Facts and Figures

Contract research for customers from industry and the public sector

(January, 2020)

The Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft is the world’s leading applied research organization. With its focus on developing key technologies that are vital for the future and enabling the commercial exploitation of this work by business and industry, Fraunhofer plays a central role in the innovation process. Based in Germany, Fraunhofer is an innovator and catalyst for groundbreaking developments and a model of scientific excellence. By generating inspirational ideas and spearheading sustainable scientific and technological solutions, Fraunhofer provides science and industry with a vital base and helps shape society now and in the future.

At the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft, interdisciplinary research teams work together with partners from industry and government in order to transform novel ideas into innovative technologies, to coordinate and realize key research projects with a systematic relevance, and to strengthen the German and the European economy with a commitment to creating value that is based on human values. International collaboration with outstanding research partners and companies from around the world brings Fraunhofer into direct contact with the key regions that drive scientific progress and economic development.

Founded in 1949, the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft currently operates 74 institutes and research institutions. The majority of our 28,000 staff are qualified scientists and engineers, who work with an annual research budget of 2.8 billion euros. Of this sum, 2.3 billion euros is generated through contract research. Around 70 percent of Fraunhofer’s contract research revenue is derived from contracts with industry and publicly funded research projects. The remaining 30 percent comes from the German federal and state governments in the form of base funding. This enables the institutes to work on solutions to problems that are likely to become crucial for industry and society within the not-too-distant future.

Applied research also has a knock-on effect that is felt way beyond the direct benefits experienced by the customer: our institutes boost industry’s performance and efficiency, promote the acceptance of new technologies within society, and help train the future generation of scientists and engineers the economy so urgently requires.

Our highly motivated staff, working at the cutting edge of research, are the key factor in our success as a scientific organization. Fraunhofer offers researchers the opportunity for independent, creative and, at the same time, targeted work. We therefore provide our employees with the chance to develop the professional and personal skills that will enable them to take up positions of responsibility at Fraunhofer, at universities, in industry and within society. Students who work on projects at Fraunhofer Institutes have excellent career prospects in industry by virtue of the practical training they enjoy and the early experience they acquire of dealing with contract partners.

The Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft is a recognized non-profit organization that takes its name from Joseph von Fraunhofer (1787–1826), the illustrious Munich researcher, inventor and entrepreneur.