The Helmholtz Association of German Research Centres is Germany’s largest scientific organisation. Helmholtz works on long-term research goals. The core concept is the preservation and improvement of the basis for human life.
18 independent Helmholtz Research Centres have joined forces under the umbrella of the Helmholtz Association. They focus on natural sciences, biology and medicine, and work in six fields of research:
- Earth and Environment
- Aeronautics, Space and Transport
- Key Technologies
The Helmholtz Association is the only research organisation in Germany whose mission is to set up, operate and continue to develop large research infrastructures, such as particle accelerators, research vessels and aircraft. Its facilities are made available to teams from universities and non-university research institutes both within Germany and abroad.
The Association has three instruments to enable Helmholtz Centres to achieve their goals:
- Inter-centre, programme-oriented funding
- Development and operation of complex infrastructures and unique large-scale facilities
- The Helmholtz President’s Initiative and Networking Fund.
Facts and figures
18 scientific-technical and biological-medical Helmholtz Research Centres
More than 39,000 employees, including over 22,000 research staff
5,000 PhD students and 10,000 scientists from all over the world
Annual budget: 4.6 billion euros (2018)
Partnerships with institutions and organisations all over the world, international collaborative research projects in many countries
Roughly 400 patent applications each year
The Helmholtz Association contributes to our understanding of the complex systems that influence human life and the human environment: not only questions relating to a secure and reliable energy supply, sustainable use of resources, future mobility or the treatment of previously incurable diseases, but also questions such as the origin of the universe. Helmholtz Research Centres provide the most modern scientific infrastructure, which is also used by the international scientific community. In some cases, this equipment is the only one of its kind in the world.
The Helmholtz Association maintains offices in Beijing, Brussels, Moscow and Tel Aviv.
Helmholtz is involved in a large number of strategic partnerships with institutions and organisations all over the world. Traditionally, these primarily include partners in North America, but also in Asia and the Pacific region.
In addition, the Association is constantly working to develop relationships with research institutions in Central and Eastern Europe. This commitment has given rise to a variety of joint research projects with Czech, Hungarian, Polish and Russian partners.
The Helmholtz Association’s total budget amounts to 4.6 billion euros (2018). Helmholtz’s annual budget consists of basic funding and third-party funding. The Federal Government and the respective states in which Helmholtz Centres are located provide funding on a ratio of approximately 90 to 10%. The Helmholtz Research Centres raise roughly 30% of their total budget themselves in the form of third-party funding.