Network: pooling strengths for sustainable success

Creating tight networks with industry and scientific partners is a key factor in our ability to continuously transform new ideas into top performance. We collaborate closely with our branch labs and network partners on specific research topics.

The Fraunhofer network: Service which meets requirements

The IAO’s range of competencies is particularly enhanced by its tightly-meshed links with other Fraunhofer Institutes. In line with demand and market development, Fraunhofer institutes combine their expertise on selected key topics by collaborating in centrally managed groups – or they join forces in interdisciplinary alliances or networks to collectively develop and promote new, innovative research topics

The Fraunhofer IAO is involved in the following alliances and groups:

Fraunhofer Groups

For people in business, politics and the media, it isn’t always easy to understand the work of the Fraunhofer Institutes with their broad range of competencies and many different locations. How far advanced is the development of a new technology? Which team in which institute is working on a particular topic? Which technologies, projects and products are currently under development in a given field – or will be of major importance in the future? The Fraunhofer Institutes are organized into groups devoted to specific research areas so that they can serve as points of contact, facilitators and service providers to help answer these questions.

Fraunhofer Group for Innovation Research

Understanding change, shaping the future

If business, government and society are to succeed, we must understand the complex interdependencies within systems of innovation. For this reason, it is important to recognize changes as soon as they emerge in any sector, market or technology. Only if they comprehend these changes will they be able to actively influence the long-term impacts on the economy, technology, society, politics and culture. As an expert partner that uniquely combines socioeconomic and sociotechnical research, the Fraunhofer Group for Innovation Research offers support to stakeholders in business, government and society. The Fraunhofer Group for Innovation Research was founded in 2017.

Research topics

  • Design and identification of innovation systems
  • Socio-economic dimensions of technology development
  • Strategic research planning and foresight
  • System optimization of human-organization technology
  • Technology and innovation management
  • Technology forecasts
  • Transfer and exploitation



Fraunhofer Information and Communication Technology Group IUK

Fraunhofer IAO is also guest of the Fraunhofer Information and Communication Technology Group IUK, the largest IT research organization in Europe. Here, businesses and users can access Fraunhofer’s combined expertise on markets, technologies and processes in the field of complex software systems.

Fraunhofer Alliances

The objective of the Fraunhofer alliances is to represent and process scientific and research-related questions on innovative topics in an interdisciplinary way and from a single source within the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft. This provides businesses with a central contact point for integrated system solutions.

Fraunhofer IAO is a member institute of the following Fraunhofer alliances:

Innovation clusters

In order to boost networking between regional partners from industry and research, Fraunhofer institutes have formed innovation clusters to pool the available research and development resources. This allows them to function as drivers of innovation and an interface for the exchange of information between the partners – from universities to industry. Together with the neighboring Fraunhofer IPA in Stuttgart, Fraunhofer IAO is the lead institute in the “Digital Production” innovation cluster:

Fraunhofer networks

In partnership with politics, industry and society, the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft accepts responsibility for helping to promote and implement “sustainable development”. The Fraunhofer Sustainability Network supports a stronger linking of both the research topics and research personnel with a close connection to sustainability. In this manner, Fraunhofer aims to make its research more efficient while also taking account of the growing complexity of research relating to “sustainable development”.

In order to bring Fraunhofer research and its subsequent implementation more closely into line with the principles of sustainability, Fraunhofer IAO is using its participation in a cross-institute working group at the Fraunhofer Institute Center in Stuttgart to promote close collaboration of researchers both between themselves and in the Sustainability Network.

Thanks to its intensive collaboration with other research institutions and the organizations represented within the networks, it succeeds in promoting both scientifically-oriented research and applied implementation of new instruments and methods in workplace practices.

  • Wissenschaftliche Gesellschaft für Produktentwicklung WiGeP – Berliner Kreis & WGMK
  • Deutsche Akademie der Technikwissenschaften (acatech)
  • European Association for REsearch on SERvices (RESER)
  • Gesellschaft für Arbeitswissenschaft e.V. (GfA)
  • Gesellschaft für Informatik e.V. (GI)
  • Hochschulgruppe Arbeits- und Betriebsorganisation HAB e.V.
  • International Academy for Production Engineering (CIRP)
  • International Foundation on Production Research (IFPR)
  • Institute for Innovation and Information Productivity
  • Service Research & Innovation Institute (SRII)
  • Wissenschaftliche Gesellschaft für Produktionstechnik (WGP)