Helmholtz Enterprise

Helmholtz Enterprise (HE) is the internal program for spin-offs from the Helmholtz Association. The overall purpose of the program is to support scientists to work entrepreneurial and start a well-thought-out business. HE consists of two independent modules. Applications for each module are independent of each other.

The Field Study Fellowship finances a budget for personnel and material costs for the Helmholtz Centers or their institutes in order to identify customer needs through interviews and market research. The Spin-off Program finances the establishment of start-up teams working at the Center and the implementation of start-up projects. The Spin-off Program also finances externally found team members if required and the expansion of start-up competencies of the internal team, e.g. by participating in entrepreneurship training.

Since the foundation of Helmholtz Enterprise in 2005, 167 start-up projects (incl. HE Plus and FSF) have benefited from the initiative. Of these, more than 95 projects were set up successfully and 83 per cent of them are still actively involved in business today (Examples).

Field Study Fellowship

Have you always asked yourself how your research could directly solve economical, social or environmental problems? The Field Study Fellowship enables you to 'hands-on' test customer and user needs for your own research project. You will not only acquire user-inspired 'aha' moments, but also important skills that will help you to advance in your career. Gain a new perspective on your research, develop new questions by integrating the user and customer perspective. The Field Study Fellowship provides you with the best prerequisites for entering the market and putting your research into application.

The Field Study Fellowship supports you with

  • Identifying and acquiring many potential customers for an interview to test customer needs for your research
  • Thinking in terms of customer benefit and conducting good customer interviews
  • Getting to know scientists with similar goals and learning from each other

Process of the program

  • Kick-off informationwith tools for customer interviews
  • Continuous support by a field study expert
  • Presentation of results and experiences as “explainer video”and written self-refelction
  • Final report(max. 2 pages)
  • Certificate for participation


  • Funding from one to a maximum of two persons. Only one person can be funded full-time
  • Time input from 50% part-time to full-time for three months
  • Direct supervisor and technology transfer at the Center support the application
  • Budget of up to 20,000 € for personnel and material costs, exclusively for customer interviews
  • Additional 5,000 € are reserved centrally for field study experts
  • Financial support of Center is not required


  • Short essay and CV
  • Funding decision: Mid May or mid November
  • Project starts flexibly

Go to the call and application documents.

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  • Photo of Arne Meyer-Haake