The history of non-university research in Germany goes back much further than the history of the Leibniz Association.
In 1652, the Leopoldina was founded and in 1700, Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz initiated the establishment of the Society of Sciences in Berlin, which was later to become the Academy of Sciences.
In 2006, a Brussels office was set up for EU affairs, and a Berlin office was also established.
2010 saw the election of the first full-time President and in 2012, the Bonn office was closed and Headquarters relocated to Berlin Centre.
Whilst the institutions themselves continue to be autonomous entities, the goals of their self-organisation include closer academic cooperation (such as Leibniz Research Centres and Leibniz Networks), regular information and experience sharing, cooperation on matters of common interest and their external representation, both in the political arena as well as vis-à-vis the general public.
It is now usually referred to as the Leibniz Association.
The fact that total expenditure for the Blue List was limited led to the so-called "omnibus" principle: the only way of funding a new member, was to drop an old member from the Blue List.
German Reunification in 1990 brought about major changes in joint funding by Federal and Länder Governments.
In 1977, after intensive negotiations involving more than 300 institutions, 46 were identified for joint funding and published in a list printed on coloured paper: the Blue List was born.
From 1979, the Science Council regularly evaluated Blue List institutions in order to guarantee high standards of scientific performance and be able to set them on the track to targeted development at an early stage.