Lord Mayor Hans Steindl and TUM-President Wolfgang A. Hermann initiated the project. The project met with unanimous support in the Burghausen city parliament and enthusiastic response from the local population – but also at the TUM, which has created a “geometric place of creative scientific dialogue,” as the president emphasized during the signing ceremony.
The city of Burghausen, as the owner of the property, is making the building available to the TUM free of charge for the next 25 years; the university will take over property operations. The renovation in progress of the historical estate is being funded by city and state; the Free State of Bavaria is contributing 10 million euro, which reflects the extensive requirements of historical preservation. The property will go into operation step by step as renovation work is completed.
TU München will install a management team for the Study and Seminar Center Raitenhaslach to plan, coordinate and manage local operations. Once construction work is completed, up to 150 people will be able to take part in events. The focus will lie on university internal and international meetings across all subject fields. Student events, faculty and Executive Committee retreats, as well as weekend and vacation academies will soon take place in Raitenhaslach. To this end, the operator is setting up the “TUM Raitenhaslach Studies Fund” that will enable university members to use the new location. This location-specific fund will be funded by the Excellence Initiative, the TUM University Trust and the university itself.
Mayor Steindl, who purchased the property in 2003 for the city of Burghausen is thrilled: “To have the TUM as a partner is an undeniable stroke of luck for us. This will allow us to implement our claim to a “science location” credibly and with an orientation to the future, while at the same time making a significant contribution to historical preservation.”
For TUM President Prof. Hermann, Raitenhaslach represents a decisive development step: “Sustainable internationalization means connecting your homeland to the world. Raitenhaslach is part of the Bavarian heritage with a great cultural tradition; Burghausen is a uniquely cosmopolitan, industry and science friendly city. We have thus found the ideal address regarding location and partners, an address that we will now develop to a first rate, internationally visible brand in science. University executives must not only be well versed in Europe, Asia and USA, but also in Bavaria, where our roots lie.”
The president made reference to the competition, MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Boston, USA), for whom a patron erected a new building “out in the countryside” for the same purpose. “We Bavarians, in contrast, can build on our cultural tradition – in their day, the Cistercians led the field when it came to hydraulic engineering and here the sciences as a whole developed out of monastic communities.”
Secretary of Science Bernd Sibler adds, “The project is a prime example for a future-oriented cooperation to the good of the region. It brings together the fostering of science, the economy and modern historical preservation in an intelligent manner. The TUM Science and Study Center Raitenhaslach makes the strengths of Bavaria visible internationally.”
Chancellor Albert Berger, who in his charge of the TUM administration prepared the contract with the city of Burghausen, also supports the new location: “Raitenhaslach has been rediscovered as a jewel. For the only technical university in the Free State of Bavaria, regionalization is part of the program. Now southeast Bavaria has been accorded a weight that is appropriate to this homeland region. The TUM will – as always – be a reliable partner.”
A detailed construction description with numerous pictures and plan drawings has been published by the TUM: Wolfgang A. Herrmann (editor), Raitenhaslach. Ort der Begegnung und Wissenschaft. Franz Schiermeier Verlag, München 2011.