With a combination of research, education and innovation, KIT aims to find sustainable solutions for the growing challenges concerning society, industry and environment. The main objective is to substantially contribute to the success of major societal projects, such as the “Energiewende”, a safe and sustainable mobility or intelligent technologies for information society. Further major topics are climate and environment; humans and technology; new materials; mathematics; and elementary particle and astroparticle physics. The institute focuses on engineering sciences, natural sciences, economics, the humanities, and social sciences as well as their interdisciplinary interaction.
KIT addresses societal challenges such as the energy transition but also the increasing use of scarce resources and the impairment of important ecosystem services. The KIT Energy Center – one of eight centres – focuses, for example, on "Renewable Energies", "Energy Storage and Distribution", "Efficient Energy Use", and "Energy System Analysis". The KIT Climate and Environment Center conducts research "for an environment worth living in" and develops strategies and technologies to secure the natural bases of life. It is not only aimed at eliminating the causes of environmental problems, but increasingly on adapting to changing conditions. Focusing on environmental research such as land use (change), water supply and quality as well as and responsible mining and use of raw materials, the researchers aim to find solutions to challenges in these fields. One cross-cutting topic "natural hazards and risk management" highlights the technological, ecological, economic, and societal aspects of the management of natural disasters. Another main topic is "urban systems and material flow management" prioritising suitable strategies for a sustainable development of cities or metropolises.
With more than 9,600 employees, 23,300 students and an annual budget of around EUR 967,7 million, KIT is among the biggest research and education institutions in Europe. Basing its activities on scientific sincerity and excellence, the institute aims to reach a top position in its specialised research areas on an international level. According to the “QS World University Rankings by Subject 2021”, KIT is among the 100 best universities in the world for ten subjects. KIT is one of the German universities of excellence.
The research and work of KIT mainly contributes to the Sustainable Development Goals 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 9, 11, 12, 13, and 15: