Commercial customers

What does Fraunhofer do?

Fraunhofer conducts research and produces innovations

The Fraunhofer Institutes undertake research of direct utility to private and public enterprise. The aim of this applied research is to use science and technology to create innovative products and applications.

Fraunhofer delivers what the economy needs: innovation, which is one of the most important factors in achieving commercial success. To maintain an edge in a competitive global market you need to understand your customers’ needs, deploy the very latest technologies and respond quickly to market developments.

If you want to make your business successful, you need to find a professional team of innovators – creative minds, experienced developers, and in-house research departments.

And if you want to exploit every available opportunity, you need to bring in skills from the outside. The Fraunhofer Institutes are an economically viable alternative. They can help bring your company’s innovation process to life.

Achieving success through a commitment to progress: The Fraunhofer story

Things started off small, and the future was uncertain. The Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft was founded in Munich in 1949 and was initially responsible for arranging funding for close-to-market research. By 1952 it still had just three employees.

But the booming economy soon boosted the demand for contract research: Thanks to a range of innovative, top-quality products, Germany was becoming one of the world’s top export nations, and Fraunhofer kept pace with this rapid growth to enable it to cover the steadily increasing demand for research services. Today, more than 17,000 staff work in over 80 research institutes with a total budget of 1.7 billion euros. Of this sum, 1.4 billion euros is generated through contract research. Two thirds of the organization’s research revenue is derived from contracts, and one third is contributed by the German federal and Länder governments in the form of institutional funding.

That makes the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft the biggest organization for applied research in Europe. Its customers include companies of all sizes and from all industrial sectors – from small and medium-sized companies to global enterprises.

Fraunhofer operates internationally

Globalization is a phenomenon that affects all areas of the economy, including the market for research and development services. To stay in the race, an organization has to measure itself against its international competitors, forging contacts and picking up on the latest technological trends. That is why Fraunhofer has been running outposts in the world’s major economic regions for many years.

These offices maintain permanent contact to the economic regions and scientific areas that are most important for business today and in the future. As well as picking up on new trends, this also allows Fraunhofer to see how its own work stacks up against global benchmarks – a process that ultimately benefits its domestic customers, too.

Fraunhofer offers tailored partnerships

In most industry sectors, research is an essential prerequisite for building a successful business. But research does not come cheap, which is why companies need to focus on structuring their innovation work as efficiently as possible.

Contract research can be a good solution for many companies: As a temporary partner, Fraunhofer Institutes can carry out concrete projects in a timely and professional manner. Costs are generally lower and easier to calculate than equivalent research projects run internally.

Outstanding experts and world-class skills

Fraunhofer offers a superb basis for a career, and working here provides a clearly defined path to success. The combination of interesting research and direct applications gives people the best kind of practical experience. It is also highly motivating: Fraunhofer consistently takes a top spot in the popularity rankings for technology-oriented employers.

So Fraunhofer’s customers have the reassurance of knowing that their cooperation partners are not only highly competent, but also intensely motivated.

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