Regional & National Partners

Locally, regionally and nationally, the CIN is in close cooperation with numerous institutions, not counting the University of Tübingen itself with its myriad facilities. The most regular exchange of people, resources, and ideas includes the following institutes:


An exemplary of public-private partnership, the Hertie Institute for Clinical Brain Research (HIH) embodies the bridge building between clinical medicine and basic research taking place in Tübingen. The HIH and the University Hospital's Department of Neurology together form the 'Center for Neurology' with total staff far exceeding 300 people. The Center encompasses five departments, four of which are engaged in patient care:

  • Neurology: Neurovascular Diseases (U. Ziemann)
  • Neurology: Epileptology (H. Lerche)
  • Neurology: Neurodegenerative Diseases (T. Gasser)
  • Cognitive Neurology (H.-P. Thier)
  • Cell Biology of Neurological Diseases (M. Jucker)


The CIN cooperates on many levels with the HIH; in many ways, the institutes are sister institutions, as is reflected in their twin buildings situated next to each other in the unofficial 'Neuroscience Campus' on Tübingen's Schnarrenberg. CIN chairman Hans-Peter Thier sits on the HIH board. Many HIH researchers, among them all of the HIH board members, also CIN hold memberships.
One professorship, that of Martin Giese, is jointly sponsored by CIN and HIH, while several more of the CIN's research groups receive additional funding from the HIH. Innumerable cooperative projects of varying size and duration have been undertaken over the years, many of them starting out with jointly applied-for intramural research grants.

Find out more about the HIH on their website.


The Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics is studying signal and information processing in the brain. We know that our brain is constantly processing a vast amount of sensory and intrinsic information with which our behavior is coordinated accordingly. Interestingly, how the brain actually achieves these tasks is less well understood, for example, how it perceives, recognizes, and learns new objects. The scientists at the Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics aim to determine which signals and processes are responsible for creating a coherent percept of our environment and for eliciting the appropriate behavior. Scientists of three departments and seven research groups are working towards answering fundamental questions about processing in the brain, using different approaches and methods.


  • Human Perception, Cognition and Action (Heinrich H. Bülthoff)
  • Physiology of Cognitive Processes (Nikos K. Logothetis)
  • High-Field Magnetic Resonance (Klaus Scheffler)


The CIN is cooperating with the MPI BC on a wide range of fields. K. Scheffler holds a professorship that is, almost uniquely, jointly sponsored by the CIN and the MPI Kyb. The MPI's department chiefs and many other MPI scientists are also CIN members, with H. Bülthoff serving as Deputy Chairman in the CIN Steering Committee. Several CIN research groups use laboratory and office space in the MPI's building, while other facilities are shared in the CIN building.
The Graduate Training Center of Neuroscience is another area in which CIN and MPI have a shared interest, as it is not only the CIN's (and the university's) vehicle for training and education of young neuroscientists, but also an International Max Planck Research School.

Find out more about the MPI for Biological Cybernetics on their website.


The Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems' goal is to understand the principles of perception, action and learning in autonomous systems that successfully interact with complex environments and to use this understanding to design future systems. The Institute studies these principles in biological, computational, hybrid, and material systems ranging from nano to macro scales. The Institute takes a highly interdisciplinary approach that combines mathematics, computation, material science, and biology. It does so in eight departments and nine research groups at two locations: Stuttgart and Tübingen.


  • Perceiving Systems (M. J. Black)
  • Theory of Inhomogeneous Condensed Matter (S. Dietrich)
  • Phase Transformations, Thermodynamics and Kinetics (E. J. Mittemeijer)
  • Autonomous Motion (S. Schaal)
  • Empirical Inference (B. Schölkopf)
  • Modern Magnetic Systems (G. Schütz)
  • Physical Intelligence (M. Sitti)
  • New Materials and Biosystems (J. Spatz)


The CIN has been cooperating with the relatively young MPI IS since its inception in March 2011. Institute directors M. J. Black and B. Schölkopf hold CIN memberships.

Find out more about the MPI for Intelligent Systems on their website.


The Stuttgart Fraunhofer Institute for Manufacturing Engineering and Automation is one of the largest among the 67 institutes of the huge, well-oiled research engine that is the Fraunhofer Society. The application-oriented institute employs more than 1,000 people in 13 departments and six business units.

Business units:

  • Automotive, Machinery and Equipment Industry
  • Electronics and Microsystems
  • Power Industry
  • Medical Engineering
  • Biotechnology
  • Process Industry


The Fraunhofer IPA has been a most valuable partner for the CIN in several collaborative undertakings, which is reflected in the fact that Fraunhofer Society board member and former IPA institute director Prof. Dr. Ing Alexander Verl holds a CIN membership.

Find out more about the Fraunhofer IPA on their website.


The NMI is involved in application-oriented research at the interface between the life sciences and material science. An interdisciplinary team of scientists is developing new technologies for companies and public research sponsors in the areas of pharma and biotechnology, biomedical technology, and surface and materials technology.

As an institute devised to facilitate the transfer of scientific results to industrial development and products, the NMI is an invaluable partner for an institution engaged mostly in basic research like the CIN. Possibly the most important aspect of this partnership is the NMI's close collaboration with CIN Senior Professor E. Zrenner's team, which focuses on the development of retina implants that restore a measure of sight to blind patients.

Find out more about the NMI on their website.



The Bernstein Center for Computational Neuroscience's research activities focus on the neural mechanisms underlying perceptual inference. The Center encompasses 30 principal investigators, many of them CIN members, and is organised into four main research areas (clusters).


  • Sensory periphery: coding principles and clinical applications
  • Population coding in the early sensory cortex
  • Perceptual inference mechanisms
  • Information integration processes


In 2010, 30 scientists from the CIN successfully applied for the Federal Ministry of Education and Research's funding initiative 'Bernstein Center for Computational Neuroscience'. This grant established a centre for theoretical neuroscience in Tübingen, coordinated by Matthias Bethge (CIN professor for Computational Neuroscience since 2009). The BCCN has been established with more than eight million Euros in funds, over a period of five years.
As the BCCN has grown from CIN activity, and the two institutes even share a building since its completion in 2012, it is just to say that the cooperation between CIN and BCCN is integral to both and almost familial in nature.

Read more about the BCCN on their website.


The Tübingen branch of the German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases (Deutsches Zentrum für Neurodegenerative Erkrankungen, DZNE), founded in 2009, extends the portfolio of Tübingen's excellent neuroscientific landscape to focus on the eponymous neurodegenerative diseases. As part of the Helmholtz Association and one of nine such Centers in Germany, the DZNE Tübingen puts special emphasis on research into two scourges of our society, Parkinson's disease and Alzheimer's disease. Its location right next to the buildings of the CIN and the Hertie Institute makes it a natural part of the inofficial 'Tübingen neuroscience campus'. Two of the DZNE's seven research groups are headed by CIN members.

Read more about the DZNE on their website.

Possibly even more important than these institutional associations, however, are the myriad cooperations and networks that exist on an individual basis: CIN scientists are as well-connected globally as they are in-house. The individual researchers’ readiness to engage in fruitful collaborations has brought about a profusion of cross-institutional papers, talks, and events over the years.

If you would like to work with us, be it with the CIN as a whole or with individual scientists whose work has caught your eye, do not hesitate to contact us!