Fraunhofer IPK

Institute for Production Systems and Design Technology


Research of practical utility lies at the heart of all activities pursued by the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft. Founded in 1949, the research organization undertakes applied research that drives economic development and serves the wider benefit of society. Its services are solicited by customers and contractual partners in industry, the service sector and public administration.

At present, the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft maintains 72 institutes and research units. The majority of the more than 26,600 staff are qualified scientists and engineers, who work with an annual research budget of 2.6 billion euros. Of this sum, 2.2 billion euros is generated through contract research. Around 70 percent of the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft’s contract research revenue is derived from contracts with industry and from publicly financed research projects. Around 30 percent is contributed by the German federal and state governments in the form of base funding, enabling the institutes to work ahead on solutions to problems that will not become acutely relevant to industry and society until five or ten years from now. International collaborations with excellent research partners and innovative companies around the world ensure direct access to regions of the greatest importance to present and future scientific progress and economic development. With its clearly defined mission of application-oriented research and its focus on key technologies of relevance to the future, the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft plays a prominent role in the German and European innovation process. Applied research has a knock-on effect that extends beyond the direct benefits perceived by the customer: Through their research and development work, the Fraunhofer Institutes help to reinforce the competitive strength of the economy in their local region, and throughout Germany and Europe. They do so by promoting innovation, strengthening the technological base, improving the acceptance of new technologies, and helping to train the urgently needed future generation of scientists and engineers. As an employer, the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft offers its staff the opportunity to develop the professional and personal skills that will allow them to take up positions of responsibility within their institute, at universities, in industry and in society. Students who choose to work on projects at the Fraunhofer Institutes have excellent prospects of starting and developing a career in industry by virtue of the practical training and experience they have acquired. The Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft is a recognized non-profit organization that takes its name from Joseph von Fraunhofer (1787–1826), the illustrious Munich researcher, inventor and entrepreneur. Figures are for January 2019.

Fraunhofer Institutes: Networking for Success

Individual Fraunhofer institutes are largely autonomous. They align their own research themes and profiles to market demand and are themselves responsible for acquiring research contracts and project funding. Yet the institutes are by no means islands merely sheltered by a common roof – they cooperate with one another in a wide number of ways. Institutes sharing broadly related subject areas organize themselves in research groups for joint presentation on the R&D market. Furthermore, they also pool their various fields of expertise in flexible structures like alliances and innovation clusters in response to different demands. This means that they can offer holistic solutions from one single source.  

Fraunhofer IPK is a member of the Fraunhofer Group for Production, a consortium of seven production-oriented institutes. The range of services offered by the Fraunhofer Group for Production includes use of the latest cutting-edge findings in production science, engineering science and computer science, and covers the entire production process.

In addition, Fraunhofer IPK is also engaged in seven Fraunhofer Alliances: AdvanCer; AutoMOBILE Production; BIG DATA; Additive Manufacturing; Numerical Simulation of Products & Processes; Cleaning Technology; Water Systems (SysWasser) and Transport – as well as in the Fraunhofer Innovation Clusters Life Cycle Engineering for Turbomachines, and Next Generation ID.