The Fraunhofer Institute for Ceramic Technologies and Systems IKTS conducts applied research on high-performance ceramics
The Fraunhofer Institute for Ceramic Technologies and Systems IKTS conducts applied research on high-performance ceramics

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. The association takes its name from Joseph von Fraunhofer (1787–1826), the illustrious Bavarian researcher, inventor and entrepreneur.

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

69 Fraunhofer Institutes

Approx. 24,500 staff; including over 9,000 scientists and scientific staff

Research centres, representative offices and senior advisors in Europe, North and South America, Asia, the Middle East and Africa

Annual budget: 2.1 billion euros (2017)

Research activities

The organisation’s research focuses on the needs of people in the areas of

Health and environment

  • Security and protection
  • Communication and knowledge
  • Transportation and mobility
  • Energy and resources,
  • Production and supply of services

International activities

The Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft has subsidiaries in Europe and North and South America. Its European activities are primarily organised through the office in Brussels, which acts as an interface between Fraunhofer and European institutions. Fraunhofer Representative Offices and Fraunhofer Senior Advisors provide access to local markets worldwide. International collaborations with excellent research partners and innovative companies around the world ensure direct access to regions of the greatest importance for present and future scientific progress and economic development.

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).

Research Budget

Fraunhofer Budget 2017
Source: Fraunhofer

The annual budget amounts to 2.1 billion euros (2017). The Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft is primarily funded through contract research. Although over two thirds of its assignments come from industrial and service-sector companies, it also realises publicly funded research projects. Basic funding is provided by the Federal Government and the Länder.


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