What is a research association?
A research association is a network of scientists from many different fields who come together to work on a complex issue.
Bavarian research associations are organised into projects, generally exist for 3 or 4 years and encompass several locations (in Bavaria). A research association is founded "bottom up" as a direct future-oriented investment to secure Bavaria's reputation as a place of research and industry, or "top down" in response to a business, societal or political requirement for advice (such as on climate change or the ageing German population).
This is why partners from industry are often included as collaborators, rather than just financiers. The private-public partnership ensures fast implementation of scientific results. Public sources of funding include the Bavarian Research Foundation and the Bavarian ministries, especially the Bavarian State Ministry for Science and the Arts.
In 1993, the Bavarian Research Associations came together to form the Association of Bavarian Research Cooperations, abayfor, which was an overarching organisation representing the interests of the research associations. Following the foundation of BayFOR and its acceptance into the Bavarian Research and Innovation Agency, the research associations relinquished their independent overarching organisation and are now partners of the Bavarian Research Alliance. This strives to continue building networks between the Bavarian research associations and making them visible to the public.