A New Name for the GBF: Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research

Invitation to the Press on July 18, 2006 at 1 pm


The German Research Centre for Biotechnology (GBF) in Braunschweig has a new name. From July 18, our name will be Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research. The change, we believe, reflects more clearly the scientific focus of our institute. Another reason for the switch is to underscore the significance of the brand "Helmholtz Association" in Germany and abroad as the largest German research organization. The Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research is one of 15 research centers with 25,000 employees joined together under the umbrella of the Helmholtz Association.

"In the laboratories of our center, scientists are investigating the mechanisms involved in the transmission of infectious diseases and the defenses against them," explains Prof. Rudi Balling, Scientific Director of the Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research. "The results of our basic research are systematically developed toward medical applications, so we think the actual thrust of our scientific work is expressed much better by the new name," says Balling.

Prof. Jürgen Mlynek, President of the Helmholtz Association, also expects the name change to have a positive effect. "We hope the internationally respected quality research conducted by the Helmholtz Association will, in future, also be mirrored by our name recognition," says Mlynek. "To achieve that, numerous centers of the Association, in the months to come, will be changing their names to include 'Helmholtz' in the title." Mlynek sees the name changes as part of a strategy to sharpen the profile of the research centers to improve their international competitiveness.  "We want to give the centers a better position globally to compete for the best minds and funding," he says.

The name change is also accompanied by a new design. The three rainbow-like arcs in the new logo represent the three core elements of the Helmholtz strategy: to contribute to solving pressing world problems, to conduct research with complex technologies and infrastructures and to promote social and business applications for scientific findings.

Members of the media are invited on July 18, 2006 at 1 pm as part of the renaming festivities that day on the campus of the Helmholtz center in Braunschweig. There will be an opportunity for photographs at around 2:00pm following a flag-raising ceremony to unveil our new banner.

Please take note:

Also on July 18th, the Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research will be opening a new reception building. The campus will then be accessible from Inhoffenstrasse 7. Travel directions can be found at www.gbf.de or www.helmholtz-hzi.de.