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The Max-Planck-Gesellschaft zur Förderung der Wissenschaften e.V. (abbreviated MPG, meaning Max Planck society for the advancement of science) is a German independent non-profit research organization funded by the federal and state governments. It operates 80 research institutes all over Germany (and in some cases in neighboring countries), which usually bear the name "Max Planck Institute (MPI) for ...". Their task is basic research in the natural sciences as well as in the social sciences and humanities.

The Max Planck Institutes operate independently from, though in close cooperation with, the universities, and focus on innovative research which does not fit into the university structure due to their interdisciplinary nature or which requires resources that cannot be met by the state universities. They focus on excellence in research, with 15 nobel prizes awarded to their scientists since 1948, and are generally regarded as the foremost basic research organization in Germany.

Internally, Max Planck Institutes are organized into research departments headed by directors such that each MPI has several directors, a position roughly comparable to anything from full professor to department head at a university. The Max Planck society itself is formally an eingetragener Verein, a legal form of organization similar to a club, with the directors as scientific members having equal voting rights, and currently headed by biologist Peter Gruss. Funding is provided predominantly from federal and state sources, but also from research and license fees and donations.

The Max Planck Society was founded after World War II in 1948 as the successor organization to the Prussian Kaiser-Wilhelm-Gesellschaft, which was established in 1911 as an non-governmental research organization named for the then German emperor. The society's logo features Minerva, the Roman goddess of wisdom.

The institutes have a total staff of approx. 12,300 permanent employees, including 4,200 scientists, plus around 9000 non-tenured scientists and guests. Their budget for 2004 was about 1,250 million euro, with 84% from state and federal funds.

Apart from the research departments, the society funds a number of Independent Junior Research Groups and several International Max Planck Research Schools.

Other notable networks of publicly funded research institutes in Germany are the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft, performing applied research with a focus on industrial collaborations, and the Helmholtz-Gesellschaft, a network of the national laboratories in Germany.

Max Planck Institutes

Here is a list of the institutes, the names translated into English:

See also

External links

de:Max-Planck-Gesellschaft es:Instituto Max Planck fr:Institut Max Planck ja:マックス・プランク研究所 zh:马克斯·普朗克学会


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