- © AWI
- The Neumayer-Station III is a German research station in the Antarctic operated by the Alfred Wegener Institute (AWI).
Germany is home to several research infrastructures (RIs) of global significance. Research infrastructures are major instruments, resources or service facilities for research in all disciplines that stand out because they are of at least national significance and have a long life – as a rule, more than ten years. In the case of the natural, biological, environmental and technological sciences as well as medicine, investment costs amount to at least 15 million euros. Facilities like the Deutsches Elektronen-Synchrotron (DESY) and the German Climate Computing Centre (DKRZ) provide large equipment and research infrastructures. The most interesting projects here include the research ship Polarstern operated by the Alfred Wegener Institute and the FLASH II – Free-Electron Laser at DESY in Hamburg.
Germany also contributes to the funding of joint international research infrastructures, such as the European Space Agency (ESA), Paris, France; the European Southern Observatory (ESO), Garching, Germany; and the European Organisation for Nuclear Research (CERN) in Geneva, Switzerland. Germany provides more than 20% of CERN’s budget, making it the largest contributor of funds for this most renowned centre of fundamental physics.
Research activities are conducted in a wide range of disciplines, such as materials science, biology, biochemistry and medicine, energy technology and physics.
The Federal Government provides the majority of funding for large-scale equipment in basic research with an annual budget of 1.1 billion euros (planned in 2014). The budget is also supplemented by international funding. In addition, the Federal Government also provides funding of 298 million euros a year for research buildings and large-scale equipment at higher education institutions.