Fraunhofer Venture

Fraunhofer Venture

From researcher to entrepreneur

The foundation and establishment of a successful company requires more than an innovative idea or technology.

As a partner of start-up companies, Fraunhofer institutes, the industrial sector and investors, we support foundation-willing scientists from the Fraunhofer environment with our know-how and utilize our network for a successful technology transfer.

“Enabling Innovation” – How to Optimize Capabilities to Innovate

The "Pact for Research and Innovation" is to allow for a more reliable planning for state-funded non-university research establishments. The German federal and Länder governments provide an additional 150 million euros for this purpose per year. The aim is to better leverage existing potential in German research and therefore increase competitiveness. In return, the research establishments commit to increasing the quality, efficiency, and performance of their relevant research and development activities by developing new areas of research, promoting junior scientists, and extending cooperation with the industry. We talked with Thomas Doppelberger, head of Fraunhofer Venture, about the extension of technology transfer and the establishment of a Fraunhofer start-up culture.


Mr. Doppelberger, what are the concrete aims of the "Pact for Research and Innovation" regarding technology transfer?

Establishing a sustainable partnership between science and industry is one of the pact's aims. This is where the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft provides for the basic conditions with a new spin-off and investment strategy. In addition to contract research and intellectual property management, it is in particular the area of technology transfer that is to grow through spin-offs.

In the declaration for continuing the pact, Fraunhofer Venture came up with a package of measures how to achieve these aims. What do the new incentive models, support programs, and funding options look like?

A consistent incentive model is to pick up existing employee incentive elements on the one hand, but on the other hand make this transfer possibility more attractive for institutes themselves from a financial point of view. The existing programs of FFI, FFE, and FFM will be continued and adapted as appropriate. Furthermore, we are thinking about also financing start-ups beyond the general conditions of the existing BMBF guidelines.

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