Helmholtz to invest an additional 35 million euros annually in digitalizing research

Berlin, 09/26/2018 – The Helmholtz Association is creating four innovative platforms to digitalize research. To this end, Germany’s largest research organization will invest a total of 35 million euros per year.

"One of the greatest challenges of our time is the digital transformation of science, business, and society," says Otmar D. Wiestler, President of the Helmholtz Association. "It opens up unimagined options in almost all areas of life, including innovative forms of work and coexistence, novel platforms for trade and exchange, as well as unique opportunities in all scientific disciplines." Ambitious and courageous steps are necessary for Germany to be able to shape and be a part of this development. "The Helmholtz Association has a high level of expertise in the field of information technologies and information processing, and generates enormous amounts of big data in all research fields. It has therefore decided to resolutely press ahead with the digitalization of research," continued Wiestler. "Germany's largest research organization has established four new platforms that together form the new Helmholtz Information & Data Science Framework. The Helmholtz Association will use these platforms to strengthen its six research fields and make an important contribution to keeping Germany at the forefront of world research and innovation."

The Helmholtz Association will invest 35 million euros per year in the new platforms. Each platform is located at one or more Helmholtz Centers and creates an active network that also includes other researchers. Specific funding lines will be established for this purpose. Helmholtz will build the platforms over the next few months and open a wide range of opportunities to interact with other research organizations and universities. The largest German research organization will recruit leading scientists from around the world and initiate future-oriented projects.

The four new platforms are:

  • Helmholtz Information & Data Science Academy (HIDA): Training young scientists at newly designed graduate schools within a national consortium
  • Helmholtz Artificial Intelligence Cooperation Unit (HAICU): Artificial intelligence and machine learning
  • Helmholtz Imaging Platform (HIP): Imaging procedures & analysis methods
  • Helmholtz Infrastructure for Federated ICT Services (HIFIS): Basic technologies and services for large scale data-driven research

The establishment of the four platforms is a future-oriented intermediate result of a long-term, bottom-up process occurring throughout the Association. The Helmholtz Incubator for Information & Data Science was launched in 2016 to provide an intelligent means of pooling the Helmholtz Association’s diverse expertise in Information & Data Science. This made it possible to fund five disruptive research projects with a total of 17 million euros in July 2017.

Information and Data Science

The Helmholtz Association contributes to solving great, pressing questions facing society, science, and business with top scientific performances in six research fields: Energy; Earth and Environment; Health; Key Technologies; Matter; and Aeronautics, Space, and Transport. With more than 39,000 employees at 18 Research Centers and an annual budget of € 4.5 billion, the Helmholtz Association is Germany's largest science organization. Its work follows the tradition of the great natural scientist Hermann von Helmholtz (1821-1894).


September 26, 2018


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