The Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft conducts applied research for both private and public enterprises, as well as for the general benefit of the public. The association takes its name from Joseph von Fraunhofer (1787–1826), the illustrious Bavarian researcher, inventor and entrepreneur.
- © Fraunhofer Gesellschaft
The Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft is the largest organisation for applied research in Europe. It conducts research under contract for industry, the service sector and public administration and also offers information and services. One of its most famous inventions is MP3, which was developed by the Fraunhofer Institute for Integrated Circuits (IIS). MP3 is the most widely used method for encoding and decoding digital audio data.
Facts and Figures
66 Fraunhofer Institutes and research facilities
at different locations in Germany
Approx. 24,000 staff (2015) ; the majority are qualified scientists and engineers
Research centres, representative offices and senior advisors in
Europe, North and South America, Asia, the Middle East and Africa
Annual budget: more than 2 billion euros (2015)
The organisation’s research focuses on the needs of people in the areas health, nutrition and environment, safety and security, information and communication, transportation and mobility, energy and living and environmentally friendly production.
The Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft engages in a number of international activities and therefore has research centres, representative offices and senior advisors in the world’s major economic regions:
- Fraunhofer Brussels office
- Fraunhofer subsidiaries in Austria, Chile, Italy, Portugal, Sweden, United Kingdom and the United States
- Fraunhofer project centres in Brazil, Canada, Greece, Hungary, Japan, Poland and Singapore
- Representative offices in Brazil, China, India, Indonesia, Japan and Korea
- Fraunhofer senior advisors in Egypt, Malaysia, South Africa and United Arab Emirates
- The French German Joint Programme for technological research
In addition, Fraunhofer participates in international networks and organisations like the European Research Consortium for Informatics and Mathematics (ERCIM), the European Association of Research and Technology Organisations (EARTO), the Global Research Alliance (GRA) and the World Association of Industrial and Technological Research Organizations (WAITRO).
- Source: Fraunhofer
The annual research budget amounts to nearly 2 billion euros (2015). Approx. 724 million euros of the research budget are contributed by the German Federal Government and the states (Länder) in the form of base funding, roughly 1.3 billion euros is generated by contract research. More than 70% of the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft’s contract research revenue is derived from arrangements with industry and from publicly financed research projects.