The Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft is the leading organization for institutes of applied research in Europe, undertaking contract research on behalf of industry, the service sector and the government. Commissioned by customers in industry, it provides rapid, economical and immediately applicable solutions to technical and organizational problems. Within the framework of the European Union´s technology programs, the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft is actively involved in industrial consortiums which seek technical solutions to improve the competitiveness of European industry.
The Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft also assumes a major role in strategic research: Commissioned and funded by Federal and Laender ministries and governments, the organization undertakes future-oriented research projects which contribute to the development of innovations in spheres of major public concern and in key technologies. Typical research fields include communications, energy, microelectronics, manufacturing, transport and the environment.
The global alignment of industry and research has made international collaboration imperative. Furthermore, affiliate Fraunhofer institutes in Europe, in the USA and in Asia ensure contact to the most important current and future economic markets.
At present, the organization maintains 80 research establishments at 40 locations throughout Germany. A staff of some 13,000, the majority of whom are qualified scientists and engineers, generate the annual research volume of more than about one billion euro. Of this amount, about 900 million euro is derived from contract research. Research contracts on behalf of industry and publicly financed research projects generate approximately two thirds of the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft´s contract revenue. One third is contributed by the Federal and Länder governments, as a means of enabling the institutes to work on solutions to problems that are expected to attain economic and social relevance in the next five to ten years.
Fraunhofer scientists specialize in complex research tasks involving a broad spectrum of research fields. When required, several institutes pool their interdisciplinary expertise to develop system solutions.
The Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft was founded in 1949 and is a recognized non-profit organization. Its members include wellknown companies and private patrons who contribute to the promotion of its application-oriented policy.
The organization takes its name from Joseph von Fraunhofer (1787-1826), the successful Munich researcher, inventor and entrepreneur.
Further information: http://www.fraunhofer.de/fhg/index.jsp