Assuring quality, instilling impetus

The Initiative and Networking Fund is one of the Helmholtz Association’s key funding instruments. The Fund makes it possible to set initiatives rapidly and flexibly in areas where strategic goals are to be reached quickly. Its annual funding budget will grow from its current level of €89 million in 2016 to around €94 million in 2020. This will considerably increase the strategic impact of the Fund.

The funding is awarded in a competitive procedure and limited to a certain period of time. The Fund thus makes a decisive contribution to reaching strategic objectives as quickly as possible and to realising the principles to which the Helmholtz Association has committed itself under the Pact for Research and Innovation.

1. Strategic future fields of research

The mission of the Helmholtz Association is to contribute to solving the major challenges and pressing issues facing science, society and the economy. To achieve this goal, the Association directs its focus towards key future research fields and drives their development in research programs. These forward-looking programs have an impact beyond the individual research areas, thereby contributing to the development of system solutions and taking a comprehensive approach to tackling scientific challenges.

Conducting research on key topics of the future and developing them into internationally visible “lighthouses” is also the aim of the Helmholtz Alliances. The research fields of the alliances have now largely been incorporated into the research programs. 

2. Strategic partnerships 

The Fund finances collaboration with key strategic partners – on a regional, national and international level. Universities are the Association’s most important collaborators here alongside other qualified partners in national and international research and from the private sector. The Helmholtz Virtual Institutes also serve to newly initiate or expand collaboration between universities and Helmholtz Centers.

3. Innovation and collaboration with industry 

Helmholtz research produces innovations that are applied in industry and society. Scientific findings are thus turned into products, services or new processes. More than any other research organisation, the activities of the Helmholtz Association cover the whole chain of innovation from basic research to market uptake.

Knowledge and Technology Transfer

4. Talent management

Promoting young scientific, administrative and technical talent is a key part of securing the future both for the Helmholtz Association and for Germany as a research location. Talent management is therefore an integral component of the Association’s strategy. In addition to the measures promoting young talent in the Helmholtz Centers, we have also set up overarching funding lines at Association level as part of the Initiative and Networking Fund. Today, these funding tools have developed into a comprehensive talent management strategy. The Helmholtz Association is thus able to offer the most promising young talent attractive conditions at every point of their career. 

Talent management

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