Berlin Institute of Health was founded in March 2013 by Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin and Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine in the Helmholtz Association (MDC) in Berlin-Buch as a unique biomedical research institute. It brings together the synergetic scientific research competence of the two institutions, intensifying their long-standing project-based collaboration and creating a novel structure for translational research – in one institution. Two basic, closely interrelated questions are the focal point of the new institution: How can advances in life sciences be better converted into medical benefits such as new diagnostic, therapeutic, and preventive procedures and, in the best of cases, contribute to health? And inversely: how can clinical needs and challenges be better considered in the design of basic research?

Since the founding of MDC in 1992, it has successfully cooperated with Charité in individual and group projects. In July 2011, the two institutions signed a memorandum of understanding to work together in the form of a joint institution. With Berlin Institute of Health, a unique cooperative research institution was created in 2013. Berlin has now emerged as one of the most prominent locations internationally for advanced translational research – a center of attraction for top-level scientists and clinicians from around the world. First discussions about establishing Berlin Institute of Health were held between Germany’s former Minister of Health Annette Schavan and Berlin’s former Senator for Research Jürgen Zöllner in 2011. On 6 November 2012, plans for establishing BIH were announced by the German federal and Berlin state governments, which together signed the administrative agreement in January 2013. Two months later, on 25 March 2013, the founding agreement was signed by Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine in the Helmholtz Association, the German Ministry for Education and Research, the Berlin Senate Department for Education, Youth, and Science, and the Helmholtz Association of German Research Centers. Berlin Institute of Health was initially founded as an internal GbR (a partnership under civil law).  Since 23 April 2015, BIH is a Körperschaft des öffentlichen rechts (KöR) and thus independent and vested with legal capacity.

Further Milestones

April 2013 The Founding Supervisory Board holds its constitutive meeting.
May 2013 Evaluation of Scientific Concept
July 2013 An international evaluation commission presents its assessment of the new institution’s scientific concept. The assessment is highly positive.
September 2013 The Head Office begins its work.
September-November 2013 On the basis of the scientific concept joint project groups formed by the Charité and MDC develop implementation plans for the research program.
October 2013 The members of the Scientific Advisory Board are nominated.
November 2013 A first funding call (for Collaborative Research Grants) is published.
December 2013 The Directorate develops the research and budget plan with detailed measures and milestones.
February 2014 The Scientific Advisory Board meets for its founding session.
April 2014 The first Collaborative Research projects begin their activities.
June 2014 The first pathfinder studies are chosen at the CRU.
September 2014 The first BIH professorship "Experimentelle Herz-Kreislaufforschung" is being established.
March 2015 The Berlin House of Representatives passes the "Gesetz zur Errichtung des Berliner Instituts für Gesundheitsforschung" (Legislation for the formation of the Berlin Institute of Health).
April 2015 The legislation enabling the formation of the Berlin Institute of Health is passed into effect.
January 2016 BIH operates as independent corporation under public law
June 2016 Supervisory Board approves “BIH Strategy 2026”
November 2016 Supervisory Board approves “Strategy Implementation Plan 2017–2020”