Expenditure and revenue of the Fraunhofer Groups in the contract research segment 2016

Collaboration in groups based on related areas of expertise enables the Fraunhofer Institutes to develop cross-institutional research strategies and to coordinate the procurement and shared use of strategic items of equipment. It also enables the institutes to participate in Fraunhofer’s overall policy-making processes through the intermediary of the group chairs, who hold seats on the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft’s Presidential Council. There are  six Fraunhofer Groups comprising Fraunhofer Institutes and  Research Institutions in the contract research segment, plus the Fraunhofer Group for Defense and Security VVS, in which the institutes funded by the German Federal Ministry of Defence (BMVg) have joined forces.

Fraunhofer Group for Materials and Components – MATERIALS

With budgeted expenditure of €485 million in 2016, the  Fraunhofer Group for Materials and Components – MATERIALS is the largest group within the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft in financial terms. It encompasses 15 institutes whose areas of  expertise extend from developing new materials, improving the properties of existing materials, materials characterization and evaluating the behavior of materials under different conditions of use, to the development of production pro cesses. This group’s revenues increased by 3 percent in 2016 to €374 million, 84 percent of which were derived from ex ternal sources, thus  propelling it into first place among the Fraunhofer Groups in terms of external funding ratio.

Fraunhofer Group for Microelectronics

The Fraunhofer Group for Microelectronics consists of 11 member institutes that conduct cutting-edge research and  develop application-oriented solutions in seven cross-institute technological core competences: design for smart systems,  semiconductor-based technologies, sensors and sensor systems, power electronics and system technologies for energy supply, quality and reliability, system integration technologies, and  RF and communication technologies. In 2016, this Fraunhofer Group’s budgeted expenditure amounted to €414 million, close to the previous year’s level. It is noteworthy that a major part, namely 49 percent, of the group’s operating expenditure was covered by industrial revenue – the highest ratio of all the groups. Moreover, the group’s public-sector revenue increased by 8 percent in 2016.

Fraunhofer ICT Group

The Fraunhofer ICT Group combines the expertise of 17  Fraunhofer Institutes and Research Institutions that offer tai lored IT solutions, professional technology consulting and pre-competitive research for new products and services in the business areas of digital media, e-commerce and e-government, information and communication technologies, energy and sustainability, medicine, production, security, financial services, and automotive manufacturing. Examples of the group’s work include the development of imaging techniques for use in medicine and integrated software solutions for applications ranging from the interconnection of different media to the digitization of historic monuments. In 2016, the group’s budgeted expenditure increased by 3 percent to €257 million. Its industrial revenue grew by 21 percent, the highest rate of all the groups. The industrial funding ratio reached a high 41 percent.

Fraunhofer Group for Production

The Fraunhofer Group for Production combines the expertise of 9 Fraunhofer Institutes that specialize in the fields of product development, manufacturing technologies and systems, logistics, production processes and production workflow managment. Together they offer a range of services encompassing the entire product lifecycle and every link in the supply chain. Focal areas of the group’s research include energy-saving and resource-conserving manufacturing technologies and efficient logistics design. In 2016, the group’s budgeted expenditure increased by  5 percent to €266 million. This growth was supported by a rise of 19 percent in public-sector revenue, and of 4 percent in  industrial revenue.

Fraunhofer Group for Life Sciences

The Fraunhofer Group for Life Sciences pools the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft’s expertise in the biological sciences, bio medicine, pharmacology, toxicology, and food technology. The 7 member institutes of this group give their customers access to innovative know-how in the fields of medical translational research, bio-medical engineering, regenerative medicine, health-promoting foods, biotechnology, and safety issues pertaining to processes, chemicals and pesticides. In 2016, the group’s bud get ed ex-penditure increased by 4 percent to €176 million. Its industrial  revenue grew by a substantial 13 percent, resulting in a funding ratio of 35 percent.

Fraunhofer Group for Light & Surfaces

The 6 member institutes of the Fraunhofer Group for Light & Sur faces conduct research into the key enabling technologies of photonics and surface engineering. The group’s core competencies include coating systems and functionalized surfaces, laser-based manufacturing processes, materials pro cessing, optical measuring techniques, and the development of micro-optical and precision-engineered systems. Through this work, the group follows in the footsteps of the organization’s founder, Joseph von Fraunhofer, who was the first scientist to measure the absorption lines in the solar spectrum, over 200 years ago. In 2016, the group’s budgeted expenditure rose slightly to €156 mil lion. Public-sector revenue grew by a substantial 11 percent to €51 million. Although industrial revenue was  lower than in the previous year, it still represented a very high project funding ratio of 41 percent.

Fraunhofer Group for Defense and Security

The Fraunhofer Group for Defense and Security VVS brings to gether the expertise of the 7 defense-related Fraunhofer Institutes and their respective civilian-sector contract research depart -ments. Its research activities are mainly focused on the protection of people, enhancing the security of critical infra structure, pro-active crisis management, and monitoring risks to the civilian population and armed forces. In Germany, the group has established a strong reputation as a driver of innovation in all areas of defense and security research. The member instit utes are also very active on a European level, and make use of their many networking contacts to carry out joint research activities. In 2016, the group’s budgeted expenditure amounted to €223 million. Of this sum, €114 million relates to defense research and €109 million to contract research for civilian applications.