The Helmholtz Association pursues the long-term research goals of the state and society, including basic research, in scientific autonomy. To do this, the Helmholtz Association conducts top-level research to identify and explore the major challenges facing society, science and the economy. Its work is divided into six research fields. The Helmholtz Association brings together 19 scientific-technical and biological-medical research centers. With more than 40,000 employees and an annual budget of over € 4,8 billion, the Helmholtz Association is Germany's largest scientific organisation. The Association's work follows in the tradition of its namesake, the natural scientist Hermann von Helmholtz (1821-1894).