As a member of the Helmholtz Association of German Research Centres, the largest scientific organization in the country, the Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht is engaged in long-term activities in the fields of materials and coastal research that are making a major contribution to resolving the large and pressing issues facing society and the scientific and business worlds.

Symbolic image landscape for the focus: Coast, climate and society

Coasts, Climate and Society. Photo: Corbis

Today we are facing major local, regional and global changes. This raises questions that need to be answered if a wide range of lifestyles is to be maintained.

The global population is expected to grow to nine billion people by 2050. The number of over-60s will double worldwide to over two billion. In spite of this, how can we create long-term solutions to achieve a high quality of life for everyone?

How can we preserve the living environments of tomorrow? Almost half of the global population lives less than 100 kilometres from the coast, so global coastlines are already under enormous impact factor of use. What has already changed and how will the decisions we make today affect future coastal systems?

Symbolic image aircraft for the focus: Functional materials

Functional Material Systems. Photo: GettyImages/Vetta/Sava Alexandru

One great step and an encouraging sign of the Paris Climate-Change Agreement is the contractual agreement to keep the global rise in temperature to well below 2 degrees Celsius. In concrete terms, this means reducing the emission of climate-damaging gases as far as possible, for example through consistent lightweight construction of vehicles and by replacing fossil fuels with renewable sources of energy and energy carriers, such as renewable hydrogen generation.

symbolic image of man and child under water for the focus: biomaterials

Biomaterials. Photo: GettyImages/Ashley Wiley

We investigate materials for the future and develop procedures to manufacture new materials. In addition to lightweight construction and energy systems, many other fields of application are opening up. Will it be possible to improve the supply of drinking water with our new type of polymer membranes? Can our metallic and polymer bio-materials help achieve a breakthrough in regenerative medicine?

Whether it’s a matter of coastal areas or new materials, the employees of the Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht regard finding answers to urgent questions and developing solutions for politics and the economy to be their responsibility and their contribution to society.

International Cooperations

In all its varied and complex areas of research, the Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht relies on a unified strategy involving the establishment of tight-knit networks and alliances with partners from science and industry. The Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht cooperates with working groups from home and abroad and closely monitors the strategies of rival institutions and the needs of its partners.

Research Platforms

The Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht places a high priority on the creation and utilization of research platforms. Such platforms bring together, in localized or virtual form, the scientific and technical expertise and equipment needed for specific research projects. They thus provide nucleation points for national and international research alliances, force the development of advanced technology and increase Germany’s attractiveness as an international location for science.

Science creates benefits

Our mission statement: Science creates benefit

It often takes many years or even decades from an initial idea to its application. In addition to their high goals, researchers also need unusual perseverance. Beyond social concerns, it is a fascination with science itself that inspires, drives and motivates our researchers in the Helmholtz Centre each and every day.