Deutsches Elektronen-Synchrotron DESY

DESY is one of the world’s leading accelerator centres. Researchers use the large-scale facilities at DESY to explore the microcosm in all its variety – from the interactions of tiny elementary particles and the behaviour of new types of nanomaterials to biomolecular processes that are essential to life.
Notkestraße 85, 22607 Hamburg


Cooperations & Institutes

Top-level research is scarcely possible today without networking and cooperation among various institutes, countries and scientific disciplines. DESY too operates within strong networks. Each year, the research centre’s unique facilities draw more than 3000 guest scientists from over 40 countries to Hamburg. To work as closely as possible with DESY, more and more institutions are establishing outstations on the campus itself.

  • CFEL: The Center for Free-Electron Laser Science on the DESY campus in Hamburg is a centre of excellence for science at new-generation light sources that is unique in Europe.
  • CDCS: The Center for Computing in Natural Science combines scientific research with state-of-the-art information technology.
  • CSSB: The new Centre for Structural Systems Biology on the DESY campus in Hamburg is an interdisciplinary centre for infectious diseases reseach.
  • CXNS: The Centre for X-ray and Nano Science is a place for research with X-ray light in combination with nano and material sciences.
  • PIER: The strategic Partnership for Innovation, Education and Research strengthens the cooperation between DESY and the University of Hamburg.
  • EMBL: The European Molecular Biology Laboratory maintains a research unit for structural biology at DESY.
  • Hereon: The Helmholtz-Zentrum Hereon (formerly: Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht) maintains an outstation for materials research at DESY.
  • MPSD: The Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter studies the dynamic phenomena that occur in matter on the elementary timescales of atomic and electronic motion.
  • University of Hamburg: The DESY campus in Hamburg hosts several of the university’s institutes, which collaborate closely with DESY.
  • Start-up Labs Bahrenfeld: “Start-up Labs Bahrenfeld” is a centre for innovation located on the research campus and a collaborative project involving DESY, the University of Hamburg and the City of Hamburg.
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The research carried out at DESY is extremely diverse. The scientists who work here are looking for the tiniest building blocks of matter that make up our world, developing innovative high-tech materials and searching for new mechanisms of action for future medications. As one of Germany’s largest research centres, DESY carries out fundamental research that creates new knowledge and new conceptual approaches. This research is the basis on which the challenges of the future can be mastered: Issues such as energy supply, climate protection and healthcare require long-term thinking, sustainable solutions and new technologies. Research at DESY focuses on four areas:

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DESY Start-up Office

At the German Electron Synchrotron DESY, it's not just about research, but also about start-ups. The advisors from the DESY Start-up Office are available to provide individual advice to interested people and founders from the scientific community.

DESY Innovation Village

The DESY Innovation Village was opened in mid-February 2019. It offers DESY start-ups office space, workshops, and laboratory space over approximately 1,000 square meters, embedded within the Bahrenfeld research campus. Until construction on the DESY Innovation Factory is completed, the DESY Innovation Village will be used primarily by start-ups.

Start-up Labs Bahrenfeld

The Innovation Centre "Start-up Labs Bahrenfeld" on the research campus in Bahrenfeld is a joint project of DESY, University of Hamburg and the City of Hamburg. In the high-tech environment of DESY and several institutes of the University of Hamburg, the business incubator, which is financed by the City of Hamburg and DESY, provides space for founders and start-ups since 2021.

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One-Time Analysis: Using Beamtime

A company that needs synchrotron radiation for its research, for example to investigate materials or active substances at the atomic level or to optimize manufacturing processes, often needs a large-scale research facility, which it does not have. DESY offers these companies access to its X-ray radiation source, PETRA III, where industrial users can secure flexible and direct beam time. The Innovation and Technology Transfer Department (ITT) develops tailor-made, individual services depending on the specific requirements. The associated feasibility study is carried out free of charge by DESY and offers further investigations as required.

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