70 years of Fraunhofer

72 Institutes and research units. One Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft.

With our fascination for research, we are discovering the world of tomorrow. And the day after tomorrow. It is the future that drives the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft. We ask the right questions and find new answers: Solutions that are of immediate benefit to industry and society.

How do we build intelligent machines that we all can trust? How do we manufacture drugs in a way that brings the patient relief faster and at lower cost? How do we find a responsible way to ensure that everyone feels more secure? And how do we know which answer is the right one?

As researchers, entrepreneurs and visionaries, we see ourselves as pacemakers not just for economy but also for society. Our success is reflected in our powers of innovation, in our partners and colleagues – and not least in our 70 years of history. As we address the issues of tomorrow, it is our history that drives our curiosity about the future. 

70 Years of Fraunhofer. 70 Years of Future. What's next?

Privacy warning

With the click on the play button an external video from www.youtube.com is loaded and started. Your data is possible transferred and stored to third party. Do not start the video if you disagree. Find more about the youtube privacy statement under the following link: https://policies.google.com/privacy

Video: Fraunhofer research awards ceremony 2019

Privacy warning

With the click on the play button an external video from www.youtube.com is loaded and started. Your data is possible transferred and stored to third party. Do not start the video if you disagree. Find more about the youtube privacy statement under the following link: https://policies.google.com/privacy

Events in the anniversary year

Our 70th birthday is an occasion for us to celebrate the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft – with partners, colleagues and all those who want to shape the future.


March 26 in Munich

Official ceremony, Bavarian government reception

The history of the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft started on March 26,1949 at the Bavarian Ministry of Economic Affairs. High-ranking representatives from politics, science and business came together for the official ceremony at the foundation venue to focus on the theme of “Research in Europe”. 




At one of the world’s biggest industrial trade shows, nearly 40 Fraunhofer Institutes and Research Units exhibited a range of solutions and project ideas for our industrial clients over a period of five days. In its anniversary year, Fraunhofer focused on the importance of cognitive systems in connection with Industrie 4.0 technologies.


May 8–9
Annual Conference/Fraunhofer research awards ceremony in Munich

The internal and external events of the Annual Conference were dedicated to research trends of the future, to Key Strategic Initiatives and foresight topics. The festive award ceremony for the Joseph von Fraunhofer Prizes and the Fraunhofer Prize “Human-Centered Technology” featured as the highlights.

November 20 Alumni Summit in Berlin

Successful alumni are Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft’s best advertisement. Once a year we assemble bright minds from business, politics and industry for a surprising and entertaining event. The kick-off event for the “FUTURAS IN RES” conference will likewise focus on the theme of Artificial Intelligence (AI).


November 21–22 "FUTURAS IN RES" in Berlin

Under the title “What’s the IQ of AI?”, high-ranking experts from research, business and politics will engage in debate with an international audience about the potential and limits of Artificial Intelligence. The conference combines academic excellence, international networking and industrial value creation.


Key Strategic Initiatives

In the Key Strategic Initiatives – KSI for short – the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft bundles the competencies of its 72 institutes in order to develop comprehensive system solutions for strategically important topics.


Fraunhofer location map


Fraunhofer magazine 2.2019

The story of the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft
From beacon of hope to innovation engine


Fraunhofer magazine 1.2019

How do we develop the future


Fraunhofer chronicle

Foundation of the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft on March 26, 1949

We have accompanied a changing world since March 26, 1949.

On a Saturday, at 10 o’clock in the morning, representatives of the state government of Bavaria, along with the state governments of Hesse and Württemberg and guests from the scientific and business communities, gathered in the Bavarian Ministry of Economic Affairs at the invitation of State Secretary Hugo Geiger. A solemn ceremony on this day marked the birth of the Fraunhofer Society.

Its first 103 members laid the cornerstone for a tenet that characterizes us to this day: proceeding from ideas, we develop the innovations of the future.


Highlights from Fraunhofer research

Elbedome: virtual reality in 360 degrees

The "Elbedome" of the Fraunhofer IFF enabled the virtual representation of machines, factories or even parts of whole cities.

Augmented reality in manufacturing

The augmented reality headset provides a visualization of assembly instructions, thereby helping new workers with their tasks.

Foiling hardware hackers

Wrapped around an electronic component, the high-tech foil protects against manipulation and data theft.

Hyperspectral optics for advanced satellite observation

The convexly curved hyperspectral optics from Fraunhofer IOF are used in satellites for Earth observation.

Deep-sea diver: DEDAVE explores the ocean floor

The deep-diving robot DEDAVE reaches a depth of up to 6000 meters.

HEVC – High Efficiency Video Coding

Mobile TV – made possible by H.264.

A world record for converting sunlight into electrical energy

A multi-junction solar cell based on III-V semiconductors set the world record for converting sunlight into electrical energy at an efficiency of 46.1 percent.

E³ – rethinking industrial manufacturing

How do we sustainably maximize value creation while minimizing resource con-sumption?

Taraxagum – tires made of dandelion rubber

The project "TaraxagumTM" is all about the Russian dandelion. This is suitable as a natural rubber supplier for car, truck and bicycle tires.

Sweet lupines: delicious and rich in protein

Proteins from the sweet lupine can be used to manufacture vegan alternatives to dairy products.

Algorithms for liver surgery mean safer procedures worldwide

Planning and risk analysis for the surgical removal of a centrally located liver tumor.

Data sovereignty with Industrial Data Space

Launched in 2014, the Industrial Data Space (IDS) initiative provides open data marketplaces for business.

High-power fiber lasers

Fiber lasers provide a powerful source of radiation for applications in science and industry. Key applications for fiber lasers include laser material processing in manufacturing.

High-tech equipment for cyclists

Electronic modules in a high-tech jacket developed by IZM offer added benefits to cyclists.

Spatial hearing with binaural hearing aids

The binaural hearing aid is the first system to enable a genuine spatial auditory experience.

Biosensor measures blood sugar without a needle

A tiny biosensor measures the glucose level in lacrimal fluid.

The world’s largest OLED panel

A 15-meter-long OLED, produced in a roll-to-roll process.

A high-pressure micropump for demanding applications

A micropump for use in smartphones.

A bionic handling assistant inspired by an elephant’s trunk

Inspired by an elephant’s trunk, the bionic handling assistant is a versatile, all-purpose helper.

Strong bonds with DiaCer®

Diamond-coated ceramic mechanical seals produced with the hot-filament CVD process.

3D printing with robots

An industrial robot mills the casting mold for a large component.

3D printing with metal

Partial replica of a human jawbone produced by laser beam melting.

Beam-shaped light from advanced LEDs

Highly efficient thin-film LED modules provide homogeneous lighting for both round and rectangular spaces.

Lab on a chip

The pioneering lab on a chip analyzes biological processes without any additional hardware.

A cryobank for biomaterials

The automated cryogenic biobanks at Fraunhofer IBMT offer cutting-edge facilities that are unique worldwide.

The laser film recorder – ushering in the age of digital movies

Developed by Fraunhofer IPM, the ARRILASER digital film recorder revolutionized moviemaking and heralded the era of digital film production.

A breakthrough in airbag development

The newly designed housing for the gas generator of an airbag.

A CMB machine for producing steel parts

An injection mold produced by means of controlled metal build-up (CMB), along with the finished injection-molded part.

Personal Immersion: PC-based virtual reality

Personal Immersion paved the way for virtual reality deployment in small and medium sized businesses.

Additive manufacturing for personalized ceramic implants

Foamed interior with an additive exterior – replica femur made of ceramic.

Rapid manufacturing with laser technology

Development of Laser Powder Bed Fusion (LPBF) for metallic components. The technique is also known as Selective Laser Melting (SLM).

The development of the white LED

LEDs are now available in any color. They consume little energy, last for a long time and provide illumination for vehicles, streets and interiors.

The story of mp3

The first prototype of an mp3 player without any moving parts, from 1994.

A 3D screen without a 3D headset

Technology from Fraunhofer HHI generates stereoscopic images without a 3D headset.

Adaptronics – the technology for smart structural systems

A low-noise, low-vibration washing machine designed with adaptronics.

Care-O-bot at your service

As early as the mid-1990s, researchers at the Fraunhofer IPA developed the service robot Care-O-bot®.

The self-sufficient solar house

Completed in 1992, the solar house covers its entire energy needs from solar power.

ORMOCER® – dental materials with extra bite

Natural appearance – a dental implant made of ORMOCER®.

Crystal-clear LCDs

The patent specification corresponding to the notice of invention for in-plane switching, displayed on LCDs.