• 7/3/2024
  • Reading time 3 min.

Science & Study Center Raitenhaslach

The place where ideas fly

At the Science & Study Center Raitenhaslach, TUM promotes the creative exchange of students and researchers from all disciplines – a report from a visit to the site.

People in Raitenhaslach at an Event of the TUM Graduate School. Andreas Heddergott / TUM
Raitenhaslach is the ideal place to develop new ideas - shown here at a event of the TUM Graduate School.

The French guest is enthusiastic. "No university in France has its own monastery!" In fact, the TUM Academy Center Raitenhaslach is showing itself from its best side. The rain has stopped, and the sun's rays shine through the high wooden windows, illuminating the colorfully painted ivy vines on the white wall of the seminar room.

Maybe the wallpaper in the red salon has a few cracks and the paint on the wooden doors is peeling. But where else can you discuss "Novel Nuclear Technologies" under the gaze of an austere, framed cardinal in oil and next to a three-meter-high tiled stove? The TUM Senior Excellence Faculty hosted this event in mid-June. One of the guests was Frenchman Franklin Servan-Schreiber, founder of Transmutex, a company that uses particle accelerators to render radioactive waste from nuclear facilities harmless.

Next door, researchers are meeting for the "Translational Neurotech" retreat, the TUM President's Strategy Team is meeting a few rooms away, and Ph.D. students have gathered for the seminar "Acting Successfully in an International Academic Environment".

More than 5,000 participants per year

The TUM Science & Study Center in the former Cistercian monastery of Raitenhaslach is almost always fully booked, says Elina Weinmann, who has been running the center for the past year. In 2023, she counted more than 5,000 participants in a total of 189 events. Of these, 145 were TUM conferences and workshops, while 29 events - concerts, readings, weddings - were organized by the city of Burghausen. The city is the owner of the site, having bought it at auction in 2003 and concluded a usage agreement with TUM in 2013. Another 15 events were booked by companies, mostly from the region. Elina Weinmann sees an upward trend for 2024 – if demand remains at this level, she expects 230 events that year. Many university student groups also meet in Raitenhaslach, and a contingent of rooms has been reserved for them.

Weinmann previously worked in seminar management at the University of Regensburg, and she clearly enjoys her work at the Academy Center. "Have you seen the room across from the ballroom? The one with the flower vines and the butterflies and the stucco? It's one of my favorite rooms!" She is in the process of implementing new software that will be able to handle all event information, such as duration, room occupancy, and attendees. It will also make it easy to provide up-to-the-minute signage for the rooms using display stands, and a large electronic board at the entrance will show the way to the conferences.

Plans for building own guest rooms

The surroundings also lure visitors out of the baroque rooms. The large garden in front of the former monastery invites you to take a break, the Salzach River to stroll along and the beautiful baroque monastery church to meditate for a few minutes. Raitenhaslach is the ideal place for new ideas, inspiring encounters and plans for interdisciplinary collaboration. But there is a catch: the accommodation. There is a monastery inn on the grounds, which also provides lunch for the many seminar guests. But it only has 18 rooms, which is usually not enough for most groups. Therefore, the guests of the Science & Study Center have to travel in the evenings to the hotels in Burghausen, five kilometers away. Unfortunately, it is not possible to end the evening in the peace and quiet of the former monastery after an exhausting day of seminars. Not yet, because there are plans to set up guest rooms in an empty wing.  

Franklin Servan-Schreiber, the guest from France, likes the idea. He helped renovate a monastery in Normandy, the rooms are very simple and the renovation was really not expensive, he says. And that French monastery is now a popular conference venue, "always booked.

Further information and links

Technical University of Munich

Corporate Communications Center

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