The German Excellence Initiative is an initiative to strengthen cutting edge research and international competitiveness among German universities. Its means, competition in three areas: Graduate Schools, Clusters of Excellence and Institutional Strategies, specifically addressing the promotion of young researchers, research potentials at German universities and German universities as a whole. Its effects so far: Structure- and profile-building, interdisciplinary and international cooperation, growing attraction for researchers worldwide. Its current status: In the middle of the second phase. Thus, “flattening the world” from a German perspective means to be at eye level with the world’s top researchers.