A think tank for future-oriented research:

Helmholtz Incubator

Outstanding experts from all Helmholtz Centers come together in the Helmholtz Incubator Information & Data Science to drive forward cutting-edge research with innovative projects and initiatives. HIDA is one of the initiatives of this think tank.

The Helmholtz Incubator Information & Data Science was launched by the Helmholtz Association in 2016 to connect and strengthen the competencies and enormous data treasures of the community. The Helmholtz Incubator Information & Data Science puts the Helmholtz digitization strategy into concrete terms, regularly brings creative minds from across the community into interaction, creates innovative, interdisciplinary networks, and identifies topic areas and technologies of the future.

New perspectives for gaining knowledge and information

Helmholtz is excellently positioned in the field of processing and analyzing complex and extensive amounts of data with its broad spectrum of Big Data Analytics, supercomputing, the entire data lifecycle as well as software development up to artificial intelligence and robotics. In all individual disciplines, but especially in their interaction, a wide range of opportunities arise: For science and research, the enormous volumes of data open up entirely new perspectives for gaining knowledge and information.

Otmar Wiestler

At the heart of the initiative are its brilliant members. They are constantly challenging the community, defining new initiatives and overarchingly shaping the future in the highly relevant field of Information & Data Science.

Otmar Wiestler

President of the Helmholtz Association

Each center sends top-class scientists to the Incubator, who together represent an enormous breadth of expertise. They are supported by proven experts from research companies, renowned research institutions and several consulting firms.

Over a period of three years, this committee, with over 200 participants, has been involved in more than 35 workshops and working group meetings. It initiated a series of interdisciplinary and cross-disciplinary Information & Data Science research projects with a total funding volume of over 40 million euros that transcend the usual disciplinary and research area boundaries.

A vibrant network for completely new solutions

Five thematic areas are of particular strategic importance for all research centers. Based on these, five Incubator platforms have been created, forming a living network from which new solutions for the challenges of cutting-edge research are constantly emerging. The Incubator's pilot projects also stimulate ideas across Helmholtz and strengthen the exchange of methods and techniques between the research fields and centers.

Together, the Incubator's activities form the Helmholtz Information & Data Science Framework and have reached a volume of over 50 million euros annually. They serve to further develop the strengths of the Helmholtz Association and bring its ambitious digitization strategy to life.

Helmholtz Imaging

Helmholtz Imaging

Helmholtz Imaging: Capturing the World of Science


Get Involved


  • Become part of the Helmholtz Imaging Community. Helmholtz Imaging empowers and supports scientists in all aspects of imaging, on different occasions, at any point in their career, and at all levels. We offer a rich portfolio of research and support. All solutions and applications are always made available to the whole community.
  • Find imaging expertise and project partners at Helmholtz Imaging Modalities. Gain an overview of the broad spectrum of novel imaging modalities and make it easy to find the experts you are looking for.
  • Exploit the expertise of Helmholtz Imaging. Get in touch with us via our helpdesk – the gateway for all imaging-related requests be it support for data handling, consultation regarding software or methods, or research issues.
  • Let’s solve imaging challenges together. Start a Helmholtz Imaging Collaboration with us. You will benefit from our broad knowledge on the rich pool of methods that enable state-of-the-art solutions tailored to your problems.
  • Help us share easy-to-use open-source imaging solutions. Helmholtz Imaging Solutions provide a framework to unify and simplify the process of installing software tools and reproducing published results.
  • Use Helmholtz Imaging Storage and share your research data with colleagues all over the Association.
  • Learn and educate with us! We want to leverage synergies and share gained expertise and research results in seminars, schools, and workshops and the early engagement of external partners will benefit society. Events can be found on our website.




  • Get funding for your interdisciplinary research on imaging. Financial funding for cross-cutting research collaborations on innovative research topics in the field of imaging and data science can be requested through our annual Helmholtz Imaging Project Call.

Helmholtz Metadata Collaboration

HMC - Helmholtz Metadata Collaboration

HMC - the Helmholtz Metadata Collaboration – develops and implements novel concepts and technologies for a sustainable handling of research data through high-quality metadata.


Our Offers


  • Services supporting FAIR: Tools, components, and processes supporting FAIR research data are provided by our FAIR Data Commons group.
  • Training and community engagement: HMC offers trainings, workshops, seminars, community meetings, and further events on FAIR and metadata topics.
  • Discipline tailored support: HMC supports you through its domain-specific Metadata Hubs for every Helmholtz research field. The HMC Helpdesk assists with all general questions on HMC concepts, metadata topics, and technical aspects related to metadata.
  • Funding: Do you want to help establish FAIR handling of research data in the Helmholtz Association? Join HMC if you have a project idea and apply for funding in our annual HMC project call.

Helmholtz Federated IT Systems

HIFIS - Helmholtz Federated IT Systems

Helmholtz Digital Services for Science – Collaboration Made Easy


Helmholtz Cloud Services

HIFIS supports Helmholtz Cloud Services, which include 20 applications. As central collaboration services, they are available for all Helmholtz employees in science as well as administration. Thanks to the Helmholtz-wide authentication and authorization infrastructure (Helmholtz AAI) you can login to all services with your credentials of your Helmholtz Center. The complete list of the services can be found at the Helmholtz Cloud Portal.



HIFIS sustainably protects sensitive data by storing, processing, and transferring it in Helmholtz-owned data centers. The data thus remains within the German research landscape and is available to future generations of researchers without restriction. You can save time in both searching and storing of data. HIFIS Backbone


Research Software Development

Today, researchers need for most of their projects the support of scientific software. Be it software packages developed in-house or third-party applications: The quality, traceability, and reproducibility of the research depend to a large extent on the software packages. HIFIS supports research software development for your research projects with a wide range of services. HIFIS Consulting helps you with a broad range of topics around research software engineering, open source, licensing or questions about the implementation of software projects.


Education & Training

HIFIS offers all Helmholtz researchers education & training in the field of research software development. Entry level and advanced courses are available. You can also request special courses.

Would you like to learn more about the activities of the Helmholtz Incubator or find out more about the work of the individual platforms? Then please feel free to contact us.


Dr. Michael Schmuker
Team Lead Information & Data Science

Florian Grötsch
Manager Information & Data Science

Nina Weisweiler
Manager Information & Data Science

Elisabeth Jaumann
Projekt Manager Information & Data Science


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