The Aachen-California Network of Academic Exchange, ACalNet, had interconnect core disciplines from the natural sciences and engineering, focusing primarily on the fields of Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) and catalysis.

The application of magnetic resonance is fundamental in a variety of areas, including chemical analysis, materials science, medical diagnostics and geophysics, with ACalNet covering the whole range of methodology and applications of this technique. Catalysis is a major driving force for innovation in biochemistry and chemical engineering.

The interface between these two areas was the main focus of study of ACalNet. Most network members apply either highly sensitive nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy, imaging, hyperpolarization, or other spectroscopic techniques to study catalysis, materials structure and interfaces, quantum information processing, imaging or sensing. A common essential feature of the applied techniques is their capability of non-invasively probing materials and processes with molecular specificity, and ideally even under operating conditions.