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HIFIS Mission


Motivation for HIFIS

The top position of Helmholtz research is increasingly based on cross-centre and international cooperation and common access to data treasure and -services. At the same time the significance of a sustainable software development for the research process is recognised.

HIFIS aims to ensure an excellent information environment for outstanding research in all Helmholtz research fields and a seamless and performant IT-infrastructure connecting knowledge from all centres. It will build a secure and easy-to-use collaborative environment with efficiently accessible ICT services from anywhere. HIFIS will also support the development of research software with a high level of quality, visibility and sustainability.

Documentation, Full Proposal texts and Publications can be found here.



HIFIS is embedded in the context of the Helmholtz Information & Data Science Incubator and hence has close collaboration with the four other incubator platforms.

For a more extensive list of Helmholtz and international partners, see also our partners page.


HIFIS Structure

Participating centers

The following 11 out of 19 Helmholtz centres are members of the HIFIS platform: AWI, DESY, DLR, DKFZ, FZJ, GFZ, HMGU, HZB, HZDR, KIT, UFZ.

Internal structure

To achieve its goals, HIFIS works in three Competence Clusters which are distributed throughout different Helmholtz research centers:

  • Cloud Services: Federated platform for proven first class cloud services; led by HZB.
  • Backbone Services: High-performance trusted network infrastructure with unified basic services; led by DESY.
  • Software Services: Platform, training and support for high-quality, sustainable software development, led by HZDR.

Within the scope of the declared goals and achievements of the Helmholtz Association for HIFIS, the respective centres steer the competence clusters. All competence clusters are connected through the HIFIS ICT Office.


Governance and Supervision

To ensure that HIFIS’s progress and strategy is consistent with the common principles of the Helmholtz Association, Reporting, Governance and an external Scientific Advisory Board are central.

ICT Office

The ICT Office guarantees the technical and organisational coordination as well as the controlling and reporting for HIFIS. It also defines the interface to comparable external committees, as already existent in e.g. FhG or MPG. It coordinates the HIFIS platform and is headed by its speaker Volker Gülzow (DESY) and the coordinators of the competence clusters Ants Finke (HZB) and Uwe Konrad (HZDR), supported by Uwe Jandt (DESY).

ICT Federation Board

The Assembly of Members of the Helmholtz Association has installed the ICT Federation Board (Steering Board). It is responsible for central decisions in HIFIS. According to the specifications of the directors of the Helmholtz Association the Helmholtz ICT Federation Board establishes the annual plan for HIFIS and reports about the implemented achievements to the Helmholtz Incubator, with the Helmholtz Incubator reporting to the general assembly. See here for a full list of members.

Scientific Advisory Board (SAB)

Further, the Assembly of Members of the Helmholtz Association has installed the Scientific Advisory Board (SAB). A total of 20 renowned international scientists contribute to HIFIS’s progress by their advice as SAB members. See here for a full list of SAB members.

Images by Katerina Limpitsouni via