Simon Schmitt

Head Communication & Media Relations
Science Editor
Communication & Media Relations
Phone: +49 351 260 3400

Investments into the Future

Preface by the Board of Directors

Those who visit the Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) might be surprised by the many construction sites which currently dominate its appearance. Last year, for example, we commenced with the implementation of our projects for the future – that’s what we call the expansion and new construction of large scientific facilities which will be a focal point of the HZDR’s strategic development. These projects for the future are generously subsidized by the Free State of Saxony and accompany our joining the Helmholtz Association of German Research Centres. Thanks to the beneficial cooperation with partners from the Federal Government, the Free State as well as the Leibniz and Helmholtz Associations, we finally succeeded in becoming a new member of the Helmholtz Association on January 1, 2011. Considering the large number of cooperations that exist with Helmholtz centers, the founding of our own Helmholtz Young Investigators’ Group, and the establishment of our own School Lab, which is supported by the Helmholtz Initiative and Networking Fund, we are already well integrated into our new scientific umbrella organization. Creating a modern infrastructure for research is also the aim of a master plan according to which the buildings and infrastructure of the research site, which looks back on a history that goes back all the way to the 1950s, are being modernized step by step. This includes, for example, the structural and energy-saving renovation of office buildings, the construction of a new guesthouse, or the new construction of our own combined heat and power plant which will supply the entire compound with energy and heat in the future.

Important Milestones towards the Helmholtz Association

Jan 1, 2011 | Official membership in the Helmholtz Association

Nov 3, 2010 | Adoption of the bylaws of the Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf e. V. association

Mar 23, 2010 | Resolution of the Helmholtz Senate to admit the FZD as a member

Jun 22, 2009 | Signing of the Consortium Agreement governing the FZD becoming a member of the Helmholtz Association

Sep 5, 2008 | The first Helmholtz evening event is held in Dresden

Jul 4, 2008 | The German Council of Science and Humanities (WR) recommends that the FZD be admitted to the Helmholtz Association

Nov 2007 | Evaluation of the FZD by the German Council of Science and Humanities (WR); representatives of the evaluation committee stay at the research center for several days where they also have meetings with staff members, etc.

May 2010 marked the start of the construction work on the radiation source ELBE – the first of our projects for the future – which is being expanded into a center for high performance radiation sources. The broad spectrum of radiation types generated from the electron beam of the superconducting linear accelerator is supplemented by additional opportunities for experiments: A narrow- and broadband terahertz source, a new high performance laser in the petawatt range, and the coupling of electron and laser beams. Researchers who come from other organizations will also benefit from this project; in 2010, they used about half of the entire radiation time at the ELBE source either alone or in joint projects with HZDR researchers. An even greater demand for measurement time among external scientists was reported by the Dresden High Magnetic Field Laboratory (HLD), which has been working as a user facility for only four years now. That is why the HLD is being expanded into an international user center as the second project for the future. The third construction project entitled DRESDYN revolves around the new construction of a lab for experiments with liquid metals.

Infrastructures in Demand

All told, the Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf operates six large-scale scientific facilities. In addition to ELBE and the High Magnetic Field Laboratory, the research sector materials science includes an Ion Beam Center which can be counted among the leading facilities of its kind in Europe and which is in great demand for ion implantation services particularly for the semiconductor industry. Right here, a new 6 megavolt accelerator went into test operation last year. The Rossendorf Beamline at the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility (ESRF) in Grenoble is also used for the scientific analysis of materials as well as for radiochemical tests. In its PET Center, the HZDR possesses a broad range of medical imaging procedures for cancer research and is state-of-the-art with Germany’s first combined PET/MRT system for full body screenings which was installed in September. In nuclear safety research, the TOPFLOW Facility plays a decisive role when it comes to the analysis of complex flow mixtures.


Matter under Extreme Conditions

Our projects for the future focus our research even more on the analysis of matter under extreme conditions, for example, under the influence of high pressure or temperature, strong electromagnetic fields, or intense radiation. At the same time, this specific focus links our diverse research programs to one another; the insights gained from this work and the resultant innovations are, thus, highly significant for all disciplines – ranging from materials science all the way to medicine. One perfect example in this is the research carried out on our high intensity laser DRACO. The scientists here are studying how charged particles can be accelerated with laser light to high energies – a phenomenon from which they anticipate to derive both brilliant research prospects in materials science and compact instruments for ion therapy in cancer.

The works carried out in the laser particle acceleration sector also demonstrate the significance of interdisciplinary cooperation for successful research because the scientists also seize the opportunity of cooperating both within the HZDR and with external partners. For example, cancer cells were irradiated with laser accelerated particles for the first time ever at the HZDR and subsequently bombarded with classically accelerated ions for the purpose of comparative studies at the Ion Beam Center. Last year, the close cooperation among Dresden scientists in applying radiation in the battle against cancer was further advanced by the founding of the “National Center for Radiation Research in Oncology – OncoRay.” The center is jointly supported by the TU Dresden [Dresden University of Technology], the University Hospital Dresden, and the HZDR; its partner is the Heidelberg Institute for Radiation Oncology (HIRO) at the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ). A strategically important cooperation with the TU Bergakademie Freiberg [Freiberg University of Mining and Technology] was given the go-ahead by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) at the end of last year. The TU Freiberg and the HZDR are setting up together a national center for researching resource technologies in Freiberg.

We are looking forward to continuing the cooperation with our partners in the region, such as the research alliance DRESDEN-concept, and beyond – especially within the Helmholtz Association!

We would like to wish you pleasant reading!

Prof. Dr. Dr. h. c. Roland Sauerbrey (Scientific Director) & Prof. Dr. Dr. h. c. Peter Joehnk (Administrative Director)