The Software Campus will train future technical leaders in the IT industry. The joint PPP initiative of leading companies, five universities and three research institutions from the national network of the European elite institution EIT ICT Labs and the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) will be launched in 2011. Each year, up to 100 selected Master's or Ph.D. students will be trained through intensive project work and the support of executives from the IT industry as mentors.
Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Wahlster, head of the DFKI in Saarbrücken, Kaiserslautern, Bremen and Berlin, has helped to develop this initiative and to secure broad support for the concept for more than a year.
"With the software campus we will create the unique chance for excellent computer science students with an entrepreneurial spirit, to qualify early on for a career in IT management of enterprises, through private industry-oriented projects and close contact with experienced top managers. DFKI has the practical approach, the clear project focus, the integration in the software cluster and the extensive network of industry partners which makes it an important partner of the Software Campus" said Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Wahlster.
In her closing address at the Dresden IT Summit, German Chancellor Dr. Angela Merkel said: "I think it's good that the software campus was founded to educate future leaders, instead of addressing the immediate need for skilled workers from abroad."
The software campus will provide an elite training for the ICT management trainees and future entrepreneurs in the master's and doctoral area on scientific excellence and will work together with the core partners of the German node of EIT ICT Labs. This shall include curriculum topics such as software modeling, software architectures, software development, software systems engineering, enterprise architecture and quality assurance.
Snabe, Co-CEO of SAP AG, said: "We want to ensure that every second graduate of the software campus will work as a leader in German IT companies within ten years. And since our industry is somewhat dominated by men, we specifically wish to also address women at the software campus. "
The total cost of the software campus will be ten million euros per year, half of which will be funded by the BMBF. As a national Co-location Centre of the European Institute for Innovation and Technology (EIT), the EIT ICT Lab GmbH in Berlin will organize the training network between the participating companies, computer science departments at universities and institutes in Germany. This includes the implementation of the necessary selection of seminars and ongoing quality assurance of all education and training activities.
Prof. Dr. Wahlster sees an urgent need for graduates of the software campus: "As more than 80% of all innovations in our key industries are either directly or indirectly based on software, we urgently need more top computer scientists with solid management skills in the boardrooms of the German economy."