Medical research in Europe and the world

Research knows no borders: The Federal Research Ministry works closely together with European and international funding organizations to provide the best possible support for German scientists and to encourage international exchange.

Modern health research is becoming ever more complex and expensive owing to technological developments and increased knowledge. That is why researchers are increasingly pooling their knowledge and expertise together with partners from different countries in large consortia. Such cooperation often reaches beyond the borders of Europe and takes in such countries as Canada, the United States or Israel. The shared aim of such cooperation is to improve the treatment of diseases for all patients.

Tackling major challenges together

The Federal Ministry of Education and Research supports research in the following areas together with many European and international funding organizations:

  • Diseases of the brain or nervous system: The Ministry participates in the European Research Area Network (ERA-NET) for neuroscience research NEURON and in the EU Joint Programme on Neurodegenerative Disease Research (JPND).
  • Rare diseases which affect a large number of people overall: The Ministry participates in the ERA-Net for Research Programmes on Rare Diseases (E-Rare).
  • Cancer: International activities which involve the Federal Research Ministry are the International Cancer Genome Consortium (ICGC) and the ERA-NET on Translational Cancer Research (TRANSCAN).
  • Cardiovascular diseases: The Ministry participates in the European Research Area Network on Cardiovascular Diseases (ERA-CVD).
  • The influence of a healthy diet on health: The Ministry is involved in the European Joint Programming Initiative "A Healthy Diet for a Healthy Life" (JPI HDHL).
  • Infectious diseases: The Ministry supports clinical research into neglected diseases in cooperation with other European and African countries under the European and Developing Countries Clinical Trials Partnership or EDCTP.
  • Antimicrobial resistance: The Ministry participates in the Joint Programming Initiative on Antimicrobial Resistance (JPIAMR).
  • Individualized medicine
  • Systems medicine

Pooling resources

As well as great minds, modern health research needs good infrastructure. This includes buildings and high-precision measuring equipment. The Federal Research Ministry is working together with funding organizations from all over Europe to develop and maintain resources in the following areas:

  • clinical research (studies)
  • data and biomaterial banks
  • active substances for new drugs
  • disease models

These structures are open to all of Europe’s research scientists.

Global responsibility

Achieving better health for all is a growing problem, especially in the world’s poorer countries. Global health care is therefore one of the responsibilities of health research. The Federal Research Ministry is particularly involved in the countries of southern and central Africa and supports international research activities in these countries. Targeted health research can contribute to significant improvements in medical care there. The focus is on research into neglected and poverty-related diseases. These include malaria, HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis as well as many worm and other parasitic infections.