FVB and the institutes under its umbrella are members of the Leibniz Association. The Leibniz Association Leibniz Association connects 91 independent research institutions that address scientific issues of importance to society as a whole. Leibniz institutes maintain scientific infrastructure and provide research-based services – liaison, consultation, transfer – for the public, policy-makers, academia and business. They conduct research ranging from the natural, engineering and environmental sciences via economics, social and spatial sciences to the humanities.
A typical Leibniz institute is a compact, flexible unit of excellence. Each Leibniz institute operates in thematically defined, ground-breaking fields of research. An interdisciplinary approach and academic freedom characterise the work, which has a strategic mission: research tasks at Leibniz institutes span knowledge-oriented basic research and applied research, spanning a bridge between them. The institutes cooperate with universities, institutions of other research organisations and business enterprise at both national and international level.
Leibniz institutes complement university research. The current excellence initiative also reflects this close cooperation. It promotes clusters of excellence, graduate schools and outstanding concepts for the future. Leibniz institutes are involved in many of these measures. As a result of their strategic approach to research, Leibniz institutes already play a central role in research networks and centres, regional clusters, collaborative research centres and research training groups. More than 200 directors and leading scientists hold joint appointments as professors at neighbouring universities.