Helmholtz institutes provide the strategic partnerships between the Helmholtz centres and universities with a special intensity. The establishment of a Helmholtz centre's outpost on the university campus creates the basis for permanent close co-operation in specific areas of research, which are of particular importance to both institutions. Helmholtz institutes receive institutional funding of 3 to 5 million Euro per year and appoint their managing scientists together with the partnering university. Through linkage of this joint research with other relevant partnering institutions both on site and nationwide, the Helmholtz institutes develop into key centres in their respective scientific field.
On 11 October 2016, the Senate of the Helmholtz Association decided to establish two additional Helmholtz institutes. The Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research (HZI) in Braunschweig and the University of Würzburg (JMU) will now set up the Helmholtz Institute for RNA-based Infection Research (HIRI), while the Alfred Wegener Institute (AWI) Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research and the University of Oldenburg will establish the Helmholtz Institute for Functional Marine Biodiversity (HIFMB) in Oldenburg. Further information on the new Helmholtz institutes will be published shortly.