About us

Photo: HZG/Christian Schmid


Who we are

The Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht, Centre for Materials and Coastal Research (HZG) and is one out of 19 autonomous research centers of the Helmholtz Associciation. The HZG is a non-profit making research institute with limited liability.

As a member of the Helmholtz Association of German Research Centres, the largest scientific organization in the country, the Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht is engaged in long-term activities in the fields of materials and coastal research that are making a major contribution to resolving the large and pressing issues facing society and the scientific and business worlds.

The main site of the Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht lies in the south of Schleswig-Holstein in Geesthacht, directly at the River Elbe. More than 50 small and large buildings are scattered over about six square kilometres to house the numerous laboratories, workshops and offices. In Geesthacht, at the site in Teltow near Potsdam, and at outposts in Hamburg and Munich, the Centre provides around 1000 employees from around 50 nations a modern and international working environment.

The Research Centre was founded back in 1956 and today is the largest non-university research facility in Schleswig-Holstein. It has a budget of more than 90 million Euros a year, around 65 million of this financed by the German federal government and the four federal states. The state of Schleswig-Holstein pays around 5% of this, the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg around 2%, and the states of Lower Saxony and Brandenburg each pay 1%. The majority, amounting to 90%, comes from federal funds awarded via the Helmholtz Association in an evaluated procedure.

Our Mission