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HI ERN 2020: facts and figures

Employees, third-party funding, publications, prizes – the statistics show: The past year again was a successful one for HI ERN.


Despite the Covid-19 pandemic 2020 was at all levels a successful year for the Helmholtz Institute Erlangen-Nürnberg (HI ERN).

140 people ...

... worked for HI ERN at the end of 2020. An increase of 25 % compared to the previous year (December 2019: 112 employees). Taking a look at the figures from 2015, it becomes even clearer how successful the institute has become: Back then, nine employees were researching and working at HI ERN.

140 employees worked for HI ERN in 2020.Copyright: HI ERN/ Reinhardt

The largest share, around half of all HI ERN employees, are now doctoral students (72 employees). A sign that HI ERN attaches great importance to training the top scientists of tomorrow itself. It is our investment in our future.

€13.8 million ...

... were available to HI ERN as third-party funding in 2020 and thus more than ever before. For comparison: Back in 2019 the available third-party fundings amounted to around €9.2 million, in 2018 to around €2.1 million.

HI ERN 2020: facts and figuresCopyright: HI ERN/ Reinhardt

The research department Chemical Hydrogen Storage (€8.9 million) accounted for the largest share of the available third-party fundings last year at 64.5 % – including the multi-million-dollar train project –, followed by the research department High Throughput Methods in Photovoltaics (€2.6 million; 18.8 %), and the research department Electrocatalytic Interface Engineering (€1 million; 7.2 %).

In addition to the basic funding from the HGF, third-party fundings make innovative research at HI ERN possible.

122 publications ...

... in 2020 show that these investments are already bearing fruit. Compared to the previous year (76 publications) this number means an increase in output of 61 %.

HI ERN 2020: facts and figuresCopyright: HI ERN/ Reinhardt

The publications in the past year also included publications in different Nature Journals, which enjoys an outstanding reputation among international researchers. The publication of papers and results in journals and books is an important part of the research process. The figures show that HI ERN’s scientific contribution is strongly increasing.

Numerous awards ...

... for HI ERN scientists in 2020 confirm this development. Prof. Dr. Christoph Brabec, Director of HI ERN and head of the research department High Throughput Methods in Photovoltaics, was again awarded one of the most frequently cited and thus influential scientists in the world. He received this honor in the material science category for the eighth time in a row.

Dr. Retha Peach (team leader Interface Engineering for Water Electrolysis) and Dr. Moritz Wolf (team leader Efficient Hydrogen Release) were also awarded: Dr. Peach received the Georg Forster Postdoctoral Fellowship by Alexander von Humbold Foundation; In addition to the EAM Starting Grant 2020, Dr. Wolf was awarded the prize for the best oral presentation at the international conference on the subject of “Operando Characterization of Catalysts at Work”.

Furthermore, three HI ERN scientists received poster prizes at renowned conferences, and one researcher received the Student Award, EU PVSEC.

Additional Information