Interdisciplinary cooperation is especially challenging due to different working cultures and terminology. Successful implementation therefore requires a common interest on the part of the participating scientists as well as effective management. With projects characterised by extensive networks with many participants working across several departments, the necessary coordination process is especially challenging.

For this reason, the ACE research platform is organised based on Stafford Beer’s Viable System Model (VSM) and thereby avoids, even in its basic structure, the usual friction of conventional matrix organisations. The organisational development of ACE was undertaken with the support of the Malik Management Zentrum St. Gallen, which carries out senior and junior management staff training for the Helmholtz Association within the Helmholtz Management Academy.