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Helmholtz Incubator Software Award

The President of the Helmholtz Association offers a new prize, the Helmholtz Incubator Software Award, supporting an initiative of Helmholtz Federated IT Services (HIFIS), the Helmholtz Information & Data Science Academy (HIDA), the project „Helmholtz Platform for Research Software Engineering - Preparatory Study“ (HiRSE_PS), and the Helmholtz Open Science Office. There are countless software projects in the Helmholtz Association, many of which produce outstanding research achievements. The Helmholtz Incubator Software Award aims to promote the development of professional and high-quality research software and to recognize the commitment to software as the basis of modern Data Science. The award will shine a spotlight on the sustainable development and operation of research software, promoting reusability and collaboration.

Currently under review

On the first of July 2023, the call for the Helmholtz Incubator Software Award was published and sent to the Helmholtz Centers. It will be awarded to Helmholtz scientists, engineers and teams (including PhD students) who develop outstanding software solutions. 

The prize will be awarded in up to three categories:

  1. Scientific Originality
    This prize is awarded for the innovation contribution and the scientific results achieved with the software.
  2. Sustainability
    This prize is given for software that is sustainable in the sense of software engineering according to the FAIR principles and for an extensive support and participation through the scientific community.
  3. Newcomer
    This prize is awarded for young software with great potential and a visible growth rate in its application. It can be particularly interesting for doctoral students or junior research groups.

The winners receive a one-time prize money, which they can use for their own purposes. 5,000 € are earmarked for the Scientific Originality, 3.000 € for the Sustainability and 2.000 € for the Newcomer prize.

Which software is eligible for participation in the competition?

  • Helmholtz has a substantial share in the project (Helmholtz as a leading partner).
  • The software is already demonstrably in use in a community.
  • The software is cited in at least one scientific publication.
  • The software must meet the conditions of professional software development according to the FAIR criteria.
  • The software is registered in the Helmholtz Research Software Directory.

Application Procedure

The application is designed as a two step process:

  1. Each Helmholtz Center may nominate a maximum of three suitable candidates to this call. These candidates with software name and contact persons must be submitted by the Centre’s Management via e-mail to the Helmholtz Open Science Office via open-science@helmholtz.de
    Nomination deadline: September 11th, 2023
  2. The candidates selected by their Center will then be invited by the organizing committee of the Helmholtz Incubator Software Award to provide documentation pertaining to their bid via the proposal management platform ProMeta-IVF.
    Submission deadline: September 30th, 2023

For questions about the award please contact us at open-science@helmholtz.de.


Christoph Bruch

Open Science Officer