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!

Soil as a sustainable resource for the bioeconomy (BonaRes)

In this funding initiative of the German Federal Ministry for Education and Research (BMBF) the focus is on the sustainable use of soils as a limited resource. The ultimate goal of BonaRes is to extend the scientific understanding of soil ecosystems and to improve the productivity of soils and other soil functions while developing new strategies for a sustainable use and management of soils. The BonaRes Portal provides information about the BonaRes projects, access to data, knowledge and models, as well as to decision support options for a sustainable soil management.


Dr. Ute Wollschläger
UFZ, Department Soil System Science
Phone +49 345 5585-226

Center for Advanced Water Research (CAWR)

The Center for Advanced Water Research brings together the water competences of the Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research - UFZ and the Technische Universität Dresden (TUD): more than 500 highly qualified scientifists will jointly tackle some of the key challenges in the water sector in a breadth of research topics that is unique in Germany and at the same time with a profound disciplinary expertise.


Dr. Mareike Braeckevelt
UFZ, Department Aquatic Ecosystem Analysis
Technische Universität Dresden
Phone +49 351 463-40546 ist ein Expertise-Netzwerk für Fachleute und Interessierte zur „Zukunftsstadt – Future City“. Der Ausbau des Netzwerks wird vom UFZ koordiniert. Es unterstützt den Transfer von Ideen sowie den Zugang zu Fachwissen und Märkten in Deutschland und den USA. Die Mitglieder tauschen sich in diesem Netzwerk aus, um Lösungen für ein nachhaltiges und besseres Leben in der Stadt der Zukunft voranzubringen. unterstützt seine Mitglieder durch

  • das Herausstellen von Personen und Projekten, die innovative Lösungen und Forschungsaktivitäten anbieten,
  • das Bereitstellen einer Plattform zur Diskussion von Ideen und innovativen Ansätzen, um Städte in Deutschland und den USA fit für die Zukunft zu machen,
  • einen Marktplatz für das Etablieren neuer Partnerschaften zur weiteren Optimierung, Anpassung und Implementierung von Innovationen,
  • den Aufbau einer Sammlung von Finanzierungsmöglichkeiten, die bilaterale Projekte und den Austausch fördern.

Das Projekt wird vom BMBF mit dem Förderkennzeichen 01DD17004 unterstützt.


Dr. Stephan Bartke
Department Economics
Phone +49 341 235-1683

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 UFZ Science-Policy Expert Group is an interdisciplinary team at UFZ bringing together expertise from the Departments of Conservation Biology, Environmental Politics and Economics. Over the past years the group has established a leading role in research on science-policy interfaces (SPI) and actively designed and supported such interfaces, among others by carrying out the scientific coordination of the global study on “The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity” (TEEB) from 2008 − 2010, currently coordination of the study “Natural Capital Germany − TEEB DE” (until 2017) and developing and coordinating the Network-Forum for Biodiversity Research Germany.


Prof. Kurt Jax
Department Conservation Biology
Phone +49 341 235-1648

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