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Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf

How can energy and resources be used efficiently, safely and sustainably? How can we better visualize, characterize and effectively treat cancer? And how do matter and materials behave under the influence of high fields and in the smallest dimensions? These are precisely the kinds of questions that drive the scientists at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR). It is only at a first glance, that they might seem unrelated. Energy, Health and Matter: Research in these key areas is closely interconnected at HZDR.

Research Field Energy

Global bottlenecks are emerging in energy supply and raw material extraction, while the disposal of residues is already considered one of the biggest environmental problems of the 21st century. That is why HZDR researchers are looking for solutions to enable present and future generations to enjoy a consistently high standard of living. HZDR and the TU Bergakademie Freiberg are pooling their expertise and infrastructures in the Helmholtz Institute Freiberg for Resource Technology with the aim of developing new and environmentally friendly technologies for the exploration, extraction and use of raw materials. HZDR also conducts research into new storage technologies, improves the efficiency of industrial plants and searches for an optimal and safe solution for the final storage of highly radioactive waste.

Research Field Health

In Germany, around 490,000 people are diagnosed with cancer every year. To make progress in the fight against this disease, it is essential that researchers from different fields; from biology to chemistry, and physics to medicine, work together. Of central importance is the smooth transfer of findings from basic research to clinical application and back.

Cancer research at HZDR is concerned with several areas: For example, scientists are developing new radioactive drugs for the diagnosis of cancer and substances for cancer therapy. They are improving methods for imaging in oncology, researching a new generation of laser-based accelerators for therapy, and optimizing individualized radiation treatment.

Research Field Matter

A particular strength of Helmholtz research comes to the fore in the research field of matter: The operation and deployment of large-scale facilities and complex infrastructures. HZDR scientists use high magnetic fields or intense radiation to investigate fundamental physical phenomena. In this way, they aim to better understand and specifically influence potential materials for future technologies. In this way, they create the prerequisites for innovative products and solutions for industry.

Facts & Figures

HZDR has been part of the Helmholtz Association since January 1, 2011. At six locations (Dresden, Freiberg, Görlitz, Grenoble, Leipzig and Schenefeld near Hamburg), 1,400 employees – 500 of them scientists including 170 PhD students – are searching for answers to the pressing questions of our time. HZDR develops and operates large infrastructures that attract external guests from all over the world: Ion Beam Center, Dresden High Magnetic Field Laboratory and ELBE Center for High-Power Radiation Sources. The research center was founded on January 1, 1992, but the history of the research site in Dresden-Rossendorf goes back to 1956.

Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR)

HZDR in figures


founded, the HZDR has been a member of the Helmholtz Association since 2011


million euros was the total 2020 budget


employees from over 60 nations


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