About us

Focus on people

Fraunhofer Institute for Industrial Engineering IAO helps companies and institutions introduce new business models and efficient processes to make their businesses more successful. With our in-depth knowledge of organizational structures and technologies, we have the skills you need to put applied research into practice. We participate in international networks, investigating and shaping the frontline themes that are most relevant to the future of Germany as a business location.

Our goal is to systematically optimize the ways in which people, organizations and technology interact.

Fraunhofer IAO has its finger on the pulse when it comes to today’s mega trends in technology and society.

Our research focuses on the following key areas:

  • Digitalization and its effects on human-machine interaction, work design and business models
  • Opportunities and challenges of urbanization and the “future market city”
  • Impact of demographic changes on skills, employment and work
  • Sustainable mobility concepts based on intelligent technologies

Our clients

Our clients range from major corporations and SMEs to public sector bodies and institutions.

Our solutions

We offer you a distinctive knowledge advantage and show you ways of quickly adapting this knowledge to your specific needs and using it to make your business more profitable. Whatever the project, people are at the heart of everything we do – and we never lose sight of the social repercussions.

Our teams

Our interdisciplinary teams bring together colleagues from a range of specialist fields, including business management and economics, computer science, engineering, natural sciences, and social science. They take a wide-ranging, holistic approach to analyzing key issues in order to pinpoint the most practical and feasible solutions.

Our network and cooperations

We work closely together with our partner institute – the Institute of Human Factors and Technology Management (IAT) at the University of Stuttgart – as well as the Technical University of Berlin and a number of other institutes of higher education.

Our equipment

Combined, Fraunhofer IAO and the IAT employ about 650 people and have a total of 15,000 m2 of office space, demonstration centers, and development and test laboratories.

The institute in figures 2016

Das Institut in Zahlen

You can find these and other figures for our institute in the 2016 annual report.

Further information

Management team

Since October 1, 2016, Prof. Wilhelm Bauer (Executive Director), Prof. Dieter Spath (Director) and Prof. Anette Weisbecker (Deputy Director) form the management team of Fraunhofer IAO. After three years as Chairman of the Board and CEO at WITTENSTEIN AG, Prof. Dieter Spath, former longstanding director of Fraunhofer IAO, returned to Stuttgart. In a related move, Spath also returned to his old position as head of the cooperating Institute of Human Factors and Technology Management IAT at the University of Stuttgart.

Network/ cooperations

We collaborate closely with our branch labs and network partners on specific research topics. Branch labs:

  • Center for Responsible Research and Innovation CeRRI, Berlin
  • Fraunhofer Innovation Engineering Center IEC, Bozen (Italy)
  • Garmisch-Partenkirchen location
  • KEIM Fraunhofer application center, Esslingen
  • LOGWERT – Competence Center for Logistics and Added Value, Heilbronn
  • EFTEK – Center for Technology Management, Friedrichshafen

Advisory board

The Advisory Board advises the institute’s directors in questions relating to professional orientation and structural change within the institute. The board comprises representatives from science, business and public life. Members of the board are appointed by the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft’s Executive Board in consultation with the institute’s management team.