Germany - Research Areas

In Germany there are five large areas of research. They are: Environment and Energy; The Future and Society; Health and Safety; Communication and Mobility; as well as Interdisciplinary Technologies.

The Environment and Energy
In this area are found research in energy technologies, sustainable technologies, botany and natural sciences. Research in this sector has an important task for science: to gain knowledge about the structure of matter and the fundamental interrelations in nature. For this purpose, large-scale equipment is used. Astrophysicists exceed the dimensions of time and space beyond planet earth by means of large-scale telescopes, while particle physicists study the smallest elements of matter in large-scale accelerators.

The Future and Society
Research in this area is related to the humanities and social sciences. The social sciences investigate theoretical and empirical phenomena of social interaction in the context of groups, institutions and social systems. The area involves a broad scenario of academic subjects, such as sociology, economics, political science, social psychology, social history, cultural studies, and social anthropology, among others. Each discipline is focused on a specific aspect of human interaction and uses different methods and concepts in its studies.
Health and Safety
This sector involves research in health and in medical engineering research. New and improved procedures for diagnoses and therapies are being developed to treat sick people more efficiently. New approaches and other paths for the prevention of disease are being researched, which also helps to prevent the occurrence of some of them. Progress in medicine also aims to help reduce health costs. New  techniques will allow less invasive treatments and, simultaneously, decrease the length of stay of patients in hospitals.

Communication and Mobility
This area of research studies maritime, aviation, space, automotive and traffic technologies, as well as information and communication technologies. The country has an excellent research community in information technologies. For example, the MP3 format for music files was developed in Germany by researchers of the Fraunhofer Gesellschaft.

Interdisciplinary Technologies
Several technologies make up this line of research, such as nanotechnologies, biotechnologies, and security technologies, besides technologies of microsystems, production, materials, optics and photonics. One of the programs funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) aims to use biotechnology to produce products that promote global transformations.