Knowledge Transfer at the Helmholtz Association

The Helmholtz Association is scientifically diverse (from aerospace to nanotechnology) and employs staff with an extensive range of competencies (from pure research to highly advanced project management). The mission to maintain societal relevance obliges the Association to pass on knowledge to active participants within society from industrialists to politicians and the Association’s diversity and competency underpins its effectiveness.

To ensure that knowledge transfer (KT) is effective, the Association engages with stakeholders under the ‘Strategic advancement of the transfer of knowledge in the Helmholtz Association’ programme. The outcome from the first phase was a position paper on knowledge transfer, which was published by the Helmholtz Association in June 2015.

A working group tasked with fine tuning the Association’s approach towards KT was created for the second phase which will include development of monitoring and options for actin based on that monitoring.

Knowledge Transfer activities in the Helmholtz Association are diverse. The following three examples illustrate that diversity.

Cancer information service at the German Cancer Research Centre


The cancer information service of the German Cancer Research Centre (DKFZ) provides information covering the entire spectrum of oncology. The information is open to everyone from patients, their families and friends, and anyone who would like to get information about cancer prevention and early detection. For specialists, the cancer information service offers writing on research outcomes and extensive references.

Knowledge platform “Earth and Environment” 


Scientists from eight of the Helmholtz Association’s 18 research centres provide up-to-date news on research and background knowledge on the knowledge platform “Earth and Environment”. It attractively informs readers about a range of topics including the repercussions of climate change, early detection of environmental change and protection from geological natural hazards, and extreme weather events. The platform intends to inform policy (politicians, officials and the press) and public alike.

Office of Technology Assessment at the German Parliament (Bundestag), managed by ITAS at KIT


The Office of Technology Assessment at the German Parliament (Bundestag), (TAB) is an independent scientific facility that advises the German Bundestag and its committees on issues of technological transition. In agreement with the Bundestag, TAB has been managed since 1990 by the Institute for Technology Assessment and Systems (ITAS) of the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT). Since 2013, KIT operated TAB in cooperation with the Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research (UFZ), the Institute for Futures Studies and Technology Assessment (IZT) and the Institute for Innovation and Technology (VDI/VDE).

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    • Dr Uli Rockenbauch
    • Executive Assistant to the Managing Director
      Helmholtz Association