Many major sponsors of research or new research talent are organised as foundations. They include the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, which uses mainly public funding to enable highly qualified foreign researchers to undertake research stays in Germany. However, there are also organisations, such as Stiftung Bildung und Wissenschaft, that mainly support junior researchers.
Other large foundations, such as the Robert Bosch Stiftung, the Volkswagen Foundation, the Deutsche Bundesstiftung Umwelt, the Klaus Tschira Stiftung and the German Foundation for Peace Research, also support researchers, research projects and institutions with substantial funding.
Especially important is the Stifterverband, a registered charity that brings together over 3,000 companies, business associations, foundations and private individuals. The trust capital of the over 650 foundations supported by the Stifterverband’s subsidiary Deutsches Stiftungszentrum (DSZ) currently amounts to more than 2.9 billion euros.
The largest organisation of foundations is the Association of German Foundations. It represents the interests of over 21,000 foundations in Germany.
Facts and figures
Over 6,700 foundations incorporated under civil law have made the promotion of education, training and student support a foundation goal; more than 4,000 foundations are active in the field of science and/or research
Foundations provide 470 million euros – that is 6.3% – of third-party funding at higher education institutions
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