Planck Society has produced 18 Nobel onment. With subsidiaries and offices, not laureates. It is number two and the only to mention cooperation agreements, in no European research organisation in the less than nine European countries, two in Top 10 in the worldwide ISI Citation Index each of North and South America, seven of the most-quoted research works in 22 Asian, three African and Arab countries, as fields. well as in Australia, it has a truly global research reach. The Helmholtz Association conducts cutting-edge research in six fields: energy, The Leibniz Association is the umbrella earth and environment, health, aeronaut- connecting 89 independent research insti- ics, space and transport, key technologies tutions that range in focus from the natural and matter. The Helmholtz scientists con- sciences, engineering and environmental centrate on highly complex systems and sciences through economics, spatial and so- projects. With 14,700 scientists and 6,200 cial sciences to the humanities. A focus doctoral students at the 18 independent common to the 9,200 researchers is knowl- Helmholtz centres, including the German edge transfer to policy makers, industry, Aerospace Center (DLR), which has 16 sites and the general public. alone, it is Germany’s biggest research orThe German Research Foundation (DFG), ganisation. Europe’s largest organisation of this kind, is With 66 institutes, the Fraunhofer Gesell- responsible for funding science and re- schaft is considered to be the largest ap- search. Alongside its head office in Bonn, plication-oriented development organisa- the DFG maintains offices in China, Japan, tion in Europe. Its most important fields India, Russia, North and Latin America, and of research are health, security, communi- promotes cooperation between researchers cation, mobility, energy, and the envir- in Germany and fellow researchers abroad. 2012 2014 2015 The European Patent Office honours Heidelberg physicist Josef Bille, the inventor of the eye laser, for his lifetime achievement. With almost 100 patents, Bille paved the way for present-day eye surgery using lasers. Stefan Hell, a Director at the Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry, together with two US researchers receives the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for developing high resolution fluorescence microscopy. At almost 90 percent, the changeover to two-cycle Bachelor’s and Master’s degree courses is for the most part complete. State-regulated degree courses, Medicine and Law are an exception.