At some institutes, individual scientists focus on a single topic, for example at the Max Planck Institute for Mathematics. At other institutes, specialists in diverse disciplines collaborate and thus maintain their competitive edge in the face of global competition. This is exemplified by the Max Planck Institute for Solid State Research and the Max Planck Institute for Chemical Physics of Solids, where chemists are synthesizing new and future-oriented materials, the properties of which are subsequently analysed by physicists. Finally, a significant fraction of CPTS institutes provide support and leadership to large international collaborations that are researching the basic building blocks of matter and the Universe.
The need for leading institutions to specialize while addressing broadly defined research problems has created strong collaborative ties among various institutes. This is clear from the following scientific reports, which generally involve several institutes. These reports can be grouped into three broad themes based on the results and future directions presented: matter and materials, complex interactions and novel light.