Dear friends and partners,
Do you have a family photo on display? Is it in one of the usual locations— hanging on a wall, sitting on a shelf or maybe on your desk at work? Finding a suitable spot for our institute’s “family photo” would pose something of a problem. Not because we do not feel a special connection to our colleagues—another year marked by the Covid pandemic has shown how much we stand together and support each other as a team. No, the problem is that “offspring” traditionally take center stage in family photos, and we at Fraunhofer IGD have been producing such an astonishing number of spin-offs that our family picture would be panoramic.
On average, one new company emerges from our institute every year. Relative to our headcount, we are among the most successful Fraunhofer institutes in transferring technological knowledge into the real economy. And although only medium-sized in comparison, our institute ranks a respectable fourth place for the number of spin-offs since 2015.
Excellence and founding spirit
Each of our spin-offs is unique, and yet they are united in many ways. They are all driven by an inspirational combination of scientific excellence and founding spirit (which influences even the “old hands” among us). These new companies also share an atmosphere of collaboration and friendship as researchers work together. In addition, each spin-off continues to leverage the extensive visual computing expertise and project experience from individual Fraunhofer IGD research competence centers.
Enthusiasm and a shared interest in technical innovation are often so strong that spin-offs can lose sight of the responsibilities of a newly founded commercial enterprise. To address this issue, we remain in contact with these young companies, offering them comprehensive coaching and supporting them in their search for investors via our powerful network.
Above all, we stay connected with our spin-offs by exchanging insights and knowledge. Consequently, the results of our “Made by Fraunhofer IGD” research will not only grow through our projects, but will also broaden in scope through our spin-offs.
New strategic orientation
As in 2021, our main focus this year is on the further development of Fraunhofer IGD. In addition to numerous ongoing research projects, a priority for 2022 will be the implementation of a new strategy. We aim to ensure our services and offerings, and especially their benefits, are clearly recognized outside the research landscape.
Society and the economy are changing at an accelerating rate, and the Fraunhofer institutes are intent on producing technical innovations to keep pace with ongoing transformations. We at Fraunhofer IGD intend to keep our finger on the pulse of societal and industrial developments, and to play our part in advancing them.
We are therefore determined to focus our research more emphatically than ever on those industries we have already collaborated with in recent years: automotive, healthcare, the maritime economy, information technology, bioeconomics and infrastructure, and the cultural and creative economy. We will identify the areas where we can add value for partners and customers, especially in the above sectors, in particular with the goal of adding value to their industrial processes.
As frequently recognized by international panels of experts over the years, Fraunhofer IGD’s projects have placed the institute at the forefront of technical innovation. However, there is little awareness of our expertise in integrating these technologies, although we are actively involved across the entire value chain—from analysis, concept creation, specification, and proof of concept, to the implementation of highly complex systems.
Scientific research is not an end in itself for Fraunhofer IGD. We aspire to make our knowledge applicable and widely available—through spin-offs and via collaboration with industry partners. In 2022, we will play an even larger role, and we look forward to doing so.