INSPIRE Knowledge Base


German Research Centre for Geoscience
Mission and Objectives: 
Helmholtz Centre Potsdam German Research Centre for Geosciences (GFZ) is the national research center for Earth Sciences in Germany. GFZ, which currently has 970 employees including 350 scientsts and 100 doctoral candidates, is the national research center for Earth sciences in Germany. With an annual budget of 76 million euros, our staff works in all the disciplines of the Earth sciences from geodesy to geoengineering, as well as in the associated natural and engineering topics. We investigate "System Earth" at locations all over the world with all the geological, physical, chemical and biological processes which occur at its surface and in its interior. Understanding the many different processes that occur within the Earth and at its surface is not the only goal of geoscientific research into the Earth system. One of the tasks of the GFZ is also to transfer the resulting scientific knowledge into corresponding technologies. The applications are many and varied. They range from the use of underground spaces, over the securing of georesources to reducing the risk associated with natural disasters. Since the topics of our four geoengineering centers are interdisciplinary, specialists from the various sections of the GFZ work in them together with external scientists and colleagues from industrial partners. The focus of the research at the Center for CO2 Storage is directed to the question of whether carbon dioxide can be stored safely underground over the longterm. Such storage is increasingly being considered as an option for reducing the emissions of CO2 into the atmosphere. We test and develop new technologies to monitor storage in porous rocks deep underground, and investigate the interactions that take place between rocks and fluids. In cooperation with national and international colleagues, we are operating the first European continental field laboratory for CO2 storage near the town of Ketzin in Brandenburg. The use of geothermal energy becomes an important issue of future energy supply within strategies for the mitigation of climate changes. The International Center for Geothermal Research (ICGR) meets this challenge by developing reliable geothermal technologies and innovative concepts of a sustainable economic energy supply. GITEWS (German Indonesian Tsunami Early Warning System) is a project of the German Federal Government to aid the reconstruction of the tsunami-prone region of the Indian Ocean. It is accomplished by a consortium of nine instutions under the leadership of the GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences.  PACE, tasked with the development and use of realtime position and navigation information with precision in decimeters and centimeters, is still being developed. This "Precise Application Center" is a joint project of the German Center for Aerospace Research (DLR) and the GFZ. Together, the researchers will use the three existing satellite systems (American GPS, Russian GLONASS and the European system GALILEO) to develop new, extremely precise products and services which will be of interest to a broad range of users.
Formal Mandate: 
Research at the German Research Centre for Geosciences (GFZ) is embedded into the programme oriented structure of the Helmholtz Association of National Research Centres. GFZ participates in the research fields "Earth and Environment" and "Energy". With respect to INSPIRE GFZ is acts as a mulitplicator, facilitating technology transfer of geospatial data infrastructures into scientific application.
GFZ Potsdam is a member in the Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) and in DDGI e.V., the German Umbrella Organisation for Geoinformation. GFZ also plays a leading role in the Earth ans Space Science Informatics special interest groups of the European Geosciences Union and the American Geophysical Union. Through these organisations GFZ is involved in the drafting and revision of geospatial standards. Through its many projects with other members of the geosciences community GFZ transfers these technologies into scientific practice.
As national research centre for geosciences GFZ is involved in many projects involving geospatial data and has over the years developed an extensive network of national and international partners. Through this network and its own scientific departments and geoengineering centres GFZ has become an important node in the community for development and implementation of geospatial technology.

Which role(s) do you foresee for the SDIC in INSPIRE development

  • participate in the review process
  • yes
  • implement pilot projects to test/revise/develop the draft Implementing Rules
  • yes
  • contribute to awareness raising and training
  • yes
  • be kept informed
  • yes
    Geographic Domain
    Societal Sector
    Specific Expertise
    Previous Experience relevant for INSPIRE development
    Application of OGC web services in the German-Indonesian Tsunami Early Warning System, synthesis of geospatial data in the German Natural Hazards Map, modelling of the geological underground for natural ressources, geothermal applications and CCS technology.
    Environmental application domains
    Earth observation, environmental monitoring, geospatial reference systems, energy ressources, CCS
    Primary Business
    Research in geosciences