July 7, 2020
By November 2020, an academically and economically sustainable business model will be developed for Jacobs University Bremen. This is the declared goal of Jacobs University, the Jacobs Foundation and the City of Bremen. The foundation for this was laid at today's meeting of the Board of Governors.
In a jointly organized review process, the coming months will be used to develop this business model – supported by external expertise. Already since the end of 2019, Jacobs University has been working on its strategy for the coming decades under its new president, Professor Antonio Loprieno – academically and economically. "In the midst of this strategy development process, which is important for Jacobs University, the business prospects of Jacobs University have been significantly negatively impacted by the COVID-19 crisis. It was therefore the right step to set a new course for the future at today's meeting of the Board of Governors. In the tradition of our strong cooperation, we will use the coming months for reorientation. We are all firmly convinced that this university will continue to be an enrichment for Bremen and the international scientific community," emphasized Antonio Loprieno.
Bremen’s Senator for Science and Ports, Dr. Claudia Schilling, assumed the role of the interim Chairwoman of the Board of Governors for the duration of this review process. She is succeeding the interim Chairwoman Lavinia Jacobs who will withdraw from the Board of Governors: "My deepest thanks for the work during the past period in these far-from-easy times. I am counting on constructive cooperation in the decisive months ahead!” With its high academic level, Jacobs University is an enrichment of the Bremen scientific landscape.
The Jacobs Foundation has been supporting Jacobs University financially since 2006 and has accompanied its development as its main shareholder. Now, at the end of this year, the Jacobs Foundation will end its role as a shareholder and make 63 million Swiss francs available to Jacobs University ahead of schedule. "With today's step we want to contribute to Jacobs University's sustainable reorientation in the coming months," said Simon Sommer, Co-CEO of the Jacobs Foundation. "The Jacobs Foundation itself will also reorient its strategy 2030, and we will set new thematic accents for our foundation's work."
The termination of the trilateral agreement, which has now been contractually agreed upon, will ensure Jacobs University's liquidity and guarantee its continued operation. In the second half of 2020, the aim is to develop a business model for Jacobs University that is sustainable in the long term and does not require any subsidies from the State of Bremen. In developing this model, particular attention will be paid to academic, legal and economic aspects.