The Boehringer Ingelheim Foundation is an independent, non-profit foundation. We promote excellent basic research in medicine, biology, chemistry, and pharmacy for important, sometimes ground-breaking, new insights that lastingly ensure our health and quality of life.
Through our various activities, funding programmes, and scientific awards, we strive to create the freedom and thus excellent research conditions enabling outstanding results in basic research.
Hubertus Liebrecht (1931–1991), a member of the family of shareholders of the Boehringer Ingelheim company, established the Boehringer Ingelheim Foundation in 1977 as a non-profit foundation, valid under civil law, and recognized by the German government’s supervisory authority for foundations (Stiftungsaufsicht), to which it reports each year. As with any such organisation, and in accordance with the law, the Boehringer Ingelheim Foundation was legally and organisationally separated from its donor upon its founding, and established as an independent organisation with its own decision-making bodies.
In his will, Hubertus Liebrecht bequeathed part of his estate to the foundation. The proceeds of the endowment enable the foundation to fulfil its statutory purpose: "...to support medical, biological, chemical, and pharmaceutical science" and to cover the costs for its administration. The foundation is headquartered in Mainz, Germany. In 2020 alone, the foundation spent some 21.3 million euros to fulfil its statuatory purpose.
Our objectives and guiding principles.
Stimulating excellent science – in our home region of Mainz and across Germany.
Creating freedom and excellent conditions for outstanding scientists.
Honouring exceptional scientific achievements.
Supporting research in a sustainable and flexible manner, and in accordance with the criteria of scientific excellence.
The Boehringer Ingelheim Foundation concentrates a considerable portion of its funding on the Johannes Gutenberg University of Mainz (JGU). Its objective in doing so is to stimulate the long-term development of excellent, internationally recognized basic research in the region.
To this end, in 2009, the foundation pledged to donate a total of 100 million euros that enabled the establishment of an international centre of excellence for basic research in the life sciences – the Institute of Molecular Biology (IMB) at the University of Mainz. This is a milestone in the history of our foundation, of which we are particularly proud. With its donation the foundation has financed the scientific activities of the IMB for ten years, until the autumn of 2020. From then until the middle of 2027, the Boehringer Ingelheim Foundation and the State of Rhineland-Palatinate will jointly provide the IMB's core funding, amounting to approximately 106 million euros. As set forth in the funding agreement, the foundation will contribute about 54 million euros and the State about 52 million euros.
The foundation’s long-term commitment to the Mainz region is reflected in other projects, such as the Boehringer Ingelheim Prize. For 50 years, the Prize has honoured excellence in medical research at the University Medical Center Mainz. It has been endowed by the Boehringer Ingelheim Foundation since 1995.
Endowed with a sum of 100,000 euros, the Heinrich Wieland Prize is the most important prize awarded by the foundation. It honours distinguished scientists from around the world for their ground-breaking research. Five of the Prize’s laureates have subsequently been awarded the Nobel Prize.
The principal objective of the Rise up!, Plus 3 and Exploration Grants programmes is to provide freedom for scientific creativity and a path to success. All three funding programmes are aimed at outstanding, basic scientists in biology, chemistry, and medicine at universities and other academic institutions throughout Germany.
The Boehringer Ingelheim Foundation has granted a total of some 25 million euros of Plus 3 and Exploration Grants since the programmes' start in 2010 and 2011, respectively. The Rise up! programme only started in 2022.
The Boehringer Ingelheim Foundation is currently supporting the Boehringer Ingelheim Fonds (BIF), a foundation devoted to providing financial support to basic research in biomedicine around the world. From 2022 onwards and for another period of ten years, the support amounts to 66 million euros. The Boehringer Ingelheim Fonds, which is likewise a non-profit, independent organisation, awards fellowships to outstanding PhD students worldwide and to MD students studying in Germany, as well as assists junior life-sciences researchers around the globe with their travel expenses. The BIF also organises the twice-yearly International Titisee Conferences for leading researchers from around the world.