In fulfilling its mission as a national research centre, KIT contributes to solving grand challenges which face society, science, and industry by performing top-rate research. These research and development activities are embedded in the superordinate program structure of six research fields of the Helmholtz Association. In the third period of the program-oriented funding (2015 – 2019), KIT participates in 13 research programs of four research fields and continues to operate three large-scale user facilities for research.
KIT is involved in all six Helmholtz programs of the research field Energy with an overall budget of about 117 million euros per year. KIT competence covers the whole energy chain from (renewable) sources via energy transformation and distribution to societal integration. Additionally, nuclear safety and fusion research are part of the portfolio.
- Energy Efficiency, Materials and Resources – for restructuring energy supplies
- Renewable Energies – for future-oriented energy supplies
- Storage Systems and Cross-linked Infrastructures – for the renewable energy age
- Technology, Innovation and Society – transformation processes and analyses of the energy system
- Nuclear Waste Management and Safety as well as Radiation Research – against the background of Germany's decision to phase out of power generation from nuclear energy
- Nuclear Fusion – as a long-term option
Earth and Environment
KIT is involved in one of the five POF III Helmholtz programs of the research field Earth and Environment with an overall budget of about 23 million euros per year:
The aim of the program is to gain a better understanding of the role of the atmosphere in the climate system. KIT experts have a vast expertise in the fields of atmospheric research, remote sensing and biosphere-atmosphere-hydrosphere exchange processes, as well as in the area of environmental risks and water research.
KIT is involved in four of the nine Helmholtz programs of the research field Key Technologies with an overall budget of about 81 million euros per year:
- Supercomputing & Big Data
- Science and Technology of Nanosystems
- BioInterfaces in Technology and Medicine
- Technology, Innovation and Society
KIT competence covers the areas of biotechnology and nanotechnology, micro- and nanoelectronics, optics and photonics, microsystems, and materials technology as well as information technology. Moreover, KIT operates one large-scale user facility: The Karlsruhe Nano Micro Facility (KNMF) offers open access to a broad portfolio of technologies at the micro and nano scale.
KIT is involved in all three Helmholtz programs of the research field Matter with a total budget of about 51 million euros per year:
- Matter and the Universe
- From Matter to Materials and Life
- Matter and Technology
Research activities in the research field range from fundamental understanding of matter and the universe to the ability to control matter and materials down to the level of electrons and spins. Within Matter, KIT concentrates on (i) elementary particle physics including the Tier-1 data centre GridKa, (ii) astroparticle physics with neutrino physics, the search for Dark Matter and cosmic ray research, (iii) the synchrotron radiation facility ANKA, and (iv) advanced detector and accelerator developments.
The Grid Computing Centre Karlsruhe (GridKa) is one of eleven tier1 data centres worldwide providing compute and storage resources for the LHC experiment at CERN. The synchrotron light source facility ANKA is a particle accelerator dedicated to the production of light in its full spectral range (from THz to X-Ray radiations) and facets for the sake of research and technological innovation.