The main objective of the German government’s framework program for health research is to more effectively combat complex common diseases that are becoming increasingly prevalent in the population. To create favorable conditions for achieving this goal, the Federal Ministry of Education and Research has established the German Centers for Health Research. These Centers have been set up as long-term, equal partnerships between non-university research institutions and universities with university hospitals.

The German Centers for Health Research leverage existing competencies and thus make a significant contribution to closing knowledge gaps and to improving prevention, diagnosis and treatment. The aim is to achieve the highest possible level of therapeutic efficacy for each patient. The Centers’ research policy emphasizes close cooperation between the basic and clinical research units of all partners, oriented on the indications and the needs of the patients. The close networking and expansion of existing research structures enable a faster transfer of research findings into clinical practice (translational research).
Over the long term, the strategic collaboration of leading scientists in the German Centers for Health Research will make Germany internationally more competitive as a science location and markedly more attractive for young researchers both within Germany and from around the world.

In 2009 the German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases (DZNE) and the German Center for Diabetes Research (DZD) were founded. In  2010  four additional German Centers for Health Research were established: the German Center for Infection Research (DZIF), the German Center for Cardiovascular Research (DZHK), the German Consortium for Translational Cancer Research (DKTK)  and the German Center for Lung Research. A steering committee in which all partners participate coordinates the joint research activities as well as the division of tasks and use of resources for all sites of the respective center, in accordance with the jointly defined research priorities.

(Source: BMBF)