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Scientific performance

Publications and transfer

WoS, Scopus or Open Research Europe indexed publications

Publications are a key measure of scientific productivity, and Helmholtz once again recorded clear growth in this area. In 2021, a total of 20,864 papers were published in ISI or Scopus indexed scientific journals. The number of publications thus grew by 13 percent over the previous year and by a total of 36 percent in the last five years.

At Helmholtz, for example, the already impressively high values of scientific visibility (publication share measured in terms of Germany‘s publication volume) and citation impact (success of scientific publications in relation to a benchmark from relevant journals or the associated field) increased further in a comparison of the periods studied, 2011-2015 and 2016-2018 (publication share: from 12.3 percent to 13.4 percent; citation impact from 16.2 percent to 17.7 percent). Here, the combination of national and international collaboration leads to a particularly high proportion of highly cited publications. At the same time, it should be emphasized that the relative share of Helmholtz in the citations of the organizational groups studied clearly exceeds the corresponding publication share. This means that Helmholtz publications are cited more often than average in a domestic comparison.

Nature index 2021/22

A good measure of the quality of research findings is the number of times they are published in prestigious journals. The Nature Publishing Group releases a ranking of the top 200 research organizations worldwide. The “Nature Index” is based on publications in 82 journals that are independently selected as the most important by two panels of scientists from the fields of physics, chemistry, environmental science, and the life sciences. Helmholtz has ranked among the top ten international institutions for years. The table shows the Nature Index for the period September 1, 2020 to August 31, 2021.


Helmholtz researchers significantly boost Germany’s innovative capacity by disseminating knowledge and converting economically valuable results into entrepreneurial endeavors. Accordingly, Helmholtz places an increasing focus on the transfer of knowledge and technology. In the department of transfer and innovation, we work together with the transfer offices of the centers to promote the exchange between science, industry and society through networks, targeted transfer support programs and the development of joint partnerships. Over the last few years, a variety of new instruments and platforms have been established to promote these aims, including the Helmholtz Validation Fund, the Helmholtz Innovation Labs, and the Innovation Funds of the Helmholtz Centers. At 154 million euros, revenues from business collaborations in 2021 are slightly below the level of previous years, as is the number of patent applications at 341. The number of spin-offs is also stable at 22.

Technology transfer: Revenues

Research spin-offs

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