The Dr. Erich Krüger Foundation: 13 Million Euro & Ten Years of Commitment to TU Freiberg

Frau Dr. Krüger mit Gästen in der Alten Mensa
Since 2006, the Dr. Erich Krüger Foundation has been committed to supporting application-oriented research, funding large-scale projects and improving facilities at the university, while fostering young scientists and students.

At an official ceremony on December 5, TU Bergakademie Freiberg honored and thanked Dr. Erika Krüger, the university's benefactor and honorary senator.

"For me, it was and it remains very important to use the funds of the Krüger Foundation to support young scientists, as well as to initiate research projects that blaze a trail into the future in order to compete with other universities," said benefactor Dr. Erika Krüger.

The Dr. Erich Krüger Foundation was founded in 2006 by an entrepreneur from Munich, Dr. Peter Krüger. Through the Foundation, TU Bergakademie Freiberg received what was the largest endowment fund ever bestowed on a state university in Germany. To date, the Foundation has supported students and research at TU Bergakademie Freiberg to the tune of more than 13 million euro.

"Currently, 15 young scientists from four faculties are conducting research into the development of a process chain for extracting strategic metals from ores, mining stockpiles and recycling materials. The Krüger Foundation enables TU Bergakademie Freiberg to set the most urgent issues as priorities and, thus, to sharpen its profile," said Rector Prof. Dr. Klaus-Dieter Barbknecht.

TU Freiberg boasts two Krüger Research Centers: the High-Pressure Research Center (see and the Biohydrometallurgical Centre for Strategic Elements (see Currently, a total of 22 doctoral candidates from 20 academic chairs across four faculties at the university work together on an interdisciplinary basis. The Foundation seeks to improve the university's research infrastructure by funding the acquisition of large-scale equipment (e.g. computer tomography systems, or large-scale shear devices to investigate rock mechanics), while supporting young scientists with scholarships attached to the Foundation's activities.

In this manner (and among a range of other activities), the Dr. Erich Krüger Foundation supported the establishment of the Center of Advanced Study and Research (GRAFA), while the last five years have seen it co-finance a total of 142 "Deutschland-stipendia" (German scholarships for talented students) and numerous doctoral students.

The Krüger Colloquium is a series of events in which renowned personalities from the fields of science, business and politics have given lectures and presentations in front of a wide audience since 2010, and it too is the brainchild of the Foundation. Up to June 2017, a total of 22 Krüger colloquia have been held in Freiberg (see

As Chairperson of the Executive Board, Dr. Erika Krüger continues to lead the Foundation in the spirit of her late husband, Dr. Peter Krüger, who passed away in 2007, and to implement the plans he envisioned at that time.

Today, the university bears a great debt of gratitude to the Foundation, whose great dedication has gifted institutions such as the KRÜGERHAUS to Freiberg – the building that has housed the "Mineralogical Collection Germany" for five years and is also the headquarters of the Krüger Foundation. The 500-year-old building was acquired by Dr. Peter Krüger in 2004. After extensive renovation, Dr. Erika Krüger handed it over to the Dr. Erich Krüger Foundation and TU Bergakademie Freiberg for use.

In addition, the chairperson of the board also supports the university from her private funds. As recently as October of 2017, Dr. Erika Krüger presented the CHILE-HAUS FREIBERG to the university for use – having financed its refurbishment and modernization with more than one million euro of her own capital. As a private individual, she has also supported 30 "Deutschland Stipendium" scholarships since 2012.

The members of the Foundation's Executive Board are Dr. Erika Krüger (Chairperson), Rector Prof. Dr. Klaus-Dieter Barbknecht, Prof. Klaus Michael Groll and Fritz Lütke-Uhlenbrock. With the help of recommendations from the Rectorate of TU Bergakademie Freiberg, the Executive Board decides, among other things, on the investment of the Foundation's funds in research. To this end, the Rectorate collects and reviews proposals received from within the university, while also proposing individual projects.

Further information about the Dr. Erich Krüger Foundation can be found here:

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