Published on 02.06.2023

Independent Review Panel Strongly Recommends Continuation of Helmholtz Imaging

Decorative image showing the Helmholtz Imaging team as well as impressions of the evaluation

Helmholtz Imaging: Successful Evaluation

On 27-28 April 2023 Helmholtz Imaging underwent a comprehensive evaluation to assess its achievements, progress, and future plans. The initial feedback by the independent review panel was very positive: they emphasized that Helmholtz Imaging provide added value to the entire Helmholtz Association, and therefore strongly recommended continuing Helmholtz Imaging. The entire team demonstrated that the platform is the core of a network that generates, provides, and brokers expertise in imaging science.

Launched to Capture the World of Science

Helmholtz Imaging was launched at the end of 2019 with the aim of capturing the world of science by leveraging the imaging activities and expertise within the Helmholtz Association, and promoting synergies between different imaging modalities and applications. Now, three years later, Helmholtz Imaging is a cross-disciplinary, research-driven and support-oriented platform that makes all the innovative modalities, methodological richness and data resources of the Helmholtz Association better usable and accessible. Helmholtz Imaging is unique among the Helmholtz Incubator Platforms in that it naturally spans activities across all research fields and along the entire imaging pipeline.

Thorough Evaluation by Independent Review Panel

Three years after its foundation, Helmholtz Imaging was thoroughly reviewed at an in-person event on 27-28 April 2023, at the Deutsches Elektronen-Synchrotron DESY. The independent review panel consisted of international experts from academia and research institutions. In-depth discussions with the Helmholtz Imaging team and representatives of the two governing bodies, Helmholtz Imaging Projects, and Helmholtz Imaging scientists who have directly benefited from the platform’s features helped the evaluation panel to gain a comprehensive understanding of the support services and research focus of Helmholtz Imaging as well as its added value for the entire Helmholtz Association and beyond.

Broad Range of Formats to Showcase Achievements

During the evaluation sessions, the Helmholtz Imaging team presented in detail the scope of their activities, their progress, achievements, and future plans. For the presentations, the Helmholtz Imaging team used a variety of formats to showcase the results – more classical ones like slideshow presentations, but also unexpected formats like a scenic dialog with an imaging scientist to illustrate the wide range of support and services offered by the platform, a collage to experience the broad spectrum of achievements with all the senses and a concise performance of Helmholtz Imaging’s visionary plans.

Successful Establishment of a Lively Imaging Community

Across the young platform, staff and scientists have published more than 90 papers, delivered more than 400 hours of training, conducted more than 50 short-term consulting projects, and won 30 awards and prizes. Despite COVID-19, Helmholtz Imaging has managed to build a community from scratch (over 900 imaging enthusiasts from all 18 centers and over 70 other institutions), that spans extremely heterogeneous research areas. Helmholtz Imaging is proud to have enabled, for the first time, a lively and regular exchange between domain scientists and methodologists on common topics at events such as workshops, summer schools, training courses, and the Helmholtz Imaging Annual Conference.

Very Positive Initial Feedback from the Review Panel

The initial feedback from the review panel was overwhelmingly positive. The panel commended Helmholtz Imaging for fulfilling its mission with extraordinary activity and enthusiasm of the whole team. They emphasized that Helmholtz Imaging is a unique and novel structure, without precedent in its scope, and highlighted its outstanding progress through collaboration and networking, producing cutting-edge research in a very short period of time. According to the evaluation panel, Helmholtz Imaging brings added value to the entire Helmholtz Association. Therefore, the panel strongly recommended the continuation of Helmholtz Imaging and the implementation of all future plans.

The full review report will be available soon.