University of Mannheim Foundation – Current Projects

The Friends of the University of Mannheim and ABSOLVENTUM MANNHEIM established the University of Mannheim Foundation in 2005 to contribute to making the University of Mannheim more economically competitive. For 17 years now, the foundation has been funding the future at the University of Mannheim. It supports promising research and teaching projects that could not be realized with state funds alone, thus creating new opportunities for the University of Mannheim to conduct research on forward-looking topics such as digital transformation or the energy transition. The foundation’s stated goal is to provide funding for research and teaching so that the university can expand its leading international position and continue to attract the world’s best minds to Mannheim. Promoting equal opportunities by awarding Opportunity Mannheim Scholarships is also part of the foundation’s portfolio, while in response to crises such as the pandemic or the Ukraine war the foundation was able to react quic

New collaborations

Thanks to the sponsorship of BNP Paribas Wealth Management – Private Banking, the University of Mannheim Foundation is able to distribute funds to the social fund of the Elite Student Athletes Scholarship Rhine-Neckar Metropolitan Region (MRN Sports Scholarship) for the benefit of top student athletes at the University of Mannheim. “The values of performance, security, and freedom are of particular importance for us and our clients. We chose this sponsorship because it reflects both our values and the qualities of a top athlete,” says Marcel Becker, Head of Private Banking at BNP Paribas Wealth Management Germany. Sarah Seidl, overall coordinator of the MRN Sports Scholarship and Elite Sports Officer at the University of Mannheim, is delighted about the funding, which is distributed via the University of Mannheim Foundation: “Our scholarship holders have monthly fixed costs that are approximately 300 euros higher than those of students who don’t participate in competitive sports. Often, the cost of equipment, travel to and from competitions, and training camps can no longer be borne by the clubs. That’s why we’re so grateful to have the support of BNP Paribas Private Banking to help our scholarship recipients financially.” The University of Mannheim Foundation has received an initial five-year grant from BNP Paribas Wealth Management – Private Banking.  

E.W. Kuhlmann Stiftung

Many people achieve outstanding things at a young age. The Deutschland Scholarship supports them and aims to give them opportunities for extracurricular activities and personal development alongside their studies. Edmund Kuhlmann, the founder of the E.W. Kuhlmann Foundation, admired the idea behind the Deutschland Scholarship, and so his foundation will fund ten Deutschland Scholarships starting in 2022. The foundation also supports the Otto Selz Institute’s student counseling service so that it can provide counseling and support to students as they transition from their studies to the working world. Students have already been able to take advantage of the first counseling sessions. Their concerns include loneliness, self-doubt, fears about the future, and a lack of work–life balance. 

Data Science Working Group

On 3 May 2022, the University of Mannheim Foundation, in collaboration with the Mannheim Center for Data Science (MCDS), held the kick-off event for a Data Science Working Group that is to meet regularly. The aim of the working group is to facilitate in-depth dialogue between interested entrepreneurs and MCDS researchers about specific questions and problems relating to data science. The kick-off took place in the University of Mannheim’s Aula, with around 30 participants and staff from the foundation and MCDS. The event immediately sparked a constructive exchange and initial questions were formulated and enthusiastically discussed in three working groups on the previously agreed topics of digital business models, ecological sustainability, and data literacy. The foundation and MDCS researchers look forward to continuing the format over a period of three years. If you are interested in the working group, Dr. Sarah Tapp would love to hear from you.

Schneckenhof redevelopment

Anyone who has studied at the University of Mannheim associates the Schneckenhof with lively parties and exuberant fun. In order to make the courtyard even more inviting not only at night but also during the day, the University of Mannheim Foundation and alumni organization ABSOLVENTUM MANNHEIM want to give it an update. It is to become greener, more comfortable, and more welcoming, so that students and employees will continue to enjoy spending their lunch breaks there in the future. Planning is already underway together with Mannheim’s Building Department, says the foundation’s Managing Director, Sabrina Scherbarth: “We would already like to thank ABSOLVENTUM and VR Bank Rhein-Neckar for their donations to this sustainable project and are very much looking forward to making it a reality.” 


Endowments are what keep a foundation going. Since even in today’s times endowments yield income with which the foundation can finance projects, it welcomes further donors. “Most recently, our longtime board member Dr. Näger decided to make a five-year endowment. And we are also very pleased about the renewed long-term donation from Dr. Fuchs, who has always been a loyal supporter,” says Managing Director Sabrina Scherbarth of the foundation’s latest successes.  

Text: Redaktion / October 2022