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HEIBRiDS Consortium

Get to know our six Helmholtz Centers

HEIBRiDS was founded in 2017 as a research school of six Helmholtz-Centers (AWI, DESY, DLR, GfZ, HZB and MDC) in and around Berlin and the applicant institutions of the Einstein Center Digital Future (Charité, FU, HU, TU, UdK).

The Einstein Centre Digital Future (ECDF) consortium includes the group of applicants and associated institutional partners located in Berlin. The ECDF core group is constituted by TU (host), FU, HU, UdK, and the Charité – Universitätsmedizin, and Helmholtz centers: AWI, DESY, DLR, GFZ, HZB, and MDC.

In the framework of the German Excellence Initiative, funds were granted for a Berlin-wide mathematics graduate school, the Berlin Mathematics School (BMS)5, which has been funded since the first round of the Excellence Initiative in 2006. We will build a strong cooperation link between BMS and HEIBRiDS; the BMS will create a new Research Area “Data Science” in the context of which mathematics students of HEIBRiDS can be admitted to BMS and find mathematics advisors if wanted. As part of the research area the BMS will offer basic as well as advanced courses around the general theme of mathematics for data science. Students of HEIBRiDS will be invited to participate in these courses.

The Max-Delbrueck Center for Molecular Medicine (MDC) aims to understand basic biological processes that are relevant for diseases and contributes research to the areas of cardiovascular & metabolic disease, cancer research, diseases of the nervous system, and medical systems biology. It is committed to translating scientific knowledge into improvements in clinical practice, and has expanded its translational research activities and has expanded its translational research activities as  privileged partner of the Berlin Institute of Health (BIH ), one of the three pillars of the Charité. By integrating high-throughput technologies, mathematics, bioinformatics, molecular biology, biochemistry and engineering to derive predictive, quantitative models for biological systems, the MDC will advance emerging concepts of personalized medicine.

The Alfred Wegener Institute for Marine and Polar Research (AWI) contributes to the research field Earth and Environment. The AWI unit in Potsdam mainly deals with polar atmospheric processes, permafrost dynamics, and modern and past changes in Arctic terrestrial ecology. All these studies yield big sets of observational, analytical and remote-sensing data, which need to be handled with innovative tools of data mining, provided in the synergetic HEIBRiDS project.


The Deutsches Elektronen-Synchrotron (DESY) is active in the Helmholtz research area ‘Matter’ in all programs, ‘Matter and Universe’ (MU), ‘From Matter to Materials and Life’ (MML), and ‘Matter and Technology’ (MT). The DESY site in Zeuthen in particular is active in particle physics (MU) and accelerator science (MT) and has evolved into a leading center for astroparticle physics (MU), with major activities in gamma-ray astronomy (H.E.S.S., MAGIC, VERITAS, Fermi and CTA) and neutrino astronomy (IceCube). It has a sizable computing center and well-trained staff to design, build and operate advanced equipment and computing systems, covering all aspects of modern information technologies.


The German Aerospace Center (DLR) in Berlin is active in the fields of space research, planetary research, Earth observation and transport. Data science is relevant for all of these fields: optical sensors on spacecrafts produce enormous amounts of data at an extremely high rate. The same holds for sensors used for various mobility applications. The data produced by these sensors need to be analyzed and relevant information needs to be extracted. HEIBRiDS will contribute to the solution of these challenges by training young researchers.


The German Research Centre for Geosciences (GFZ) is the national research centre for Earth sciences in Germany. Research at the GFZ focuses on the geosphere within the highly complex System Earth with its further subsystems, its interacting subcycles, and its wide network of cause-and-effect chains. This GFZ scientists work in a close interdisciplinary collaboration with the related scientific disciplines physics, mathematics, chemistry, and biology as well as with the rock mechanics, engineering hydrology and seismology disciplines. The mission is to assess and understand relevant physical, chemical, and biological processes within the geosphere and to predict future developments. Research at the GFZ integrates methods of Earth observation with laboratory- and field-experiments, as well as with modelling approaches.


The Helmholtz Zentrum Berlin for Materials and Energy (HZB) contributes to the energy materials research and the operation of the international user facility BESSY II, being upgraded to BESSY VSR in the coming years. Data science plays an increasing role in the HZB´s research portfolio due to the 24h operation and data generation of such a multi-user infrastructure, which will strongly benefit from data scientists being able to develop new and adaptive digital methods as well as algorithms in the fields of spectroscopy, tomography and simulations. In the energy field HZB is partner in two Helmholtz Future Research Themes: 1) Energy System Integration and 2) Perovskite Based Solar Energy Conversion. In the first theme digitalization will be a necessary prerequisite to design a future energy supply system based on fluctuating renewable energy sources. Multiscale insight is required to evaluate and predict the potential of new technologies in a systems perspective. Combinatorial and computational materials design are routes to contribute to the second Future Research Theme, which will strongly benefit from HEIBRiDS.