Research Performing Organisations
Find out about Germany's forms of research locations: universities, universities of applied sciences, non-university institutes, companies and Federal as well as Länder Institutions. Profiles of each type of research performing organisation can be found here.
Germany is home to approx. 390 universities which offer the entire range of disciplines. Academic formation is characterised by a close link between education and research. This principle has a long tradition and was coined by Wilhelm von Humboldt (1767-1835), philosopher and founder of Humboldt University in Berlin.
The Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft conducts applied research for private as well as public enterprises and for the general benefit of the public. It has more than 80 units overall, including 60 Fraunhofer Institutes in Germany, and is the largest organisation for applied research in Europe.
The Helmholtz Association of German Research Centres provides top scientific achievements to society, science and industry for addressing the major challenges of today. The Helmholtz Association is the largest scientific organisation in Germany.
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The Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Scientific Community (WGL), known as the Leibniz Association, is the umbrella organisation for 87 research institutions which address scientific issues of importance to society as a whole. It stands out for its enormous diversity of themes addressed by the institutes.
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The Max Planck Society (MPG) is an independent, non-profit research organisation named after the world-famous physicist Max Planck (1858 - 1947). Primarily, the MPG performs basic research in natural science as well as in humanities, thus complementing research projects at universities.
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The main function of the German academies of science is to provide guidance and advice to policymakers and society as a whole relating to general and specific issues of science, including emerging issues.
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The Federal Government funds 41 research institutes that the Federal Ministries are in charge of. This departmental research is always directly related to the activity fields of a ministry. Its main task is to support the respective Federal Ministry’s activities and to provide the necessary scientific basis for the execution of sovereign tasks.
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The Federal States of Germany (Länder) act as research funding bodies, but they also run several research institutions which contribute to supporting the research activities of the Länder. There are more than 100 institutes covering a broad range of research areas.
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German companies are among the most innovative in Europe. Industry based and financed investments account for almost two thirds of all R&D funding in Germany.
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Over the last few years, the Federal Government has initiated a series of projects aiming at the creation of networks and clusters that promote new technologies. One key aim of these aggregations is to accelerate the process of making new technology products marketable.
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Germany is home to several research infrastructures with global significance in physics, earth science, climate research or the humanities. Examples of research infrastructures can be found here.
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The German Research Landscape - Who does research in Germany? (2011, 48 pages)
Read more about the unique network of university and non-university research organisations which Germany has to offer. This booklet gives you an excellent overview of the german research landscape. Target group: International students, graduates, junior and senior scientists interested in the German research landscape.
(PDF, 3.4 MB)