Knowledge Networks

Science can help to solve many of the societal and environmental problems we are confronted with today. However, solutions to these problems require a comprehensive analysis of complex processes, the integration of a variety of disciplines covering the natural and social sciences as well as an intense dialogue between science on the one hand and decision makers and relevant stakeholders on the other hand. Therefore, the UFZ is engaged in and an active contributor to different innovation networks.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us!

European Topic Centre on Inland, Coastal and Marine waters (ETC-ICM)

Since the 1st of January 2014, the European Topic Centre on Inland, Coastal and Marine waters (ETC/ICM) is located at the Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research – UFZ.

The centre brings together Europe-wide expertise in the observation and evaluation of European water resources. The UFZ will lead the Topic Centre initially for the period from 2014 to 2018.

The consortium of 18 partners was established by the European Environment Agency. The Topic Centre pools and evaluates data on the utilisation, status and pollution of European inland and marine water resources and bodies. It develops indicators and provides analyses as a basis for political decision-making and to verify the achievement of European Directives. Furthermore, impacts of climate change and especially of extreme weather events on water balances is investigated.


Dr. Anita Künitzer
Department Aquatic Ecosystem Analysis
Phone +49 391 810-9672

The Helmholtz Water Network is a strategic, long-term initiative of the water competences of the Helmholtz-Association and its key university partners. It offers research and infrastructure platforms for addressing the Grand Challenges in the water sector on a national and an international level. Within its six thematic research platforms, the Helmholtz Water Network develops new methods and tools, conducts research for a better process understanding, and addresses research challenges with integrated approaches which include natural, engineering and socio-economic sciences.


Dr. Christiane Katterfeld
Department Aquatic Ecosystem Analysis
Phone +49 391 810-9101

OpenGeoSys e.V. is a registered association founded in April 2014 chaired by Dr. Thomas Kalbacher (UFZ) and Dr. Christof Beyer (Kiel University). The focus of the association is in particular the promotion of science and research on computer-aided simulations in environmental and geo-technological fields.


Dr. Thomas Kalbacher
Department Environmental Informatics
Phone +49 341 235-1093

Partnership for European Environmental Research (PEER)

PEER is a partnership of the eight largest European environmental research centres founded in 2001 with the aim of combining forces to follow a joint strategy in environmental sciences and to enhance research on ecological sustainability. The PEER centres follow a truely interdisciplinary approach, they carry out basic and applied research combining different disciplines from natural and social sciences. Research covers all fields of the environment, particularly addressing the interaction between man and nature. UFZ is member of this partnership.


Ursula Schmitz
Staff Centre Development and Scientific Controlling
Phone +49 341 235-1833

Research Centre for Environmental Information Science (RCEIS)

The German-Chinese centre of excellence for earth system observation and modelling was established in March 2014. The research network is funded by the Helmholtz Association and coordinated by the Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research – UFZ and the Chinese Academy of Sciences. Research focusses on the pollution of water, soil and air, with a special emphasis on environmental information systems along large rivers and lakes in China.


Prof. Dr. Olaf Kolditz
Department Environmental Informatics
Phone +49 341 235-1250

The Water Science Alliance e.V. is an instrument that aims to pool together and reinforce German water research. To overcome the challenges in the field of water research, an integrated research approach is necessary that incorporates different natural sciences, engineering disciplines and socio-economics along with their strategies extending beyond the water sector.


Jörg Seegert
Technische Universität Dresden
Phone +49 351 463-35477