Federal institutions

doctoral student in a lab

Germany’s federal ministries fund approx. 40 federal R&D institutions. This departmental research is always directly related to the respective ministry’s field of activity. The main objective of this research is to support the ministry’s activities and provide the necessary scientific basis for the execution of government measures.

One example of a departmental research institute is the Robert Koch Institute in Berlin which is responsible for disease control and prevention. It is the central reference institution for both applied and response-oriented research as well as for the public health sector. Another example is the Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM). BAM is responsible for increasing safety and reliability in chemistry and materials technologies, including statutory regulations on safety standards and threshold values.

Facts and figures

Approx. 40 federal institutions with R&D responsibilities and ongoing cooperation with 7 additional R&D institutions

18,400 staff, including more than 8,600 R&D personnel, among them 4,000 researchers

Internal expenditure: 2.6 billion euros in total, for R&D: 1.0 billion euros (2015)

Research activities

Federal research institutions perform research in nearly all areas. The researchers concern themselves with current issues, such as:

  • The impact of modern technologies
  • Health and nutrition
  • Mobility and urban development
  • Environment, energy and climate protection
  • Changed working and living conditions

Research Budget

budget federal
Source: BMBF

Departmental research institutes are 100 per cent publicly funded. The total budget in 2015 was approx. 2.6 billion euros, with 1.0 billion euros allocated to R&D.