History of the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft


The influential German Science Council recommends general expansion of non-academic research establishments and of the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft in particular, which is to act as the umbrella organisation for applied research. Government decision-makers make this dependent on structural reforms and the creation of a substantial development programme for the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft. 

The Research Group for Hydroacoustics FgHA in Ottobrunn starts work.


The Technical Committee for Aerosol Studies FAe is dissolved. 

In December, Hermann von Siemens relinquishes the still honorary post of president to Franz Kollmann, who is professor of wood research at the Technical University of Munich. 

In the fifteenth year of its existence, the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft consists of nine institutes and a central administration. A permanent staff of 700 now generates revenue totalling 16 million marks.


The Institute for Radiometeorology and Maritime Meteorology IRM opens in Hamburg.


The new research establishments to join the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft this year include: the Laboratory for Structural Durability LBF in Darmstadt; the Institute for Interfacial Physics and Chemistry IGf, which later moves to Stuttgart and is renamed the Fraunhofer Institute for Interfacial Engineering and Biotechnology IGB; the Technical Development Center Lindau TES, run by engine builder Felix Wankel; the Physical and Bioclimatic Research Center PBF in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, subsequently known as the Fraunhofer Institute for Atmospheric Environmental Research IFU; the Working Group for High-Pressure Plasma Physics and Pulse Discharge Physics AGD in Erkrath.


In Stuttgart, work starts at the Documentation Center for Structural Durability DTB, later renamed the Fraunhofer Information Center for Regional Planning and Building Construction IRB.


In this year, the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft opened the following establishments: the Institute for Aerobiology IAe in Schmallenberg, the Ernst-Mach- Institut for High-Speed Dynamics in Freiburg and the Institute for Chemical Technology ICT in Pfinztal. The two last-named research establishments initially worked exclusively on contracts for the ministry of defence. Integration of the Stuttgart Institute for Technical Physics ITP, later renamed the Fraunhofer Institute for Building Physics IBP.

Ten years after it was founded, the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft now has nine institutes of its own.They employ a staff of 135 and generate revenues of 3.6 million marks.


New Fraunhofer establishments are created: the Documentation Center for Radiochemistry DRc in Munich and the Technical Committee for Aerosol Studies FAe in Bad Lippspringe. The Test and Research Institute for Shoe Manufacture Ish ceases its activities.


Two more institutes start work: the Institute for Electrical Materials IEW in Freiburg, later renamed the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Solid State Physics IAF, and the Test and Research Institute for Shoe Manufacture Ish in Pirmasens.


The foundation of institutes forges ahead: the Fraunhofer Institute for Hygiene and Bacteriological Work Procedures IhbA is established in Munich and the Fraunhofer Institute for Xylolite Research ISF in Bonn is integrated. 

With the support of the federal ministry of defence, set up one year ear- lier, the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft now also provides administrative assistance in the area of defence research. This proves to be of great benefit to the organization's further growth, providing a second major source of support alongside contract research. Spanning many years, this ministry contributes more than half of the research budget of the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft. 

For the first time, the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft formally expresses its interest in receiving basic institute funding from public sources, such as is already granted to other German research establishments. This initiative strives to cement the organization's position in the German research community and support the further expansion of its activities.


Encouraged by the general atmosphere of economic revival, private industry increases its investment in research and development to a total of 600 million marks. The opening years of the German "economic miracle" thus improves market opportunities for the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft. 

The Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft's Patent Center for German Research PST in Munich takes up its activities. 

Hermann von Siemens embarks on nine years of successful work as president of the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft, ably assisted by his energetic vice-president, Albert Maucher.