In the mid-1970s, the Heinrich Hertz Institute was not only confronted with technical changes: its form of financing changed fundamentally with the transformation into a limited liability company (GmbH).
While the research at the Heinrich Hertz Institute was focused primarily on electrical, acoustic and mechanical oscillation in recent decades, researchers have concentrated increasingly on modern telecommunications technology since 1975. The traditional period, shaped by the founder of the institute, Prof. Karl Willy Wagner, was now irrevocably over.
Until 1974, the institute was financed primarily by the sponsoring association. It was decided that now the funding should be taken over by a public form of financing, which was to be shared between the Federal State of Berlin and the Federal Republic of Germany. For this purpose, a consortium agreement was signed between the two parties on December 13, 1974, which stipulated the establishment of the “Heinrich Hertz Institute for Telecommunications Berlin GmbH”. Berlin and the Federal Republic of Germany each invested DM 25.000 to provide the required capital stock for the limited liability company.
On November 12, 1975, the new legal form of the HHI was entered in the commercial register. As a result, the GmbH took over the institute from the “Association for the Promotion of the Heinrich Hertz Institute e.V.” with effect from January 1, 1976. The Association ceased its activity with the transition and was converted into the “Association of Friends of the Heinrich Hertz Institute” at its last board meeting on October 19, 1976.
Prof. Dr.-Ing. Horst Ohnsorge became the managing director and headed the institute until 1980. From 1977 on, Dr. jur. Wolfgang Grunow assisted him as administrative director. The shareholder agreement stipulated that the both of them should manage the business of the GmbH in a determined division of labor. Furthermore, the “Scientific-Technical Council” had to be consulted in the case of scientific and technical questions.