Contact Press / Media
Section Manager for Science Policy and Corporate Development (acting)
10178 Berlin, Germany
Phone +49 89 1205-1611
Ingenuity is our country’s most important resource. This is what makes the efficient and sustainable transfer of scientific knowledge to commercial use possible. This knowledge transfer is the backbone of our innovation system. Challenges such as the COVID-19 pandemic, the climate and energy crises, global supply chain problems, demographic changes, and new geopolitical conflicts have changed our world – and shaken the long-term stability of our security and prosperity. According to studies carried out by the Federation of German Industries (BDI), among others,Germany has been losing innovative strength since the beginning of the 2020s.
However, change also offers opportunities, for example when it comes to achieving more sovereignty in central areas of technology and transforming our economy to a more sustainable system. From our energy supply, to the medical sector through to cybersecurity: We can now emerge stronger and more resilient after a crisis – and we have the chance not only to use specific innovations to preserve our competitiveness, expertise and knowledge but to expand them, too.
Our key objectives include ensuring that Germany and Europe have the political and economic freedom to act and make decisions, as is the involvement of civil society. With integrated solutions for business, politics and society, Fraunhofer delivers solutions that create an impact across all sectors. In our strategic research fields, we provide both deliberate and dynamic impetus – looking ahead to the markets of tomorrow.
The Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft is the leading organization for applied research. Since 1949, it has been our mission to strengthen the competitiveness of the German and European economies and their regional research and innovation. Concentrating on future-relevant key technologies and transferring our ideas and research findings to industry, business and society, we are helping shape German and European innovation.
Fraunhofer supports companies from the initial idea to market launch. In this process, the impact of applied research goes far beyond the direct benefit to the customer: Fraunhofer institutes strengthen the performance and efficiency of companies and promote the acceptance of new technologies within society while also training the future generation of scientists and engineers that the economy so urgently requires. And: Fraunhofer is also a key player in making Germany a center of innovation.
Our main form of cooperation is contract research. We develop technical and organizational solutions that can be implemented effectively and support the widespread use of new technologies. Industrial and service companies of all sizes benefit as a result. Fraunhofer is an important source of innovative expertise for small and medium-sized enterprises that do not have their own R&D department. For our corporate customers, we develop and fine-tune technologies, processes and products through to the production of prototypes and small batch series.
At Fraunhofer, we pool our expertise in close collaboration between our institutes and our partners in business, science, research and academia – both nationally and internationally. This means we can make powerful contributions to the major challenges facing society while finding fast, efficient solutions for our customers.
Fraunhofer research teams work together with contract partners from industry and the public sector on a wide range of activities, from small-scale process optimization to complex large-scale projects. Key components of this work center on an entrepreneurial mindset coupled with scientific excellence.
A well-functioning exchange between experts at the interface between science and industry is crucial in order to transfer research knowledge quickly and effectively into new products and services. Only in this way can we adequately meet the key social challenges of today and tomorrow, such as structural transformation, sustainability and climate issues, digitalization and the consequences of demographic developments.
For industry and business
We are reliable partners for our customers in business and industry – even in times of crisis: Our wide-ranging expertise, strongcustomer focus, market proximity and great capacity for synergy enable us to respond flexibly to new tasks and challenges.
For government and society
Advice we provide to policy makers at the national, state and local levels is topical, relevant, and easy to implement. Fraunhofer is the first point of contact for national and state governments and parliaments when it comes to technology and innovation. Our Fraunhofer Group for Innovation Research supports innovation and transformation with a wide range of expertise and methods in sociotechnical and socioeconomic research.
Fraunhofer collaborates with independent international Fraunhofer affiliates located in Europe, in North and South America and Singapore. Representative offices and senior advisors worldwide build bridges to local markets. Our office in Brussels serves acts as a liaison to the institutions of the European Union. Strategic collaborative partnerships with distinguished international partners complete our portfolio.
Bringing technological innovations to the economy and society – this is the task of the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft. Our research units generate valuable technological knowledge and expertise on a daily basis. Tumor detection using artificial intelligence, self-driving trucks on the highway and real-time control of production facilities using 5G mobile communications – these developments would be inconceivablewithout a properly functioning transfer of research findings into commercial applications. Not only do we serve the established sectors of mechanical engineering, manufacturing and energy, but also quantum technologies, translational medicine, artificial intelligence and smart farming.
For more than 70 years, the institutes of the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft have been valued by business and government as the bedrock for a competitive industry and as a hotbed for company relocations and start-ups. Fraunhofer develops new processes, products, services and materials. Patents, utility models, trademarks and copyrights protect the intellectual property (IP) from our research. Our customers and partners access this through licensing models.
Successful technology exploitation requires a broad, differentiated set of transfer solutions, all of which we have in our portfolio:
Our laboratories and infrastructures are state of the art. This is where Fraunhofer’s research scientists find new solutions, test their feasibility, develop prototypes, new manufacturing processes and provide demonstrators and prototypes. Companies, especially small- and medium-sized ones, benefit from research and development services that are provided and tested on state-of-the-art infrastructure. Close cooperation with universities opens up the opportunity to pool complementary skills and helps elevate the status of all partners. By combining expertise into institute groups as part of joint research and development projects with dedicated roadmaps, we develop system solution s that impact multiple industries. We have the complementary skills to align our expertise with specific problems or issues. In addition, our institutes and networks pursue new trends and ensure the ongoing advancement of research expertise.
The Research Fab Microelectronics Germany FMD and the Fraunhofer Research Fab Battery Cells FFB successfully orchestrate topic-specific and interdisciplinary collaborative activities in real market environments. We master the complexity of these assignments, exploit synergies by leveraging the expertise of our networked institutes and thereby contribute to the successful development of key technologies for society as a whole. We are an attractive and well-established participant in publicprivate partnerships and the industrycompatible resources we provide enhance entire value chains.
We also coordinate high-performance centers to provide the necessary framework to align university and non-university research with business. These concentrate universities, higher education institutes and other non-university research institutes at a single local or regional location. Here they work closely with civil businesses and stakeholders to carry out research on specific topics and to rapidly bring innovations to practical application. High-performance centers stand for excellent infrastructure, training concepts and expertise that can be used across organizations. They bring together like-minded partners and act as innovation guides to help bring ideas to the market.
Career opportunities at Fraunhofer are as diverse as our research fields. Our greatest asset as a science organization is our highly-motivated employees engaged in cutting-edge research or who provide effective support in the areas of research management and administration. The distinguishing feature of our Interdisciplinary work is the great deal of individual professional freedom.
Fraunhofer offers its researchers the opportunity for independent, creative and, at the same time, goal-oriented work. We help our employees develop professional and personal skills that will enable them to take on positions of responsibility at institutes and universities, as well as in industry and society. Students involved in projects at Fraunhofer institutes have excellent career prospects due to the practical work experience they receive and the opportunity to interact with contract partners at an early stage in their career.
More than 80 percent of our institute directors hold professorships at universities. Fraunhofer is a sought-after partner in the higher education sector, for example as part of the Excellence Strategy of the German federal and state governments. Because of Fraunhofer’s close cooperation with universities, Fraunhofer employees can carry out their PhD research directly at partner universities.
We aim to strike a balance between recruiting and retaining staff and to achieve our objective of transfer via individuals. In fact, ten percent of our total workforce each year transfer to the private sector, mainly as qualified specialists. Excellent qualifications, interdisciplinary work and the formation of professional networks mean that every year thousands of employees become highly sought-after specialists in their industry. In line with the principle of individual knowledge transfer, some 3,000 follow the call to industry each year. In addition, we ourselves regularly occupy top positions in employer rankings.
Responsible action We believe that corporate social responsibility means taking responsibility for a future worth living. Wherever we operate, we make sure that our activities are economically, ecologically and socially sustainable. Good scientific practice is an integral part of our work. The principle of responsibility guides our interaction with all of our stakeholders and the focus of our research is on sustainability and the common good. We consider integrity and responsible action to be the foundation of long-term success. These values have been sustained by our membership in the United Nations Global Compact since 2017. At all our sites, we promote and ensure compliance with human rights and labor and environmental protection standards, and we work to combat corruption. We are committed to fulfilling corporate due diligence obligations in supply chains. To ensure systematic compliance, Fraunhofer also operates an established and proven compliance management system.
Diversity We recognize and harness the potential of diversity. We do not think in terms of gender, ethnic origin, religion and belief, disability, age or sexual identity. Our diversity management ensures fairness of opportunity, work-life balance and the inclusion of people with disabilities. Fraunhofer is a dedicated founding member of the Chefsache initiative, a network advocating equal opportunities for men and women, and has been a member of the Diversity Charter since 2011.
Our mission is becoming reality: We are transforming into a climate-neutral research operation. Fraunhofer is the first research organization in Germany to commit to climate neutrality by 2030 and is testing technologies for our own use. How we achieve this objective:
We operate 76 institutes and research units at sites in each of Germany’s federal states. Over 30,000 employees with backgrounds in science, engineering or socioeconomics work with an annual research volume of roughly three billion euros.
We are continuously developing our areas of expertise. By collaborating in interdisciplinary groups, Fraunhofer institutes with related expertise can assume technological leadership in key strategic areas and jointly implement complex customer projects. International collaboration with outstanding research partners and companies from around the world brings the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft into direct contact with the most prominent scientific communities and most dominant economic regions. We generate two-thirds of our budget with revenue from industry and publiclyfunded research projects, which are acquired through competitive bidding.
The German federal government – in particular the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research – and the German states contribute another third as base funding, enabling our institutes to develop solutions now to problems that will drastically impact industry and society in the near future. We use the base funding to strengthen our scientific expertise, reduce development risks, shorten the time-to-market process and open up new technological potential for companies. The Fraunhofer model is unique and is the key to our competitiveness and continued success in the marketplace. We are continuously challenged to align ourselves with the market’s needs for innovation and transfer. Our executive board manages the business and represents Fraunhofer both internally and externally. It formulates scientific and research policy, determines expansion and financial planning, assists in the acquisition of base funding and manages its distribution among the institutes. The presidential council participates in executive board decision-making processes and, as such, is entitled to make proposals and recommendations to and has the right to be heard by the board. It consists of the executive board and the chairs of the groups.
Our senate’s duties include appointing members of the executive board and defining the basic principles of the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft science and research policy. It has around 30 members from the fields of science, business and public life, representatives of the German federal and state governments, and members of the Scientific and Technical Council (STC). Advisory boards at our institutes support the institute management in their research strategy and organizational development and help anchor them in society. These are made up of local representatives from science, business, society as well as German state and federal political representatives.
Selection from the 1990s to the 2020s