Annual Report 2018 (in German)

In 2018, the Foundation approved EUR 207.2 million for scientific research projects and events. Compared to 2017, this represents an increase of 30.7% – and is at the same time the second highest funding amount in the history of the Foundation. The focus was on realigning the funding portfolio in order to offer new pathways and more scope for creative Research.

Breakdown of the total amount of approvals (EUR 207.2 million)

Funding totals by area

  • General Funding: EUR 70.8 million (previous year: 81.3 million)
  • Niedersächsisches Vorab : EUR 133.1 million (previous year: 73.6 million)
  • Foundation's own projects/events: EUR 3.3 million (previous year: 3.6 million)

Approvals by subject area in "General Funding"

  • Humanities and the social sciences: EUR 34.4 million (48.7% of funds granted) for 201 projects
  • Life sciences, including medicine: EUR 19.6 million (27.7% of funds granted) for 67 projects
  • Natural sciences and mathematics: EUR 13.2 million (18.6% of funds granted) for 69 projects
  • Engineering: EUR 1.8 million (2.5 % of the budget) for 13 projects
  • Field combinations: EUR 1.8 million (2.5 % of the budget) for 10 projects.

In the year under review, a total of 1,663 General Funding applications were reviewed. The approval rate was 21.7 % (360).

Development of the Foundation's assets

In 2018, income from the Foundation's asset management amounted to EUR 260.6 million. Of this amount, EUR 10.7 million was added to the capital as reserves in order to maintain the value of the foundation's assets.

With EUR 3.2 billion in endowment capital and a claim to the dividends accruing from around 30 million VW shares (to which the Foundation is entitled from the participation of the State of Lower Saxony in the Volkswagen Corporation) the Volkswagen Foundation is one of the largest foundations in Europe and by far the largest private science-funding foundation in Germany.