At the Research Institute for Molecular Pharmacology in Berlin-Buch, scientists are investigating key biological processes and thus the causes of diseases at the molecular level. Centre for medical research Alternatives to animal testing As a large centre for biomedical research, Berlin has set itself the goal of taking on a pioneering role in the development of alternatives to animal experiments. To this end, a new research centre is being set up at the Charité in cooperation with other Berlin universities and institutes and funded by the state of Berlin. Berlin is an important centre for medical research and a dynamic provider of healthcare characterised by a large number of research institutions, R&D-driven companies and innovative start-ups. For 300 years, Berlin’s Charité has made medical history and has been associated with many great names and Nobel Prize winners. With around 17,500 employees, the Charité is Germany’s largest university hospital and the heart of the medical research landscape in Berlin. Over 800,000 people are treated there each year. Patients benefit from the proximity and knowledge transfer between research and practice. The life science institutes of the three major universities are also of great importance for medical research in Berlin. The many non-academic institutions, such as the renowned Robert Koch Institute and the Max Planck Institute for Molecular Genetics, also play an important role. The Berlin Institute of Health (BIH) also focuses on the transfer of research findings to hospitals and vice versa. The institute is unique in Germany and is a joint project of the Charité and the Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine (MDC). BIH is developing new approaches for better prognoses and novel therapies for progressive diseases and unsolved health problems. Two questions are at the heart of the work of the Berlin Institute of Health: How can research be put to use more quickly and more specifically for therapies, diagnostics and prevention? How can clinical observations be transferred into basic research? 16
A leader in the humanities and social sciences Berlin has a long research tradition in the humanities and social sciences and enjoys an excellent international reputation. An unusually diverse range of subjects and institutions opens up special research potential and attracts young talents and top researchers from all over the world. The world itself, from ancient times to current events and global change processes, is one of the focal points of Berlin research. This is also made possible by a unique spectrum of regional scientific expertise that extends from Asia to the Middle East, Africa and Europe, to North and South America, making Berlin scholars sought-after consultants for politics, business, and international organisations. The humanities and social sciences in Berlin are interdisciplinary and cooperate closely with numerous institutions in the capital. They are thus responding to new social challenges and research needs, such as the establishment of the Berlin-based German Center for Migration and Integration Research to coordinate a nationwide research network. The Philological Library of the Freie Universität, itself known as “The Brain” because of its design, contains 750,000 books. Open access strategy One aim of digitalisation is to simplify access to scientific resources and publications. Since 2016, Berlin has expressly committed itself to the principles of open access to promote science, culture and society. The city is a pioneer in this field in Germany. Around one-third of the scientific articles published in Berlin were already freely accessible on the Internet in 2016. The state of Berlin is supporting its institutions in this process, hoping to increase the share of resources placed online to 60 percent by 2020.