The combination of a growing global population, climate change, dwindling resources and the loss of agricultural land presents global challenges that can only be overcome by a new understanding of sustainable value creation. This transformation requires us to leave behind economic models based on the exploitation of fossil fuels. Instead, we need to move toward bio-based production, working methods and lifestyles – the bioeconomy.
More than half of all Fraunhofer Institutes and research institutions are involved in the four major areas of health research – drugs, diagnostics, devices and data, or 4D for short. Many innovations emerge at the interface between medical science, natural science, computer science and engineering. With its emphasis on transdisciplinary research, the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft offers the perfect environment for a close collaboration on health research – and on a cost-intelligent precision medicine for the benefit of patients.
Artificial intelligence (AI), cognitive systems and machine learning have a key role to play in the transformation of our society and economy. The Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft is developing key AI technologies and applications at a number of its institutes. Our research contributes significantly to the development of safe, trusted and resource-efficient AI technologies that closely match the real-world needs of companies and society as a whole.
Computers have become ubiquitous in every aspect of our daily lives – and this digital transformation is creating a torrent of new business models and innovations. As the number of application scenarios increases, so too do the demands we place on software and hardware. Yet conventional computing technologies are gradually reaching the limits of speed, performance, miniaturization and energy efficiency. Next-generation computing aims to solve this dilemma. From quantum-based and neuromorphic computing to next-generation micro-electronic components, Fraunhofer is driving the development of hardware and technologies for next-generation computing.
Quantum technologies open up entirely new and unexplored applications in the fields of measurement technology, imaging, secure communication and highly complex calculations. They therefore have high disruptive potential. Scientists have achieved spectacular breakthroughs in quantum research in recent years. The goal of quantum research at Fraunhofer is to transfer basic research into applications as quickly as possible, for example in the form of high-precision sensor systems and secure quantum communication.
The world’s natural resources are limited. Yet they are being consumed at ever faster rates by a growing global population. This leads to increasing competition and rising prices, especially for resources such as oil, cobalt and rare earths. At the same time, the extraction of natural resources causes environmental damage such as the release of greenhouse gases, pollution of our air, water and soil, and a decline in biodiversity.
Hydrogen technologies have an increasingly important role to play in industry’s transition toward sustainable value creation. They form a key part of strategic plans to safeguard a sustainable future for Germany as an industrial hub. Fraunhofer’s expertise includes materials, systems and their production and use in industry, mobility and the energy sector. It also covers interdisciplinary topics such as security and service life.