What is the Robert Koch Institute?

As a national public health institute, the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) plays a decisive role in protecting public health in Germany. The institute is the Federal Government’s central facility in the field of biomedicine. Its tasks include identifying, preventing, and combating diseases and improving the health situation. Research is a core focus. The RKI covers a wide range of topics: RKI scientists collect and analyze data on noncommunicable diseases like diabetes and cancer, infectious diseases, and (new) biological hazards. The institute works scientifically and on the basis of evidence, and its results act as important bases for decisions, for example in relation to preventive measures or the targeted expansion of medical services. As only high-quality data can lead to reliable results and recommendations, the quality of the scientific work and infrastructure of the RKI is subjected to regular internal and external assessment.

The RKI works on health protection for the future: new methods are being developed and tested with the aid of artificial intelligence, data science, and bioinformatics algorithms. As a point of contact for global health, the RKI is an important partner of the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO). Around 1,200 people from 90 different professions and 50 nations, half of whom are scientists, work for the health of the population.