One million euros – twice!

The Eva Mayr-Stihl Foundation funds research at the University of Freiburg’s Department of Sustainable Systems Engineering



Hans-Jochen Schiewer, Eva Mayr-Stihl and Robert Mayr (from left to right) signed the endowment agreement. Photo Patrick Seeger

Freiburg, Dec 06, 2017

One million euros for the newly-established Chair of Intelligent Networks, another million for research and teaching projects at the institute as a whole: for the next ten years the founders of the Eva Mayr-Stihl Foundation, spouses Eva Mayr-Stihl and Robert Mayr, are supporting the Department of Sustainable Systems Engineering (INATECH) in order to promote the development of new engineering science skills in the field of sustainability. “Eva Mayr-Stihl and Robert Mayr have been amongst the most important sponsors and champions of the University of Freiburg for many years now,” says the Rector, Prof. Dr. Hans-Jochen Schiewer. “We are extraordinarily grateful, happy and proud that we have now been able to convince their foundation, which for a long time has provided outstanding support for our Forest Sciences in particular, to help to develop our major project in sustainability research as well.”

The University of Freiburg founded INATECH within the Faculty of Engineering in 2015, where it also forms the engineering science heart of the Sustainability Center Freiburg, which is run by the university together with the five Freiburg-based Fraunhofer Institutes. “We have supported the development of the Department of Sustainable Systems Engineering at the University of Freiburg from the start, and likewise welcome the participation of the Freiburg Fraunhofer Institutes,” says Eva Mayr-Stihl. “We are delighted about the cooperation on the new INATECH project at the University of Freiburg – and we wish and expect every success for its implementation.”

“The foundation’s endowment gives INATECH ‎valuable opportunities for research and teaching in core issues such as material cycles and system-level solutions that are so important to the success of sustainable development stages,” emphasized Prof. Dr. Stefan Hiermaier, founding director of INATECH. “This will be an especially efficient boost for the issues of conserving resources and new forms of mobility.” The future holder of the Chair of Intelligent Networks is Prof. Dr. Melanie Zeilinger, who will move to the University of Freiburg on 1 October 2018 from the Federal Institute for Technology Zurich (ETH), Switzerland. The focus of her research is secure algorithms for autonomous systems that learn and interact in order to increase their performance. Energy systems, for example, can save resources by learning the profiles of their individual users, adapting and then coordinating consumption with other systems via the grid, in order to optimally balance fluctuations in demand. “To be efficient and sustainable, the technology of tomorrow must be far more networked and adaptable than today, while at the same time functioning absolutely reliably,” says Zeilinger. “The chair enables us to research into these fundamental questions and put them into practice within the excellent framework of INATECH.”

Since 1995 the Eva Mayr-Stihl Foundation has sponsored science and research at the University of Freiburg to the amount of EUR 3.3 million. Outstanding examples include its support for the Chair of Woodland and Forestry History, which received a million euros between 2005 and 2015, and since 2016 ongoing funding for a project by the Chair of Forestry and Environmental Policy amounting to EUR 500,000. The Foundation has also donated EUR 150,000 for the 550th anniversary of the university in 2007 and since 2014 has co-financed the Deutschlandstipendium for sixteen students to the tune of almost EUR 30,000. The University of Freiburg appointed Robert Mayr, the representative and executive of the Eva Mayr-Stihl Foundation, an honorary senator in 2005.

The Eva Mayr-Stihl Foundation
The Eva Mayr-Stihl Foundation is an independent non-profit foundation, established in 1986 by Eva Mayr-Stihl and Robert Mayr under the name Andreas-Stihl-Stiftung. It was renamed in 2004 in order to distinguish the company from the Foundation more clearly. The Foundation’s work focuses on science and research, health, art and culture.

Prof. Dr. Stefan Hiermaier
Department of Sustainable Systems Engineering (INATECH)
University of Freiburg
Tel.: +49 (0)761 2714101

Katharina Edlinger
The Eva Mayr-Stihl Foundation
Tel.: +49 (0)7151 96633-14
e-mail: presse(at)


Benutzerspezifische Werkzeuge