statement

We want to help shape a digital society with excellent research. Learn about the principles we have set for ourselves.
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Since its founding in 2017 as a Wissenschaftskolleg, the CAIS has given numerous fellows from many countries, different subjects, and academic stages of life the opportunity to pursue their projects in Bochum and benefit from an intensive scientific exchange.

Why do we do research?

We want to contribute to the people-friendly design of a digital society with excellent research in dialog with the public.

Developing the potential of digitalization for human interests, needs and capabilities is one of the central challenges of democratic societies. The CAIS is a place of innovative research and a source of impulses for a critical public that comes to an understanding about a self-determined life in the digital age. We want to establish a distinctive profile in the national and international scientific landscape with outstanding research. By proposing evidence-based solutions, we contribute to shaping the digital transformation in a way that puts people at the center. In doing so, we foster a culture of open, transformative science and initiate exchange with politics, business and civil society.

What are we researching?

We address digital transformation in all its facets and test our research findings in practice.

Our research encompasses the social, political, economic, cultural and technical changes that accompany digitization. We investigate cross-cutting issues that cannot be researched in a compartmentalized manner. In our research programs, we interlink different disciplinary worlds from the social sciences and humanities to computer science. This holistic socio-technical approach encompasses both basic research and application-oriented questions. We use the results of our research in real laboratories together with actors from different areas of society to find exemplary solutions to concrete problems.

How do we do research?

We identify socially relevant topics with an innovative research incubator and investigate them in interdisciplinary research programs.

We run four interdisciplinary research programs for five years each. With these thematically and temporally limited programs, we can react in a focused and flexible way to societal and technical developments. As a learning and agile institute, we continuously receive input from society and science.

In order to identify currently important issues for research programs, we have designed a research incubator that systematically monitors the social and scientific debate on digitization. In implementing the research programs, we test creative formats of inter- and transdisciplinary cooperation in dealing with complex topics.

Who is doing the research here?

We are a team of experienced and young researchers from different disciplines, who are in an intensive exchange with citizens and experts from the field.

Two scientific directors from the social sciences and computer science lead the research at CAIS. Professors from different disciplines coordinate the interdisciplinary research programs. Another professorship leads the Research Data & Methods (RDM) department, and the Ethical, Legal & Social Issues (ELSI) department is home to two professorships and one postdoctoral position. The CAIS’s own programs for the promotion of young researchers support them in their professional development. Dialogue with social groups and the public is organized by our science communication team.
In addition, as an employer we want to realize equality and diversity with a variety of different measures, which are formulated in an equality plan and support the compatibility of gainful employment and care work.

External research excellence is integrated through associated researchers and visiting scientists. We also initiate research partnerships and collaborative projects with partners from universities and other research institutions.

When do we do research?

We started building CAIS into a central research institute in April 2021 and launched our first research program in October 2021.

Since October 2021, the first research program of CAIS has been dealing with the topic of “digital democratic innovations”. In mid-2022, we started with the research program on educational technologies and the role of artificial intelligence. We will start research in the topics of sustainability and digitalization as well as trustworthy artificial intelligence in the course of 2023. New professorships will be established for the coordination of the research programs, which will be appointed at universities from the shareholder group of CAIS and seconded to CAIS.

Where do we research?

In the heart of North Rhine-Westphalia, we conduct research together with our shareholders, the universities in Bochum, Duisburg-Essen, Düsseldorf and Münster, as well as the Grimme Institute in Marl and the Leibniz Institutes GESIS and RWI in Cologne and Essen.

The CAIS is located in Bochum halfway between the university and the city center. In perspective, a move to a new building is planned. Bochum offers an ideal environment for CAIS with the Horst Görtz Institute for IT Security (HGI), the Cluster of Excellence “CASA: Cyber Security in the Age of Large-Scale Attackers” and the Max Planck Institute for Security and Privacy (MPI-SP). Close research partnerships exist with the shareholders of CAIS, the Ruhr University Bochum, the University of Duisburg-Essen, the Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf, the Westphalian Wilhelms University Münster as well as the Grimme Institute in Marl and the Leibniz Institutes for Social Sciences GESIS in Cologne and for Economic Research RWI in Essen.

“Now we are starting to develop CAIS into an institute for digitization research that will conduct its own research programs with an interdisciplinary team of scientists:in. With our research, we want to understand the fascinating dynamics of the digital age and help shape it.”

Prof. Dr. Michael Baurmann, Scientific Director

Equal opportunities plan

As an employer, we want to realize equality and diversity with a variety of different measures formulated in an equal opportunities plan that support the reconciliation of gainful employment and care work.

About us

CAIS Broschüre 2022