In 2012 the HZDR, and in consequence also the Institute of Ion Beam Physics and Materials Research (IIM) including its Ion Beam Center (IBC), has undergone a scientific evaluation. The evaluation committee composed of the Scientific Advisory Board and numerous external experts in our field of research concluded that “the overall quality of the scientific work is excellent”, that “there are an impressive number of young scientists working enthusiastically on a variety of high-level projects” and that “the choice of these projects represents a clear underlying strategy and vision”. We feel honored and are proud that the external view on our scientific achievements is that extraordinary. In view of this outstanding result we would like to express our gratitude to all our staff members for their commitment and efforts! In the past year, we continued our integration into the Helmholtz Association of German Research Centers (HGF) with our Institute mostly active in the research area “Matter”, but also involved in a number of activities in the research area “Energy”. In this respect, many consultations were held with the Helmholtz centers contributing to common research areas to precisely define the role we will play in the newly established HGF program “From Matter to Materials and Life” (see schematic below). Our IBC has been recognized as a large-scale user facility for ion beam analysis and modification of materials, i.e., specializing on materials science. In particular, the IBC plays a prominent role in the recently approved Helmholtz Energy Materials Characterization Platform (HEMCP), which mainly concentrates on the development of dedicated analytical tools for the characterization of materials required for future energy technologies. The successes achieved by the IBC allows us to invest 7200 k€ to further improve and strengthen the ion beam capabilities at the Institute. In addition to this infrastructure-related grant, we were also successful in our funding application for the establishment of the International Helmholtz Research School for Nanoelectronic Networks (IHRS NANONET), aiming at promoting the next generation of leading scientists in the field of nanoelectronics. The IHRS NANONET is coordinated by our Institute and offers a well-structured PhD program to outstanding students of all nationalities with emphasis on interdisciplinary research and comprehensive training in technical and professional skills.