City of Science
The concentration of research institutions in Darmstadt is unusually high. In their diversity they represent very different areas of science.
A technical university, two universities of applied sciences and numerous public and private scientific and research institutions are based here. Including two European institutions: ESA with its European Space Operations Centre ESOC and Eumetsat, the “European Organisation for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites”. Research is also carried out in a wide variety of Darmstadt companies and the results are implemented in products and processes.
Did you know, for example, that the TU Darmstadt set up the world's first chair for electrical engineering in 1882 and that the first German data centre was in Darmstadt in the 1960s? It is not for nothing that the city has officially been named "City of Science" since 1997 and won the Bitkom "Digital City" competition in 2017.
Science Route 4
The „Science Route 4“ informs you, on its way from Kranichstein to Griesheim, about the particularities of the various institutions and companies, from the particle accelerator to multimedia developments, aviation and space travel.
Scientific insitutions in Darmstadt
Ihr Eintrag ins Digitale Schaufenster: Onlineformular
Fraunhofer Institute for Secure Information Technology
The IT security specialists of the Fraunhofer Institute for Secure Information Technology (SIT) in Darmstadt and Sankt Augustin develop ready-to-use solutions fully tailored to the needs of their customers.
The researchers address questions of data protection, digital identification and protection of equipment and buildings, an example being secure communication between the cars of the future.
Technology Centre Rhein Main
+++ Information +++
Technology Centre Rhein Main
The FTZ - the “Fernmeldetechnisches Zentralamt der Bundespost” (central telecommunications office of the Federal Post Office) was located in Darmstadt from 1949. Until the end of the 1980s, its purpose was the development and control of new communications equipment and systems. In 1989 the FTZ became part of the newly formed Telekom. Part of the FTZ, the technology centre, worked on topics such as multimedia and fibreglass communications. From 2002 to 2005, on the site of the former FTZ, "Telekom-City" was built with several Telekom facilities, among them the internet subsidiary T-Online.
By 2014, the Technology Centre (TZ) Rhein Main had become an open, modern fifty acre office park with 25 highly modern building projects. With many green areas and a comprehensive service offer for tenants, ranging from a medical centre and kindergartens to recreation areas, it promises to support a healthy work-life balance.
darmstadtium - Science and Conference Centre
Darmstadt's science and conference centre was built between 2005 and 2007 based on the plans of Talik Chalabi and Paul Schroeder and integrates parts of the old city walls. The complex offers a climate-friendly environment for conferences and is almost completely run on renewable energies. The name of the centre comes from chemical element 110, Darmstadtium, which was discovered in 1994 by the GSI (Society for Heavy Ion Research) in Darmstadt.
The darmstadtium is certified for accessibility in the "Reisen für Alle" project.
- Certified accessibility: accessible for people with walking impairments
- Certified accessibility: (partly) accessible for wheelchair users
The detailed information can be found here: www.reisen-fuer-alle.de/darmstadtium_249.html
Institute for Housing and the Environment (IWU)
The institute for housing and environment is a non-profit institute which carries out basic and applied research in areas such as housing and energy efficiency as a contribution to societal development. Besides the institutional funding by the shareholders, the institute acquires third-party funding from municipal to European level.
The Bauverein AG was founded in 1864 under the leadership of the chief steward Paul von Westerweller by a committee of Darmstadt citizens, with the aim of making affordable accomodation available to the working class. Today, the Bauverein sees itself as an organisation whose purpose is to ensure that broad sections of the population have access to reasonably-priced living quarters.
The scientific foundation for testing and evaluation of safety-relevant components such as car wheels, truck axles and rail vehicle bodies was laid in Darmstadt in the 1930s. Today, 500 staff from different disciplines work together on the campus of the Fraunhofer Institute for Structural Durability and System Reliability (LBF) in four buildings in Bartningstrasse. Industrial contracts and research projects are carried out. Test rigs are available for complete vehicles or ships' motors.
The department of adaptronics develops active components such as sensors for monitoring of aircraft, for vibration control of mechanical structures and for noise reduction. In the LOEWE centre AdRIA, funded by the State of Hessen, the research staff work closely with the Technical University of Darmstadt.
The newest department of the institute is the Centre for System Reliability with emphasis on electromobility. Under the motto "light and electric", concepts for the mobility of the future are under development.
Evonik Industries AG
Evonik Evonik is one of the world's leading specialty chemicals companies. It roots reach back to the beginning of the German industrial society. In 1909 Dr. Otto Roehm laid the foundations for the site in Darmstadt. For the exceptional invention of PLEXIGLAS®, the company was awarded the gold medal at the World Expo in Paris in 1937. During the past one hundred years and more, the site in Darmstadt has undergone major transitions. The activities in Darmstadt today form an important part of the company's portfolio.
The Jazz Institute
Darmstadt’s jazz institute hosts Europe’s largest public jazz collection. Information on the history and current developments in jazz can be found in its archives. The vaulted cellar under the institute is the venue for jazz concerts. The jazz institute tries to build a bridge between science and practice, between services for the jazz scene and the documentation of musical developments from yesterday and today, between regional culture and international discourse.
In 1969, six young staff from the Institute of Applied Information Processing founded the company Software AG. Today the company has its headquarters in Darmstadt-Eberstadt and is one of the global leaders in the area of business software technology. The Darmstadt company employs around five thousand three hundred staff based in over seventy locations worldwide.
Protestant University of Applied Sciences Darmstadt
The Evangelische Hochschule Darmstadt, an officially recognised university sponsored since 1971 by the Protestant Church in Hesse and Nassau, is located at the main station. Study programs provide qualifications for employment in the social services and health care systems and for service in the Church. The academic education that is provided is very closely connected to practical experience.
The European Organisation for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites (EUMETSAT) has had its headquarters in Darmstadt since 1986. From here, a system of meteorological satellites is operated, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. In addition to the data needed for our daily weather forecasts, they provide information used in measuring climate change and global warming.
Darmstadt University of Applied Sciences
The Darmstadt University of Applied Sciences is one of the largest in Germany. Applied research and development at the university enriches the courses offered with practical project work and strengthens the internationally oriented commercial companies in the Rhine-Main area through technology and knowledge transfer.
NATURpur Institute for Climate and Environmental Protection
Entega is one of the leading energy and infrastructure service companies in Germany. In early 2008, the NATURpur institute was founded as a non-profit organisation, whose goal is to support environmental and climate protection initiatives.
The NATURpur institute contributes, within the framework of a Green City initiative, to the establishment of sustainable infrastructures which improve the general quality of life. This covers the move to the use of renewable energy, energy efficiency, good traffic connections, improved public and personal transport, promotion of ecology and consideration of sustainability in consumer behaviour.
GSI Helmholtz Centre for Heavy Ion Research
The GSI was founded in 1969 and since then six new chemical elements have been discovered, including element 110, Darmstadtium. GSI operates a large-scale worldwide unique accelerator facility for heavy ions. Researchers from all over the world use the facility for experiments to gain new insights about the building blocks of matter and the evolution of the universe. In addition they develop new applications in medicine and technology. An example is a treatment for tumours which was developed here and has been successfully used since 1997. In the coming years the new international accelerator facility FAIR (Facility for Antiproton and Ion Research), one of the largest research projects worldwide, will be built at GSI. At FAIR an unprecedented variety of experiments will be possible. Scientists from all over the world will be able to gain new insights into the structure of matter and the evolution of the universe from the Big Bang to the present.
Scientific Book Club (Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft WBG)
The WBG is the largest book club for non-fiction and specialist books in Europe, with its own publishing house, newspapers and the series of events "AbendLese“. The WBG offers 6000 books and 1800 eBooks from around 20 specialist fields, including many exhibition catalogues, picture books, biographies and classic editions. The WBG operates on a non-commercial basis, profits being re-invested in the programme and new projects. WBG members receive a 25% discount on books.
Kranichstein Tram Depot
In order to preserve their historic electric trams, HEAG mobilo built this depot on the occasion of their 100th anniversary in 2012. The collection of HEAG trams numbers about a dozen vehicles and can be visited on prior registration.
Fraunhofer Institute for Computer Graphics Research IGD
Fraunhofer IGD is the world's leading institute for applied research in Visual Computing. Visual Computing is image- and model-based information technology and includes computer graphics, computer vision, as well as virtual and augmented reality.
We develop prototypes and complete solutions based on customer-specific requirements. Our research and development projects are directly applicable to current problems in the economy.
Messel Pit World Heritage Site
In 1995, the Messel pit was the first German natural monument in the list of the UNESCO World Heritage sites. It provides a unique insight into the early evolution of mammals and documents the development of the Earth 48 million years ago when, after the end of the dinosaur age, explosive changes determined the animal and plant world.
Several 10,000 fossils from the Eocene period have been excavated in the Maarvulkan Lake which was created 48 million years ago, and about 3,000 new finds are added annually. In addition to the high number and diversity of animal and plant fossils, their unique preservation of whole body skeletons, skin and coat shadows, feathers and stomach contents is particularly in the Messel pit.
Guided tours are held every day and invite visitors to discover this unique place. Anyone who visits this place will be amazed by the diversity of topics, which is also reflected in the permanent exhibition "Zeit und Messel Welten" (visitor centre). Here, industrial history, landscape, volcanism, rainforest and evolution are explained. The treasure chamber with several original finds also exerts a great fascination.
August Euler Airfield
In 1908, the aviation pioneer August Euler established Germany's first officially recognised airfield on the "Griesheimer Sand". The US army used the airfield for their helicopters between 1945 and 1992.
A large part of the site has been a nature reserve since 1996. Together with the Technical University of Darmstadt, the Hessian Society for Ornithology and Nature Conservation has set up a permanent exhibition here.
The remainder of the site is used by the university. Lighting engineers, for example, test to what extent newly developed LED rear lights dazzle. Aerodynamic engineers test on two motor gliders how different factors impact the air flow around the aircraft under realistic conditions. Geodesists use the site to develop new applications for satellite navigation systems.
Next door to the airfield, the university owns with the wind tunnel, built in 1936 on the site of the German Research Centre for Glider Flight, a test centre for aerodynamic research for the Institute of Fluid Mechanics and Aerodynamics.
The headquarters of the Merck Group, the Darmstadt chemical, pharmaceutical and life science company, are in the northerly Frankfurter Strasse. The roots of the company go back to 1668, making it one of the oldest companies of its type in the world. Today its biggest division, Merck Serono, is one of the largest biopharmaceutical companies in Europe. Liquid crystal is the most prominent of Merck's chemical products. Merck is the biggest employer in Darmstadt.
Center for Research in Security and Privacy – CRISP
Since 2002, various research institutions in Darmstadt have combined their diverse IT security activities. The result is the Center for Research in Security and Privacy, CRISP, in which the TU Darmstadt with its profile area for IT security research CYSEC, the University of Darmstadt and the Fraunhofer Institute for Secure Information Technology SIT and the Fraunhofer Institute for Computer Graphics Research IGD Europe's largest alliance of cybersecurity research organizations. The approximately 450 scientists deal with core questions of cybersecurity in society, economy and administration. They regularly advise business and public administration, provide assistance to company founders and provide expert opinions for politics and business.
Since 1967, space missions have been designed and controlled here in the European Space Operations Centre (ESOC) in Darmstadt. The worldwide network of ESA ground stations is also operated from here in order to maintain contact with the missions. In this control centre, more than 80 ESA missions were operationally supervised from the early start-up phase, including Giotto, Huygens, Envisat, Mars Express, Rosetta, BepiColombo and Solar Orbiter, but also missions from other organisations. ESA's activities in the area of space security to protect against dangers from space are also located here.
Through the ESOC in Darmstadt: discover.esa.int
Discover ESA: discover.esa.int
Information on guided tours at ESA Darmstadt: www.darmstadt-tourismus.de/esa
Technology and Innovation Centre (TIZ)
The "Technologie und Innovationszentrum" (TIZ) is operated by the "Innovationsgesellschaft Darmstadt" and is a centre for all who are interested in establishing and building businesses with a technical focus.
Technical University Darmstadt
The Higher Vocational School, founded in 1836, became the Technical High School in 1877 and is, since 1997, a Technical University (TU). The first professorship world-wide for electrical engineering was established in Darmstadt in 1882. Today the TU Darmstadt has around twenty-five thousand students and is the first autonomous, self-governing German university. It belongs to the 100 best universities in the world.