A Fertile Landscape for Research
Hessen stands out as one of Europe’s true high-tech regions and more than 46,000 people work in research and development across the state. The open and progressive education landscape combined with close cooperation between industry and academia attracts world-class researchers from around the world. Exceptional opportunities abound for researchers in both academic and non-academic settings.
Because of the international mix of researchers in many groups in Hessen, the primary language used is frequently English. Hessen’s major research centers work closely with partners abroad, tapping into global and often multidisciplinary networks to tackle the complex problems that we face today. A collaborative atmosphere allows innovation processes to be accelerated and, in the applied sciences, good ideas are transformed into mature products that can be brought to market quickly.
Hessen is one of Europe’s leading research locations in numerous future-oriented fields such as biotechnology, energy and environmental technology, information technology, and aerospace. The state government in Hessen has continuously strengthened innovative fields of technology by investing in programs and people. Knowledge clusters have been formed throughout Hessen at the interface of traditional industrial sectors, such as chemicals and automotive, as well as services industries like finance and media.
The research community in Hessen includes institutions of higher education, highly-competitive “non-university research institutes” (e.g., Max Planck, Leibniz, Helmholtz, and Fraunhofer), as well as major research facilities at companies. Basic and applied research in diverse fields spanning natural sciences, engineering, medicine, social sciences, art and design, and humanities allow Hessen’s research community to create important synergies across institutions and disciplinary boundaries.
Five major public research universities in Darmstadt, Frankfurt, Giessen, Kassel, and Marburg produce new knowledge to be disseminated in international academic journals and translated into solutions for global problems, industrial applications, and more. The unique mission and history of the universities of applied science in Darmstadt, Frankfurt, Fulda, Giessen-Friedberg, and the Rhine-Main area allow them to focus their research efforts on close collaborations with industry and applied fields from marketing and business to the study of wine and wine-making. The non-university research institutes collaborate closely with their neighboring academic partners and include three Max Planck Institutes of Biophysics, Brain Research, and Heart and Lung Research, as well as the Fraunhofer Society for Applied Research and Paul-Ehrlich-Institute.
The State of Hessen actively fosters the growth of knowledge clusters. One example is the FIZ Frankfurt Biotechnology Innovation Center, located just outside the city center in “Science City Frankfurt-Riedberg.” The center is surrounded by the natural science departments of the Goethe University Frankfurt, two Max Planck institutes, the Frankfurt Institute for Advanced Studies, and the ZAFES Center for Pharmaceutical Research, among others. New connections and opportunities arise when researchers working on pharmaceuticals, biochemistry, physics, biology and business are in close physical proximity.
The presidents of Hessen’s universities and universities of applied sciences have come together to create NanoNetzwerkHessen, another example of collaboration across institutions and industries. This initiative promotes in-depth communication, research, and teaching in the nanosciences, as well as the shared use of infrastructure and equipment. NanoNetzwerkHessen also offers an important platform for cooperation between science and business. With over 100 companies in Hessen working in the field of nanotechnology – and over 300 related businesses – a close relationship between academia and industry is critical to advance the field.
Choosing to live and work in Hessen – or work with institutions in Hessen – means plugging into a far larger network of researchers and facilities than may be originally apparent. Statewide and international networks are critical to the success of research endeavors and will continue to be a top priority for government, research institutions, and individual researchers in Hessen.
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Photo Credit: Goethe-Universität