ACalNet, the Aachen-California Network of Academic Exchange, is one of eleven Thematic Networks supported by the DAAD (German Academic Exchange Service) in its initiative “Strategic Partnerships and Thematic Networks”. The program is financed by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF). ACalNet was established in 2013, with the network's first funding period running until the end of 2016. DAAD has recently granted ACalNet a two-year extension, which will allow the continuation of the network's activities until the end of 2018.
The network’s main objective is the exchange of students and researchers between the partner universities as well as associated institutions in Aachen and California with the purpose of identifying and implementing joint research projects and collaborations. In the long term, a sustainable network interconnecting the partners in the two continents is envisioned.
RWTH Aachen University and three campuses of the University of California (Berkeley, Santa Barbara and Los Angeles) constitute the core of ACalNet, with associated research institutions (Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and Forschungszentrum Jülich) and industrial partners (CAT Catalytic Center and Schlumberger-Doll Research) complementing the network and offering research opportunities beyond a university setting.
At each partner institution, a growing number of academic members from the natural sciences and engineering integrate the network. The academic members, generally professors at the partner institutions, are involved in a variety of research areas around the core fields of Nuclear Magnetic Resonance and catalysis.
ACalNet offers a variety of exchange opportunities, primarily financing research stays at academic members’ laboratories at one of the partner institutions. However, exchange opportunities also include strategic meetings, visits to conferences and workshops.