Digital Leader Awards

Special Prize for "Digital Earth"

Helmholtz project awarded for innovative geo and environmental research
[16. September 2020] 

Yesterday, the Helmholtz project "Digital Earth" for integrated geo-research was awarded the special prize for "Digital Science" of the "Digital Leader Awards" in the "Society" category. The companies NTT and IDG Business Media, together with other business partners, award these prizes across all sectors to projects and teams that drive the digital transformation. The finalists in 2020 included companies such as Infineon, BMW and the Ergo Group, but also public authorities such as the Federal Employment Agency. However, the Helmholtz project is the first prize winner from publicly funded research.

"Digital Earth" started in May 2018 and is part of a comprehensive strategy of the Helmholtz Association in the Research Field Earth and Environment to more closely link the eight centres in terms of infrastructure, data technology and science. Every day, scientists collect countless data on the state of our planet. These data come from sensors in the field, analyses in the laboratory, satellites in space and models on mainframe computers. However, processing the large, heterogeneous volumes of data has its limits. "We are developing new methods to combine and efficiently analyse data from atmospheric, marine and terrestrial research," says the overall coordinator of "Digital Earth", Professor Jens Greinert from the GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel.

Researchers do not only use new data science methods such as machine learning or analysis workflows - they also develop them further. "This requires close and integrated cooperation between natural and data scientists in order to better understand the complex processes in the Earth system and to be able to provide answers to the challenges of climate change, resource security or increasing environmental hazards," emphasises Jens Greinert.

Besides GEOMAR, the Alfred Wegener Institute, the Helmholtz Centre Potsdam - German Research Centre for Geosciences (GFZ), the Forschungszentrum Jülich (FZJ), the Helmholtz Zentrum München (HMGU), the Helmholtz Centre Geesthacht Centre for Materials and Coastal Research (HZG), the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) and the Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research (UFZ) are also involved.



Nadine Michel