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.
- © Kurt Fuchs / Fraunhofer IIS
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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
67 Fraunhofer Institutes and research facilities
at different locations in Germany
Approx. 24,000 staff (2016); 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: 2.1 billion euros (2016)
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.
The Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft is engaged in a number of international activities mainly in Europe, North and South America, Asia and the MENA region. Fraunhofer operates subsidiaries in Europe (Austria, Italy, Portugal, Sweden, UK) and in North and South America (USA, Chile).
Representative offices and senior advisors worldwide form a bridge between local markets and Fraunhofer Institutes.
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 2.1 billion euros (2016). Approx. 300 million euros of the research budget are contributed by the German Federal Government and the states (Länder) in the form of base funding, roughly 1.8 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.