DESY is one of the world’s leading accelerator centres. Researchers use the large-scale facilities at DESY to explore the microcosm in all its variety – from the interactions of tiny elementary particles and the behaviour of new types of nanomaterials to biomolecular processes that are essential to life.

The accelerators and detectors that DESY develops and builds are unique research tools. The facilities generate the world's most intense X-ray light, accelerate particles to record energies and open completely new windows onto the universe. 
That makes DESY not only a magnet for more than 3000 guest researchers from over 40 countries every year, but also a coveted partner for national and international cooperations. Committed young researchers find an exciting interdisciplinary setting at DESY. The research centre offers specialized training for a large number of professions. DESY cooperates with industry and business to promote new technologies that will benefit society and encourage innovations. This also benefits the metropolitan regions of the two DESY locations, Hamburg and Zeuthen near Berlin.

The development of innovative accelerator technology is also taking place within collaborative efforts - whether in the Helmholtz Association's accelerator initiative ARD or in the international consortium that is developing the TESLA technology for the accelerators of the future. Cooperation on X-ray sources is equally intense. DESY has a share of more than 50 per cent in the X-ray laser European XFEL. Countries such as India, Sweden and Russia are involved in PETRA III. And a number of institutions that are closely connected with DESY are being set up on the campus in Hamburg: CFEL is devoted to research into ultrafast physical processes; CSSB will deal with infection research; and the Max Planck Society, which is already involved in CFEL, is planning the construction of a new institute.