70 years of future

We are looking back on what we have achieved, but above all we are looking forward. Because that is the way we work. Each day we face the issues of the future with courage and curiosity. With this in mind, we aim to inspire our colleagues, partners and all those with an interest to take the next steps with us, pursue tangible change and never cease to ask, what’s next?

What's next?

We ask the right questions and find new answers: solutions that are directly beneficial to industry and society. How do we build intelligent machines that everyone can trust? How can medicine be developed faster and cheaper in order to help patients more efficiently? How do we responsibly ensure that everyone feels safer? And how do we know which idea is the right one? We never cease questioning.

The spirit of research positions us as pioneers.

We invent tomorrow’s world. And the day after tomorrow. We develop new technologies in all fields of research, bolster economic performance, raise the acceptance of innovations and promote the younger generation. Of Germany’s research institutions, Fraunhofer tops the league in terms of the number of inventions.

We secure value and values. With tomorrow's technology.

We develop technologies today in order to safeguard the achievements of the past for the future. System solutions are already contributing to the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft attaining a leading position in science, for instance in the field of digitization or imaging with CultLab3D, the world’s first fully automated 3D scanning pipeline.

We are researchers, entrepreneurs and visionaries.

We set the pace for society and make companies successful every day. Our activities focus in particular on cooperation models, examples being the Fraunhofer Clusters of Excellence, performance centers, lighthouse projects and research fabs. We also strengthen Germany’s innovative capabilities through our spin-offs: In the last 15 years, around 300 companies have been successfully established.

Our diversity is our strength.

Our excellent reputation is also the result of our diversity. Very different people research and develop at Fraunhofer – transcending borders between nations, sectors and disciplines. Our employees leave the beaten track and venture into the realms of new perspectives.

We think globally and interact within networks.

We operate worldwide in a networked manner, always keeping our sights on the whole, and bigger picture. The Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft’s 72 institutes and research units cooperate with high-profile research partners and innovative companies in more than 80 countries all over the world. In addition, the eight Fraunhofer affiliated partners on three continents conduct research on the model in Germany. The international network has an extensive reach, and Fraunhofer maintains contact with the global scientific community.

We shape the future together.

At the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft, technological breakthroughs evolve into value added for society at large. We actively concentrate our competences, which enables us to link up stimulus from all the various fields. In these activities, we cooperate with partners from research and business. Ultimately innovations become sustainable products and services that improve people’s lives.

Enthusiasm generates solutions.

The Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft’s employees have enabled it to become a leading partner in its field: Their pride and their enthusiasm characterize and distinguish our society. Fraunhofer offers them the opportunity to develop and to take on challenging positions in research institutions, universities, in the world of business and society.

We look forward to the road ahead.

Going forward, curiosity will continue to be our driving force. In the years ahead, the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft will be concentrating on the fields of research, transfer, good corporate governance and digitalization within the framework of its Fraunhofer 2022 Agenda – as a networked innovator with efficient structures.

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. 

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, anniversary dinner

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 will come together for the official ceremony at the foundation venue to focus on the theme of “Research in Europe”. In the evening, the Bavarian government will be hosting a reception at the Munich Residence: here, an anniversary dinner will close the day’s celebration under the motto “Fraunhofer Talents”.



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

May 8–9 Annual Conference in Munich

The internal and external events of the Annual Conference are 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” will feature 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


The history of the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft

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.