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Research Infrastructures

Accelerator facilities, experimental facilities, research ships or supercomputers - large-scale research facilities form the basis for scientific advances in tackling global societal challenges. Managing national research infrastructure is part of the Helmholtz Association's mission.

The electron linear accelerator XFEL. Image: DESY

The development, construction and operation of complex research facilities for an international user community are a core element in the mission of the Helmholtz Association. Our research facilities exemplify the division of tasks in the German science system and the cooperation with German, as well as foreign universities and research institutions. More than ten thousand external scientists from more than thirty nations work at our research facilities every year. 

On this page you will find an overview of the most important large research facilities of the Helmholtz Association, including our major user facilities, which offer dedicated user operation for researchers outside Helmholtz in Germany and abroad around the clock.

In 2011, the Helmholtz Association presented for the first time a coordinated plan for constructing future research infrastructures (Helmholtz roadmap for Research Infrastructures) across research fields on possible lines of development. In 2015, it updated some of the future facilities of the plan. Since then, a large number of the designated projects have been implemented. In 2021, the Helmholtz Association presented its new planned research infrastructures for the current decade at a symposium.

Download Helmholtz Roadmap 2021

Further thematic roadmaps are being developed among Helmholtz Centres, as the Helmholtz Photon-Science Roadmap 2021: The German Electron Synchrotron, DESY in Hamburg, the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin, HZB, as well as the Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf, HZDR have developed a joint future planning for the accelerator-based light sources they operate in Hamburg, Berlin and Dresden. A summary of the strategy is provided in the brochure "Strengthening Research and Innovation" (tablet optimized PDF on 16 pages).

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Large Research Infrastructures

Matter matters

Accelerators Research & Development

Energy Research

Earth & Environment Observation

Cloud, Grid & Supercomputing

High Fields Facilities

Ion Facilities

Light Source Facilities

Neutron Facilities

Aeronautics & Space Flight

Astroparticle Research

Materials at the Nano & Microscale

OMICS Research


Dr. Ilja Bohnet

Chief Research Manager Matter
Helmholtz Association

Nicolas Villacorta

• Delegate for the Research Field Matter
• Research infrastructures in the EU

Dr. Sören Wiesenfeldt

Head of Department Research
Helmholtz Association

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