The classic case of cooperation: The company sees a need for research or development; for example, it wants to bring product innovation to market, improve a process, solve a logistical problem or have a process tested and certified. A discussion with Fraunhofer shows which solutions are available, which cooperation is suitable, and what expenditure can be expected. The cooperation - whether small or extensive - aims at solving the problem and introducing the innovation into the company or the market.
Large projects with many partners
Some problems are so complex that several partners have to develop the solution. In this case, the entire environment of the Fraunhofer Institutes is available to the clients. External partners and other companies can also be involved. Fraunhofer researchers have experience in handling large projects efficiently and fairly. And they also know what government funding is available.
Fraunhofer is also represented abroad. Many Fraunhofer employees have international experience, appropriate cultural and linguistic skills, and first-hand knowledge of global markets. This means that internationally active companies can also be supported abroad.
Fraunhofer aims to advance promising technologies. This preliminary research, which is initially carried out independently of orders, often results in long-term partnerships with companies. One example is the Dortmund Surface Center, in which companies from the steel industry work together with Fraunhofer institutes, universities of applied sciences, and universities. This network aims to bring new coating technologies to application.
Innovation clusters - networking boosts performance
Handling complex projects can involve many competencies and disciplines. Long-term cooperation between several research institutions and companies is advantageous. To this end, Fraunhofer - with the support of the German government - has created innovation clusters. Such a cluster has the task of bringing together competent partners in a region to solve challenging tasks. In addition to industry and universities, other non-university research institutes located there are also integrated, making important contributions to the corresponding topic area.
The spatial proximity of research organizations, investors, and companies creates networks that can lead to new business ideas and company start-ups. Regional innovation clusters close the gap between business and science. Successful clusters stimulate competition and at the same time create fruitful cooperation from which everyone ultimately benefits.
Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institutes are creative and adept at putting good ideas into practice. They often go into business for themselves with new development, a product or a process, and set up their own company. Fraunhofer itself only participates to a certain extent in such a start-up. Sometimes the clients of new development are themselves interested in being part-owners of the spin-off company. This enables them to participate in the further success and development of technology in the long term.