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Online Annual Report 2016: Address from the Board of Directors

Dear Readers,

Vorstand des HZDR

The Board of Directors at HZDR: Prof. Roland Sauerbrey (left) and Prof. Peter Joehnk (Source: NCT Dresden/Philip Benjamin)

At the Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf, the year was characterized by many important research results and successes. A selection of these we would like to present to you in this online annual review: Scientific highlights from our three research areas of Energy, Health and Matter, major awards, such as the Deutsche Physikalische Gesellschaft’s Walter-Schottky-Prize, the Behnken-Berger-Stiftung’s first prize or the Prize for the best Physics Laboratory Assistant Qualification, new research and infrastructure projects as well as successes in technology transfer.

In June 2016, our Helmholtz Institute Freiberg for Resource Technology moved to its own research site. Now, the laboratories there can also be used by scientists and students from the TU Bergakademie Freiberg. We were able to deepen our collaborations with the technical universities in Freiberg, Dresden and Chemnitz, thanks to new, joint professorial appointments. Moreover, more than 50 talented junior researchers received the doctoral degree from one of the Saxon universities in the last year based on the Ph.D. theses they produced at the HZDR.

We were very pleased with the further stabilization of the OncoRay - National Center for Radiation Research in Oncology by funds from the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF). On October 1, 2016, the SONO-RAY collaborative research project started, involving the Leipzig University Innovation Center for Computer-Assisted Surgery and the OncoRay Center in Dresden. The researchers want to treat tumors more effectively in the future using a combination of radiation therapy and focused ultrasound. OncoRay is jointly operated by HZDR, the Dresden University Hospital and TU Dresden. Its importance for the cancer research hub Dresden was emphasized by the visit of Federal Research Minister, Prof. Johanna Wanka, in August 2016. With the new Center for Radiopharmaceutical Cancer Research, HZDR wants to provide its own, significant contribution to international cancer research. Our largest construction project in recent years will be completed soon.

With the expansion and development of both of our high-energy lasers, DRACO and PENELOPE, we have established a leading platform for research into more compact, plasma-based particle accelerators. Our main aim is to provide alternative sources for cancer particle therapy. Indeed, there is still a lot of research and development work to be carried out. With the new performance record set by DRACO - in 2016 it reached a value of one petawatt - as well as PENELOPE, our diode-pumped, energy-efficient laser system, the first trials on animal models are becoming possible. A special kind of matter - warm, dense matter like the kind which is found in the center of planets or stars - is the focal point of the research activities planned at the Helmholtz International Beamline for Extreme Fields (HIBEF). Initial experiments in this “extreme laboratory” using the world’s most powerful X-ray laser, the European XFEL, are planned for 2018.

Notable projects on a European level are the EU projects, “Ions4Set”, which works with nanosized construction elements, and TRANSPIRE (Terahertz RAdio communication using high aNistropy SPIn torque Resonators), which is financed by the „Future and Emerging Technologies – Open” (FET Open) program. Both of these projects are coordinated by HZDR and were selected after a very competitive process. The European Magnetic Field Laboratory (EMFL), in which our High Magnetic Field Laboratory Dresden participates, has been awarded landmark status in the European Strategy Forum on Research Infrastructures’ (ESFRI) road map. This illustrates how our scientists are constantly contributing to the international visibility of our work.

We hope you enjoy reading the online edition of our 2016 annual review. The Center’s progress report for past years can also be viewed upon request.

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