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New research institute: The SHARE Berlin Institute

German leading research institutions bring Europe's largest social science panel study to Berlin

Berlin, 29. March 2022. The Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe (SHARE) will enrich the science location Berlin. The founding partners now signed the partnership agreement for the new SHARE Berlin Institute. SHARE will in future be embedded in a collaboration of four leading research institutions: the WZB Berlin Social Science Center, the German Institute for Economic Research (DIW Berlin), the Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin and the German Centre of Gerontology - Deutsches Zentrum für Altersfragen (DZA). The new institute will also work closely with the Robert-Koch-Institute (RKI).

SHARE is a research infrastructure for studying the effects of health, social and economic policies over the life-course of European citizens and beyond. From 2004 until today, 530,000 interviews with 140,000 people aged 50 or older from 28 European countries and Israel have been conducted. Thus, SHARE is the largest pan-European social science panel study providing internationally comparable longitudinal micro data.

The new institute is a positive signal for the Berlin research landscape. It will strengthen Berlin as a hub for international, data-based research. Thanks to its participating leading research institutions, the research network will also advance interdisciplinary and international research in Germany. 

SHARE currently has more than 14,000 scientific users worldwide. On average, one scientific paper based on SHARE data is published every day. The data serve both basic research and evidence-based policy making at the European and national levels. The move to Berlin will create new synergies from which both areas will benefit. 

Prof. Dr. h.c. Axel Börsch-Supan, Ph. D., SHARE-ERIC Managing Director: 
SHARE is a forward-thinking research infrastructure that investigates why people become poor or rich, sick or healthy, lonely or sociable over the life course and, how social, economic, and health policies can change this. I am very pleased that this important research infrastructure will now find a permanent home in Berlin. Thus, where social, economic, and health policies are made, our evidence can help shape them rationally.

Prof. Dr. h.c. Jutta Allmendinger, Ph.D., President of the WZB:
Health and illness are not determined from birth; social and spatial factors also play a major role. Good, internationally comparative information on people's life courses can show us which factors determine our health, our life expectancy, our life course. Only in this way can we learn, prevent and help. SHARE provides this important data and is therefore invaluable for social research.”

Prof. Dr. Marcel Fratzscher, President of the DIW Berlin:
"The international long-term study SHARE is an important European research infrastructure that contributes enormously to our understanding of demography and ageing in society. This data base is important for examining how economic and social policies affect the choices and lives of every individual. SHARE will further strengthen and enrich Berlin as a science hub."

Prof. Dr. Heyo K. Kroemer, Charité’s Chief Executive Officer:
We are delighted to see Charité become one of the four research partners creating a permanent home for SHARE and its research activities in the healthcare metropolis of Berlin. This research infrastructure will provide important data on the links between health and the social determinants of health from a multidisciplinary, European perspective: a database which, among other things, can help us to explore the long-term health risks of the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Prof. Dr. Matthias von Schwanenflügel, Chairman of the Board of DZA: 
"The lively ageing research landscape in the science area of Berlin is enormously enriched by the European long-term study SHARE. The living conditions of older people in Europe differ greatly, and the country comparisons made possible by SHARE allow new insights into middle and late adulthood. The German Centre of Gerontology is looking forward to the collaboration and will contribute its vast experience in ageing research to SHARE Berlin Institute."

>> German version at WZB website


About SHARE: 

SHARE, the Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe, is a research infrastructure for studying the effects of health, social, economic and environmental policies over the life-course of European citizens and beyond. From 2004 until today, 530,000 in-depth interviews with 140,000 people aged 50 or older from 28 European countries and Israel have been conducted. Thus, SHARE is the largest pan-European social science panel study providing internationally comparable longitudinal micro data which allows insights in the fields of public health and socio-economic living conditions of European individuals, both for scientists and policy makers. SHARE has global impact since it not only covers all EU member countries in a strictly harmonized way but additionally is embedded in a network of sister studies all over the world, from the Americas to Eastern Asia.

SHARE has become a major pillar of the European Research Area over the last years. It was selected as one of the projects to be implemented in the European Strategy Forum on Research Infrastructures (ESFRI) in 2006 and given a new legal status as the first ever European Research Infrastructure Consortium (ERIC) in March 2011. Since 2016 it is an ESFRI landmark. SHARE is centrally coordinated at the Munich Center for the Economics of Aging (MEA), a division of the Max Planck Institute for Social Law and Social Policy, directed by Prof. Dr. h.c. Axel Börsch-Supan, Ph.D. as Managing Director of SHARE-ERIC.

SHARE gratefully acknowledges funding from the European Commission (e.g. Horizon 2020), the US National Institute on Aging, and national sources, especially the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research. Read more: www.share-eric.eu 

With the foundation of the SHARE Berlin Institute, the continuation and scientific development of the study is to be carried out in a reliable multidisciplinary and legally secure framework with strong partners from the scientific community (WZB, DIW, Charité, DZA and RKI), which jointly succeed the Max Planck Society (MPG) and the Technical University of Munich (TUM) as SHARE's previous German scientific partner institutions.

Media requests: 
Verena Coscia
coscia@mea.mpisoc.mpg.de