10 Years of Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin: A strong partner in the scientific landscape

More than 250 invited guests celebrated the tenth anniversary of HZB on 18 February at the TIPI at the Chancellery. © HZB/M. Setzpfandt

Talk with the scientific management of HZB. © HZB/M. Setzpfandt

A highlight: The performance of the impro-theatre "Die Gorillas". © HZB/M. Setzpfand

Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin für Materialien und Energie (HZB) is celebrating its tenth anniversary on 18 February 2019 with around 250 invited guests from science, politics and industry. The Centre is one of the world's top institutions and makes a decisive contribution to Berlin as a location for cutting-edge research. This was emphasized by Michael Müller, Governing Mayor of Berlin, in reference to the anniversary.

HZB was established in 2009 from the fusion of the Hahn-Meitner-Institut (HMI) and the Berliner Elektronenspeicherring-Gesellschaft für Synchrotronstrahlung (BESSY). HZB researches materials that can convert or store energy, such as novel solar cells, materials for artificial photosynthesis, and quantum materials that could reduce the power consumption of computers. 

“Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin has developed impressively since its foundation ten years ago. Today, the centre is an integral part of the German research landscape and carries out top-level research in the fields of energy and material, which can be seen worldwide,” says Dr. Georg Schütte, State Secretary at the Federal Ministry of Education and Research.

Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin is strongly networked with universities and non-university research institutions in the capital region. Governing Mayor of Berlin and Senator for Science and Research Michael Müller emphasises: “Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin für Materialien und Energie researches important future topics and ranks among the TOP institutions worldwide. With its highly motivated team in Adlershof and Wannsee, HZB is an indispensable partner in Berlin’s scientific landscape and makes a major contribution to our city as a location for cutting-edge research.”

For this research, HZB operates the electron storage ring BESSY II, the leading source of soft X-ray light in Germany. Every year, BESSY II receives visits from approximately 2,800 guest researchers from various disciplines who come to HZB to perform their experiments. “With the Physikalisch-Technischen Bundesanstalt, the Max Planck Society and the Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing, we have strong partners at our side who are also making important contributions to the continued advancement of our experimental stations,” says Prof. Dr. Jan Lüning, the Scientific Director of HZB. “They are also contributing ideas for a successor source BESSY III.”

In 2018, while reviewing the Helmholtz Association’s programme-oriented funding, two high-ranking international expert committees confirmed that HZB is one of the world’s leading institutions in its fields of research. HZB, the experts contend, has set the right course for the development of technical infrastructures and the recruitment of talents. The neutron source BER II, which will be shut down at the end of 2019, also contributes to excellent research results.

“The assessment has given us a very strong tailwind for advancing future topics in energy and materials research. Over the past ten years, HZB has shown that it not only has an excellent international network, but is also attractive for researchers from all over the world,” says, Prof. Dr. Bernd Rech, Scientific Director of HZB.

Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin is a member of the Helmholtz Association and conducts research in the fields of “Matter” and “Energy”. Approximately 1100 people work at HZB, including about 150 doctoral students and 40 trainees. The Commercial Director is Thomas Frederking; Prof. Dr. Bernd Rech and Prof. Dr. Jan Lüning were appointed Scientific Directors by the HZB Supervisory Board in November 2018.