Research for Grand Challenges

Helmholtz Association

Helmholtz Logo

The Helmholtz Association is Germany's largest scientific research organization. Around 43,000 employees work in its 18 scientific-technical and biological-medical research centers. The Association's annual budget amounts to more than € 5.8 billion (as of 2021).

The Federal and authorities share around 70% of the total budget in a ratio of 90:10. The remaining 30% of the budget is acquired by the Helmholtz Centers in the form of contract funding.

The Helmholtz Association performs cutting-edge research, which contributes substantially to solving the grand challenges of science, society and industry. Scientists at Helmholtz concentrate on researching the highly-complex systems which determine human life and the environment. For example, ensuring that society remains mobile and has a reliable energy supply that future generations find an intact environment or that treatments are found for previously incurable diseases. The activities of the Helmholtz Association focus on securing the foundations of human life long-term and on creating the technological basis for a competitive economy. The potential with which the Association achieves these goals is made up of the outstanding scientists working at the research centers, a high-performance infrastructure and modern research management.

To succeed in meeting these responsibilities, the Helmholtz Association concentrates its work in six research fields:

  • Energy
  • Earth and Environment
  • Health
  • Information
  • Structure of Matter 
  • Aeronautics, Space and Transport.

Scientists develop research programs for each of these fields. International experts review these programs. Their evaluation forms the basis for the program-oriented funding given to Helmholtz research. Within the six research fields, Helmholtz scientists cooperate with each other and with external partners - working across disciplinary, organizational and national borders.

You can find an overview of the 18 Helmholtz Centers on the Helmholtz website. 

To Helmholtz website