Non-University Research

Few regions in Europe are home to as many Research institutions as Baden-Württemberg. Major international and national research centres such as the European Molecular Biology Laboratory in Heidelberg, the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology and the German Cancer Research Center in Heidelberg exist alongside the Centre for Art and Media in Karlsruhe and numerous institutions belonging to famous research associations. These include 13 institutes of the Max Planck Society, 3 Helmholtz Association research centres and 17 Fraunhofer Institutes.

Max Planck Society 

The Max Planck Society for the Advancement of Science e.V. is an independent, non-profit Research organisation. Its institutes primarily focus on Basic research in selected fields in the natural sciences, the humanities and the social sciences, and their discoveries and findings provide a foundation for innovations that are important for business and society. It has produced more Nobel prize winners than any other research establishment in Germany, including Klaus von Klitzing and Christiane Nüsslein-Volhard. The research topics studied at the Max Planck Institutes complement the work of universities and other research institutions. Baden-Württemberg is home to twelve Max Planck Institutes.

The Max Planck Society employs around 3,560 people in the state, including numerous Researchers from all over the world. The Max Planck Institutes have a strong international network thanks to ist many joint research projects with foreign partners.

International Max Planck Research Schools 

Supporting the next generation of academics and scientists plays a key role in the research policies of the Max Planck Society. The International Max Planck Research Schools (IMPRS) are an important element in this. They offer structured doctoral programmes in innovative and interdisciplinary Areas such as molecular biology, neuroscience, demographics, plasma physics, polymer research and IT. There are ten of these Research Schools in Baden-Württemberg. They provide excellent conditions for gifted students from Germany and abroad to carry out their doctoral studies. Around half of the students are from abroad, and they can choose to complete their doctorates at universities in Germany or in their home country.

Helmholtz Association 

The Helmholtz Association employs more than 40,000 staff in 18 research centres with a focus on the natural sciences technology, medicine and biology. The researchers work on solutions to the main, most pressing problems of society, science and business. Their strategic, programmed research is focused on six areas: energy, earth and environment, health, matter, key technologies, aerospace and transport. With an annual budget in excess of 4 billion euros the Helmholtz Association is Germany’s largest scientific organisation. With the KIT and the DKFZ, the largest biomedical research institute in Germany, two Helmholtz centres are based in Baden-Württemberg. Others have branches in the state: the six German Centres for Health Research with its nine locations and the DLR with two locations. The DLR carries out comprehensive R&D work in the areas of aerospace, energy, transport and safety. Baden-Württemberg is also home to the National Center for Tumour Diseases (NCT) in Heidelberg and the Helmholtz Institute for Electrochemical Energy Storage in Ulm (HIU).

Leibniz Association 

The Leibniz Association brings together 95 independent research establishments. Its Research includes the natural sciences, engineering, environmental science, economics, spatial planning, the social sciences and the humanities. The Leibniz Institutes focus on issues that are relevant to society, the economy and the environment. They carry out empirical and applied research, including in the umbrella Leibniz research associations, and are or support scientific infrastructures and offer researchbased services. Seven Leibniz Association institutes are based in Baden-Württemberg.

Fraunhofer Society 

Founded in 1949, the Fraunhofer Society works with international partners to advance applied Research for the benefit of business and society. It receives research contracts from industry, Service companies and public bodies. The aim of ist research activities is to transfer its findings into innovative products and services. The Fraunhofer Institutes also carry out their own initial research in order to have an influence on the development of the technology of the future. Research topics include health and the environment, protection and safety, mobility and transport, production and services, communication and knowledge and energy and raw materials. The Fraunhofer Institutes work together in institute associations and joint research  projects and also work closely with external partners such as universities and other research institutions.In Baden-Württemberg the Fraunhofer Society is represented by 13 institutions, a field office and three project groups.

Baden-Württemberg Innovation Alliance 

In a region that is home to many mid-tier businesses, the Baden-Württemberg Innovation Alliance (inn-BW) plays an important role thanks to its targeted, applied research activities. innBW is an alliance of 13 independent applied research institutions with a total of 1,150 employees. The Institutes target their research to meet the needs of business and the economy and focus on areas of technology that are important for them. With some 4,500 industry-related projects in key areas for the future, such as health and elderly care, sustainable mobility, energy and environmental technology, information and communication, innBW plays an important role in the state’s technology transfer. The majority of its research is commissioned by small and mid-tier companies. For the development of new, innovative products, the focus is on materials and surfaces that are suitable for a range of technologies, microsystem technology / electronics, digitalisation, nanotechnology, biotechnology, photonics, production engineering and management systems. The Innovation Alliance has the key function of building bridges between basic research at universities and the technical advances taking place in industry. The directors of most of these institutes are also professors at universities or heads of university departments. This guarantees that there are many exchanges of knowledge and personnel between the independent research institutes and the universities. Undergraduates and postgraduates can also gain further qualifications for future work in industry by writing dissertations and doctoral theses that are relevant to current practical issues in industry.

Heidelberg Academy of Sciences and Humanities 

The Baden-Württemberg Academy of Sciences is one of eight German Academies of Sciences. It is a learned society of eminent scientists and a modern non-university research institute that is currently involved in 20 projects. The Academy organises academic conferences and public lecture series and supports new generations of scholars.

European Molecular Biology Laboratory 

The EMBL, based in Heidelberg, was established in 1974 and is supported by more than twenty member states. Its core activities are: basic Research in molecular biology, education, academic services, developing new research tools and methods, Technology transfer and building life science Networks throughout Europe.

Institute for Transuranium Elements 

Founded in Karlsruhe in 1963, the ITU aims to provide a scientific basis for protecting against the dangers of highly radioactive materials. The Institute is part of the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre (JRC).