The institutions participating in the collaborative research center – Saarland University, MPI-INF, MPI-SWS, DFKI, SnT and Loria – have a strong track record of cooperation, as documented for example by several overarching institutes: the Intel Visual Computing Institute; the Cluster of Excellence on Multimodal Computing and Interaction; the Saarbrücken Graduate School of Computer Science; and CISPA, the Center for IT-Security, Privacy, and

Host Institution – Saarland University

CISPA – Center for IT-Security, Privacy, and Accountability


The Center for IT-Security, Privacy, and Accountability (short: CISPA) was founded in October 2011 as a competence center for IT security at Saarland University.

CISPA is a dedicated institute focusing on the core competences in security and privacy, driving the joint research activities of all participating institutions. In this role, CISPA has established working collaborations between many of the research groups involved in the collaborative research center. This encompasses of course the tightly connected core security and privacy nucleus, but also encompasses strong collaborations with adjacent areas (e.g. distributed systems, PI Druschel) and across traditional area boundaries (e.g. information retrieval, PI Weikum). These established teams are complemented by additional researchers from the participating institutions, bringing in the cross-disciplinary expertise necessary to tackle the challenges of the research center.

Saarland University – Computer Science Department


Computer science is the highlight in Saarland University’s profile. From its beginnings in 1969, the Computer Science Department had an interdisciplinary orientation with strong links to computational linguistics, psychology, biology and medicine, law, business, and engineering. The CS Department soon gained wide recognition and received substantial funding from the German Research Foundation (DFG) for large collaborative research projects. The quality of the ongoing research has attracted the other high-profile players in the computer science field to the university campus.

They are located in close proximity on the campus of UdS and stay in constant close collaboration. IT security is a cross-cutting theme of central importance for all these institutions. Saarland University and its on-site partners joined forces and were successful in the initiative of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) to establish distinguished research centers for IT security, which resulted in the establishment of CISPA based on a common cyber security research agenda.

On-Site Partners


The Max Planck Institute for Software Systems (MPI-SWS) was founded in 2005 and conducts world-class foundational research in all areas related to the design, analysis, modeling, implementation and evaluation of complex software systems. The institute is located both at Saarland University and the University of Kaiserslautern and is currently home to 17 tenure-track and tenured faculty and about 100 postdocs and PhD students.

The Max Planck Institute for Software Systems focuses on various properties and foundations for IT systems to improve their availability, security, scalability, performance, correctness, as well as the interaction of software systems. The research agenda of MPI-SWS has a particular focus on programming languages & verification, distributed, dependable & mobile systems, security & privacy, real-time & embedded systems, social computing, as well as natural language processing.


The German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence (DFKI) was founded in 1988 and is nowadays the biggest application-oriented research institute in Europe. IT security has always been a core topic at the DFKI with a multitude of conducted projects in this area in the last 15 years. Moreover, the DFKI runs a dedicated IT security evaluation facility, which offers the independent security assessment of information technology. The evaluations are based on the internationally recognized Common Criteria (CC) for Information Technology Security Evaluation standard. The DFKI model of a non-profit public-private partnership (ppp) is nationally and internationally considered a blueprint for corporate structure in the field of top-level research. DFKI is actively involved in numerous organizations representing and continuously advancing Germany as an excellent location for cutting-edge research and technology. At present, 422 permanent researchers and 313 graduate students from more than 60 countries are contributing to 305 DFKI research projects.


The Max Plank Institute for Informatics (MPI- INF) is devoted to cutting-edge foundational research in computer science with a focus on algorithms and their applications. At present, the MPI-INF consists of six departments with a total of 27 senior researchers, 77 postdocs, and 121 doctoral students.

The methodology of MPI-INF in particular involves reasoning mathematically about the behavior of algorithms wherever possible. Since in many cases the analysis and sound modeling of individual systems is still far too complex, groups at MPI-INF also apply experimental analysis to assess the involved algorithms of complex systems. This is usually done in the form of systematic validation based on curated application data and specially developed statistical models and of real life systems’ usage in the application field.

International Partners



SnT , the Interdisciplinary Centre for Security, Reliability and Trust at the University of Luxembourg, conducts internationally competitive basic research into information and communication technology. SnT’s scientists are interested in medium to long-term prospects that are of major significance for industry and the public sector. Together with companies and public establishments cooperating with SnT, they mainly develop novel concepts arising from basic research. These present a genuine, long-lasting competitive advantage. With its alignment, the centre effectively supports the process of economic diversification in Luxembourg. Additionally through its expertise the SnT increasingly attracts R&D investments to the country.



LORIA is the French acronym for the “Lorraine Research Laboratory in Computer Science and its Applications” and is a research unit (UMR 7503), common to CNRS, the University of Lorraine and INRIA. This unit was officially created in 1997.

LORIA’s missions mainly deal with fundamental and applied research in computer sciences.

The lab is a member of the Charles Hermite Federation, which groups the four main research labs in Mathematics, in Information and Communication Sciences and in Control and Automation. Bolstered by the 500 people working in the lab, its scientific work is conducted in 27 teams including 16 common teams with INRIA. LORIA is today one of the biggest research labs in Lorraine.