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Assuring quality, instilling impetus

The basic funding of the Helmholtz Association's research programs is based on a long-term competitive process.

Within the framework of Program-oriented Funding (POF), the budgets of the 18 Helmholtz Centers are set for a program period. In order to also be able to finance new research topics, cross-sectional activities and community-wide initiatives, there is a further central financing element in the form of the Initiative and Networking Fund  

The IVF also has an important incentive function in achieving the goals of the Pact for Research and Innovation. The agreed annual budget increase is tied to the science organizations achieving defined goals that have been negotiated with policymakers. The IVF enables community-based initiatives in the service of these goals. 

The funding provided by the Initiative and Networking Fund is coordinated with the federal and state funding agencies within the framework of a multi-year funding concept. 

For the years 2021-25, the Initiative and Networking Fund will focus on the following topics:

  • New research topics that are developing dynamically and require the cooperation of many different fields of the Helmholtz Association: These topics are to be researched within the framework of "pioneer projects" in the network and also involve partners in the science system. 
  • Initiatives to further develop the transfer culture at the Helmholtz centers: This involves entrepreneurship education, support for spin-off ideas and the further development of indicators for transfer to business and society.
  • Talent management: This is about recruiting Helmholtz Young Investigators Group Leaders, qualification within the framework of the Helmholtz Management Academy and a special focus on diversity and internationalization in human resources development and HR support processes. 

The Initiative and Networking Fund supports Helmholtz centers and university partners, but applications can only be submitted via the board of a Helmholtz center. Applications can be submitted in the context of calls for proposals. The allocation of IVF funds is based on a consistent competitive principle with international peer review and is limited in time.


Dr. Korinna Strobel

Head of Department Strategy/Initiative and Networking Fund
Helmholtz Association

Anne Jordan

Head of Unit Initiative and Networking Fund
Helmholtz Association

Martina Carnott

Initiative and Networking Fund Manager
Helmholtz Association

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