Federal Ministry of Education and Research

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Federal Ministry of Education and Research
- BMBF -

State level Federation
position supreme federal authority
founding October 20, 1955 as Federal Ministry for Atomic Affairs
Headquarters Bonn , North Rhine-Westphalia
North Rhine-WestphaliaNorth Rhine-Westphalia 
Authority management Anja Karliczek ( CDU ), Federal Minister for Education and Research
Servants approx. 1,000
Budget volume EUR 18.27 billion (2019)
Web presence bmbf.de
Anja Karliczek (CDU), Federal Minister for Education and Research, in 2014

The Federal Ministry of Education and Research ( BMBF ) is a supreme federal authority in the Federal Republic of Germany . The headquarters or first office of the Federal Ministry is in the so-called Kreuzbauten in the federal city of Bonn , the second office in Berlin .


The origins of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research go back to October 20, 1955, when the Federal Ministry for Atomic Affairs ( BMAt ) was founded under the then Federal Chancellor Konrad Adenauer . Franz Josef Strauss was appointed its first minister .

The Federal Ministry for Nuclear Affairs had the task of promoting the peaceful use of nuclear energy and was based in the former Hotel Godesberger Hof in Bad Godesberg , which had been converted into an office building . In 1957 it was renamed the Federal Ministry for Nuclear Energy and Water Management ( BMAtW ) and in 1961 the Federal Ministry for Nuclear Energy ( BMAt ). When it was renamed the Federal Ministry for Scientific Research ( BMwF ) in 1962 , it was also responsible for general science funding and for funding space research. With an amendment to the Basic Law in 1969, the competences of the federal government in educational planning and research funding were expanded, the ministry was therefore given the new name of the Federal Ministry of Education and Science ( BMBW ), which it retained until 1994.

In 1972 the Federal Ministry for Research and Technology ( BMFT ) was founded to promote basic research, applied research and technological development. The two ministries separated for more than two decades. After the federal election in 1994 , the two ministries were merged and the new ministry was named the Federal Ministry of Education, Science, Research and Technology ( BMBF ). After the change of government in 1998 , the BMBF had to hand over the technology policy department to the Ministry of Economic Affairs and was therefore renamed the Federal Ministry of Education and Research, the name it still bears today.

Between 1999 and 2014, the Berlin office of the ministry was housed in the former building of the Permanent Mission of the Federal Republic of Germany to the GDR before it opened its building on Kapelle-Ufer in November 2014 . This offers enough space for the entire ministry to concentrate on this location.


Headquarters of the BMBF in the so-called Kreuzbauten in Bonn
Berlin office of the BMBF on Kapelle-Ufer

The BMBF consists of eight departments (as of February 2018). In addition to the central department, which is responsible for administrative tasks, these are:

  • Department 1: Policy Issues; Strategy; Digital change
  • Department 2: European and international cooperation in education and research
  • Department 3: Vocational Training; Lifelong learning
  • Department 4: Science System
  • Department 5: Key Technologies - Research for Innovations
  • Department 6: Life Sciences - Research for Health
  • Department 7: Provision for the future - research for fundamentals and sustainability.

Each department consists of one or two sub-departments and between 10 and 15 units . The larger part of the subdivisions is located at the Bonn office, the smaller part at the Berlin office. The BMBF employs around 1,000 people in total. In addition, two parliamentary and two permanent state secretaries belong to the management team.


The tasks of the BMBF are diverse. On the one hand, the BMBF is largely responsible for legislation in various areas. This primarily includes the area of ​​extracurricular vocational education and training and training support. On the other hand, the BMBF funds research in all areas of science. In addition, the next generation of academics as well as international exchange in training, further education or studies are promoted. Last but not least, the BMBF has financed BAföG alone since 2015 (excluding the federal states). The budget of the BMBF (section 30) amounts to around 14 billion euros in 2014  . The budget is the fourth largest of all federal ministries. It is about twice the size of the Development Department and about two-fifths of the defense budget . Of this, 10% are earmarked for BAföG, the administrative portion is around 2%.

Science year

The Federal Ministry of Education and Research has been organizing the Science Years since 2000 . Each science year focuses on a scientific discipline or a current scientific topic. The Science Years serve to initiate social debates about developments in science and research. The Science Year 2016 * 2017 under the motto “Seas and Oceans: Discover, Use, Protect” is co-designed by the “System Earth” department, which is responsible for coastal, marine and polar research at the BMBF. The main topics include raw materials from the sea , microplastics , ocean acidification and the effects of climate change on the oceans.

Educational initiatives

Funding of research projects

The BMBF will initially ensure the basic funding of the German Research Foundation and the Helmholtz Association , as well as part of the basic funding of the Max Planck Society and the Fraunhofer Society . In addition, it promotes research projects within the framework of funding programs, for which applicants must apply. Examples of such funding programs are:

  • the research framework program "Research for Sustainable Development (FONA)"
  • the "IKT2020" with the future project Industry 4.0 within the " high-tech strategy " of the federal government
  • the leading-edge cluster competition
  • the focus on IT security research
  • the "research for the production of tomorrow"
  • the focus on "religion, cultural diversity and civil society"
  • the "Kopernikus projects for the energy transition"

The BMBF entrusts so-called project management agencies with the technical and administrative support of the research projects , for example the DLR project management company , the project management company Jülich or the project management company VDI / VDE Innovation + Technology . In addition to such funding programs, public relations measures are financed. One example of this is the nanoTruck , which is intended to inform the general public about nanotechnology . Together with the Federal Ministry of Health, the BMBF is responsible, among other things, for the health research program of the Federal Government of Germany .

Furthermore, the BMBF, together with the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy, is the client for the agency for leap innovation .

German Centers for Health Research

Since 2007, the BMBF has set up a number of “Centers for Health Research” which, through collaborations between numerous research institutions, are supposed to achieve progress in important common diseases. These are:

Federal Minister since 1955

Paul Krüger (Politiker, 1950) Matthias Wissmann Heinz Riesenhuber Andreas von Bülow Volker Hauff Hans Matthöfer Horst Ehmke Anja Karliczek Johanna Wanka Annette Schavan Annette Schavan Edelgard Bulmahn Jürgen Rüttgers Karl-Hans Laermann Rainer Ortleb Jürgen W. Möllemann Dorothee Wilms Björn Engholm Jürgen Schmude Helmut Rohde Klaus von Dohnanyi Hans Leussink Gerhard Stoltenberg Hans Lenz Siegfried Balke Franz Josef Strauß
No. Surname Life dates Political party Beginning of the term of office Term expires Cabinet (s)
Federal Minister for Atomic Questions
01 Franz Josef Strauss 1915-1988 CSU October 21, 1955 October 16, 1956 Adenauer II
02 Siegfried Balke 1902-1984 CSU October 16, 1956 October 29, 1957 Adenauer II
Federal Minister for Nuclear Energy and Water Management
02 Siegfried Balke 1902-1984 CSU October 29, 1957 November 14, 1961 Adenauer III
Federal Minister for Nuclear Energy
02 Siegfried Balke 1902-1984 CSU November 14, 1961 December 13, 1962 Adenauer IV
Federal Minister for Scientific Research
03 Hans Lenz 1907-1968 FDP December 14, 1962 October 26, 1965 Adenauer V
Erhard I
04th Gerhard Stoltenberg 1928-2001 CDU October 26, 1965 October 21, 1969 Erhard II
Federal Minister for Education and Science
05 Hans Leussink 1912-2008 independent October 22, 1969 March 15, 1972 Brandt I.
06th Klaus von Dohnanyi * 1928 SPD March 15, 1972 May 16, 1974 Brandt I
Brandt II
07th Helmut Rohde 1925-2016 SPD May 16, 1974 February 16, 1978 Schmidt I
Schmidt II
08th Jürgen Schmude * 1936 SPD February 16, 1978 January 28, 1981 Schmidt II
Schmidt III
09 Bjorn Engholm * 1939 SPD January 28, 1981 October 1, 1982 Schmidt III
10 Dorothee Wilms * 1929 CDU 4th October 1982 March 12, 1987 Kohl I
Kohl II
11 Jürgen Möllemann 1945-2003 FDP March 12, 1987 January 18, 1991 Kohl III
12 Rainer Ortleb * 1944 FDP January 18, 1991 3rd February 1994 Kohl IV
13 Karl-Hans Laermann * 1929 FDP 4th February 1994 17th November 1994 Kohl IV
Federal Minister for Research and Technology
01 Horst Ehmke 1927-2017 SPD December 15, 1972 May 16, 1974 Brandt II
02 Hans Matthöfer 1925-2009 SPD May 16, 1974 February 16, 1978 Schmidt I
Schmidt II
03 Volker Hauff * 1940 SPD February 16, 1978 November 4th 1980 Schmidt II
04th Andreas von Bülow * 1937 SPD November 6, 1980 October 1, 1982 Schmidt III
05 Heinz Riesenhuber * 1935 CDU 4th October 1982 January 21, 1993 Kohl I
Kohl II
Kohl III
Kohl IV
06th Matthias Wissmann * 1949 CDU January 21, 1993 May 13, 1993 Kohl IV
07th Paul Kruger * 1950 CDU May 13, 1993 17th November 1994 Kohl IV
Federal Minister for Education, Science, Research and Technology
14/8 Jürgen Rüttgers * 1951 CDU 17th November 1994 October 26, 1998 Cabbage v
Federal Minister for Education and Research
15/9 Edelgard Bulmahn * 1951 SPD October 26, 1998 November 22, 2005 Schröder I
Schröder II
16/10 Annette Schavan * 1955 CDU November 22, 2005 February 14, 2013 Merkel I
Merkel II
17/11 Johanna Wanka * 1951 CDU February 14, 2013 March 14, 2018 Merkel II
Merkel III
18/12 Anja Karliczek * 1971 CDU March 14, 2018 in office Merkel IV

Parliamentary State Secretaries

Official State Secretaries


  • Peter Weingart , Niels C. Taubert (Ed.): The Ministry of Knowledge. Half a century of research and education policy in Germany , Velbrück, Weilerswist (2006) ISBN 978-3-938808-18-4 .

See also

Web links

Commons : Federal Ministry of Education and Research  - collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. https://www.bmbf.de/de/die-dienstsitze-in-bonn-und-berlin-185.html
  2. Bundeshaushalt.de: www.Bundeshaushalt.de. Retrieved August 30, 2019 .
  3. ↑ List of Abbreviations. (PDF; 49 kB) Abbreviations for the constitutional organs, the highest federal authorities and the highest federal courts. In: bund.de. Federal Office of Administration (BVA), accessed on August 14, 2016 .
  4. Helmut Vogt : Guardians of the Bonn Republic: The Allied High Commissioners 1949–1955 , Ferdinand Schöningh Verlag, Paderborn 2004, ISBN 3-506-70139-8 , p. 224.
  5. Press release: BMBF new building in Berlin officially inaugurated BMBF, from November 26, 2014
  6. There is a lot of space in Berlin Berliner Zeitung, April 22, 2014
  7. Organization plan of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (pdf; 664 kB) BMBF. S. 1. Retrieved February 25, 2018.
  8. Press release: BAföG reform creates financial leeway for the federal states BMBF, dated August 20, 2014
  9. BMBF: Budget . BMBF. Retrieved November 26, 2014.
  10. Individual plans of the 2014 federal budget . www.bundeshaushalt-info.de. Retrieved November 26, 2014.
  11. Press release on the Science Year of Seas and Oceans
  12. ^ Website of the FONA framework program of the BMBF
  13. Industry 4.0 future project on the BMBF website
  14. Cybersecurity research for the competitiveness of Germany on the website of the BMBF
  15. ^ Website of the framework concept research for tomorrow's production of the BMBF
  16. Focus on "Religion, Cultural Diversity and Civil Society" on the BMBF website
  17. Kopernikus Projects: Home. Retrieved December 22, 2018 .
  18. Comprehensive brochure about the Centers for Health Research, 2011 ( Memento of February 16, 2012 in the Internet Archive ) (PDF; 3.2 MB)
  19. https://www.bmbf.de/de/dr-georg-schuette-182.html

Coordinates: 50 ° 42 ′ 12.3 ″  N , 7 ° 8 ′ 21 ″  E