Secure beginnings

The “Gesellschaft für Mikroskopie und Bildanalyse” based at the University of Konstanz is to receive funding from the Carl-Zeiss Foundation

The “German BioImaging – Gesellschaft für Mikroskopie und Bildanalyse” (German BioImaging-Society for Microscopy and Image Analysis, GerBI-GMB), which is based at the University of Konstanz, will receive funding from the Carl-Zeiss Foundation in the amount of € 240,000 for a period of three years. The non-profit association, whose inaugural meeting took place in Konstanz at the end of April 2017, is thus financially secure until it can attract a sufficient number of paying members and donations to support itself. The funding, which is due to commence on 1 July 2018, will mainly be used to finance the executive manager’s position, who will coordinate the society’s activities including conferences and continuing education programmes for staff working at the core facilities. Professor Elisa May, a University of Konstanz biochemist and chairwoman of GerBI-GMB, says that it is “a wonderful piece of luck to receive support from a foundation as pre-eminent as the Carl-Zeiss Foundation, which is named after one of the great pioneers of optics and light microscopy”. 

The “Gesellschaft für Mikroskopie und Bildanalyse” emerged from the Germany-wide network “German BioImaging”, which has been coordinated by Elisa May since its foundation in 2010. Among other things, the society will take on the responsibilities of the network, which also includes defining framework conditions for scientific imaging infrastructure in Germany. In doing so, it adopts the objective defined by the network of more than 60 microscopy centres based at scientific institutions such as universities, Max Planck Institutes, Leibniz Institutes or Helmholz Centres: To professionalise opportunities for using the existing infrastructure, which is considered to be excellent throughout Germany. Until recently, the network was funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG), receiving a total amount of € 750,000. 

The new expert society for light microscopy brings together members of microscopy centres and research groups from all over Germany. It seeks to represent researchers, experts and core facilities in the area of microscopy and data analysis in the life sciences. One such core facility is the University of Konstanz’s Bioimaging Centre (BIC), which is led by Elisa May. Among the expert society’s express aims is the promotion of exchange between central institutions within the society and with research teams. Another focus will be on transfer activities between industry and science. The “Trends in Microscopy” conference initiated by the DFG has been chosen to host the GerBI-GMB meeting, which takes place every other year. The first meeting took place in Düsseldorf in March.


  • Carl-Zeiss Foundation to fund the “German BioImaging – Gesellschaft für Mikroskopie und Bildanalyse” (GerBI-GMB)
  • Funding amount: € 240,000
  • Funding period: three years
  • Perpetuation of the “German BioImaging” network under the auspices of GerBI-GMB to promote microscopy centres across Germany.