Research topics of the Berlin sciences

The rich expertise of Berlin's scientific landscape

Berlin is a unique science location: Berlin universities offer more than 1,000 different degree programs, in which more than 180,000 students conduct research. About 17% of them come from abroad in to get to know the capital’s open research atmosphere. The promising cooperations between universities, non-university research institutions, and technology centers makes Berlin a hotspot for business and science.


The science metropolis unites a total of:

  • 4 Universities
  •  the Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin
  • 7 Universities of applied sciences
  • 4 Art colleges
  • approx. 30 state-recognized private colleges
  • and around 70 non-university research institutions.
Facts about science locations in Berlin
Facts about research locations in Berlin

Non-university research in Berlin:

In addition, there are research centers of the Helmholtz Association, institutes of the Leibniz Association, the Max Planck Society, and the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft, as well as independent research institutes. The collaboration of researchers is interdisciplinary: whether it is clusters of excellence, graduate schools, or special research areas - Berlin offers cutting-edge research.

Overview: Scientific Institutions

The influence of the Excellence Initiative on Berlin sciences


Graduate schools, clusters of excellence, and future concepts: The three funding lines of the Excellence Initiative aim equally at funding young scientists as well as top-level research. Freie Universität Berlin and Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin belong to the eleven German universities selected to receive funding in the Excellence Initiative.

Crucial for the success of the capital are cooperations: The network between the various scientific institutions is strengthened, for example, by the Berlin Institute for Applied Research (IFAF) or the Berlin University Alliance.

Berlin is the most successful Federal State when it comes to attracting graduate schools and clusters of excellence. On the one hand, the funding of around 80 million euros underlines the success of the Berlin universities, while on the other hand it further enhances the excellence of the science location. The 50 professorships in the field of digital transformation announced at the Einstein Center Digital Future (ECDF) alone show that Berlin is further expanding its position as Europe’s science metropolis.

Research focus in Berlin: The German Center of Digitization

Myon Beuth-Hochschule für Technik

Digitization is being researched and driven forward in the capital. Central hubs of the Digitization Strategy include the following institutions:


Numerous events in Berlin are dedicated to the broad field of digitization:


  • Technology Innovation Science Match – International experts present their research results in Berlin. From Massive MIMO to Human-Machine-Interaction and Reinforcement Learning, Science Match will discuss the most important digital topics.
  • Asia Pacific Week – The economic, scientific, cultural, and political dialogue with representatives and partners from Asia has a long tradition in Berlin. In particular, the digital cities of the future were an important topic at the APW 2018.


Berlin also offers new majors and exciting studies around in the field of digitization:


Medical research in Berlin - A dynamic healthcare location

TU Berlin Lichtmikroskop

Berlin is home to the Charité (largest university hospital in Germany), the Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine (MDC), and the Berlin Institute of Health (BIH).


Berlin - a leading international location in the field of health economy



HealthCapital: The cluster of the health economy supports the promotion of Berlin as one of the leading locations in the fields of healthcare and life sciences.

Big Data, Digital Health, and Telemedicine: The research focus of the innovative pharmaceutical, medtech, and biotech companies, which are in a network with the many medical institutions in the city and make the health care Berlin so attractive.


Scientific events in Berlin around the topic of medical research


  • BIONNALE – Biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, and medical technology; Life sciences, digital health, and speed lectures: The BIONNALE is Germany’s largest network meeting in the field of medical technology.

  • Berlin Health Week – The Berlin-Brandenburg Health Week is an annual meeting of the healthcare industry. The highlight is the World Health Summit, which brings together international experts. 

Humanities and Social Sciences - Berlin attracts industry experts from all over the world

HTW-Berlin Bibliothek

In Berlin, interdisciplinary expertise meets diverse fields of research in the humanities and social sciences – from the ancient world to global change processes.


The Department of Philosophy and Humanities at the Freie Universität Berlin


The campus of the Freie Universität in Dahlem houses seven institutes – from the Institute of Theater Studies to the Institute for Cultural and Media Management. It also offers the Friedrich Schlegel Graduate School of Literary Studies, the Dahlem Humanities Center, as well as other research centers and libraries, such as the “The Berlin Brain” philological library, which contains more than 750,000 media.

Future-oriented research center - Mathematical sciences in Berlin

Mathematik TU Berlin

The Einstein Center for Mathematics Berlin, opened in 2014, is a joint project of three mathematical research centers in Berlin:


Scientific events in Berlin that are interdisciplinary


  • Long Night of the Sciences - From indigenous drum languages, (co-)narrative intervention and the effects of social media on childhood to acoustic waves on a combustion test bed and the functioning of antibodies: The Long Night of Science offers exciting insights into the different disciplines of Berlin's scientific landscape.

  • Falling Walls Conference - Building bridges and tearing down walls: The Falling Walls Foundation science event brings international experts to Berlin and encourages interdisciplinary discussion about innovation, research and society itself.

Mathematician, President of Freie Universität Berlin and Brain City Ambassador Prof. M. Ziegler on mathematics in Berlin: