03 May 2019

SAFE Becomes a new Leibniz Institute

The Joint Science Conference approves admission of the Research Center at Goethe University Frankfurt to the Leibniz Association from 2020 on

The LOEWE Center SAFE ("Sustainable Architecture for Finance in Europe") in the House of Finance at Goethe University Frankfurt is admitted to the Leibniz Association. The Joint Science Conference (Gemeinsame Wissenschaftskonferenz, GWK) passed a resolution to this effect this Friday. As a result, SAFE will become a Leibniz Institute on January 1, 2020, and be included in joint funding by the Federal Government and the State Governments (Länder). The Institute is dedicated to interdisciplinary research on an optimal regulatory framework for the financial markets and its economic and societal impact in Europe as well as to science-based, independent policy advice.

"We are grateful for this recognition of our academic work in recent years, so that we can continue to develop SAFE as a strong research community on an ongoing basis," says Jan Pieter Krahnen, Director of SAFE and Professor of Banking and Finance at Goethe University Frankfurt. Krahnen also sees the GWK's decision as a call to continue making a scientific contribution to better financial market regulation in Europe. The Institute will continue its close cooperation with Goethe University in Frankfurt – as a basis for academic excellence in a socially highly relevant field.

"The admission of SAFE to the Leibniz Association is a milestone for financial market research in Frankfurt and underlines the exceptional research quality that Jan Pieter Krahnen and his team at the Goethe University have achieved in recent years," says the President of the Goethe University, Prof. Birgitta Wolff. "This success would not have been possible without the support of the state program LOEWE. With SAFE, the development of academic excellence will continue to take place in university research formats. According to Wolff, in this respect, the founding of this Leibniz Institute does not mean the separation of top academics from the university, but a genuine expansion of the university's academic capabilities.

SAFE was established in 2013 as a cooperation between Goethe University Frankfurt and the Center for Financial Studies (CFS). "It is a great pleasure for me that SAFE can now be transferred to the Leibniz Association. This gives academic and policy advisory work on a sustainable financial architecture the attention it deserves," says Otmar Issing, President of CFS.

"Important national and international impulses"

In September 2017, the State of Hessen applied to the GWK for SAFE's membership in the Leibniz Association. Last year, the Institute was evaluated by the Leibniz Association and the German Council of Science and Humanities (Wissenschaftsrat) and received the best possible rating. "SAFE has proven itself as an interdisciplinary research group of the highest academic excellence," says Angela Dorn, Hessian Minister for Science and the Arts. According to her, the goal of conducting research on a sustainable architecture for the financial markets and their players benefits enormously from this cooperation between the disciplines. "I am very proud that the State of Hessen has made a significant contribution to SAFE's scientific success with its LOEWE funding. With the support from the LOEWE program amounting to 33 million euros over seven years, we have created optimal conditions for research and we are now seeing that we have invested well and sustainably in Hessen as a science location," says Dorn. She is confident that SAFE will provide important national and international impulses for politics, business, and society on the way to a less crisis-prone and more viable organization of the financial markets.

The Leibniz Association connects 91 independent institutes from a wide variety of disciplines that employ a total of around 19,100 people, including 9,900 researchers. In the area of economics, the German Institute for Economic Research (DIW), the Leibniz Centre for European Economic Research (ZEW), the ifo Institute for Economic Research in Munich, the Institute for the World Economy (IfW), the Leibniz Institute for Economic Research Halle (IWH) and the RWI - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research belong to the Leibniz Association.

SAFE pursues an interdisciplinary approach in cooperation with around 30 professors, 15 postdocs, 50 doctoral researchers and a large network of academics from research institutions worldwide. It brings together experts from the fields of finance, micro- and macroeconomics, law and sociology. In addition to research, one of SAFE's core concerns is to contribute to sustainable, stability and growth-oriented policymaking through professional policy advice based on research output. The SAFE Policy Center maintains a continuous dialogue with high-ranking decision-makers from politics, central banks and regulatory authorities in Brussels, Berlin, and Wiesbaden/Frankfurt.