Institute Profile

Fraunhofer IPA – one of the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft’s largest institutes – was founded in 1959 and employs nearly 1200 workers. The focus of our research and development work is on organizational and technological issues related to the manufacturing industry. We develop, test and implement methods, components and devices right up to entire machines and production lines. Fraunhofer IPA’s 19 specialist departments cover the entire field of manufacturing engineering. They are coordinated by six business units and work on an interdisciplinary basis with industrial enterprises from the following sectors: automotive, machinery & equipment, electronics & microsystems, energy, medical engineering & biotechnology, and the process industry.

Future is our product: sustainable, personalized and smart

Our research efforts and development work are geared towards the cost-efficient manufacture of sustainable and personalized products. They are based on two strategic cornerstones: mass sustainability, which aims at minimizing the consumption of resources while maximizing the standard of living, and mass personalization, because we want to combine the cost advantages of mass production (economies of scale) with those of flexibility (economies of scope). Our ultimate goal is to make it possible to manufacture personalized products in lot sizes of 1 at the same price as mass-produced goods.

S-TEC networks companies with research and politics

S-TEC was initiated by Fraunhofer together with the University of Stuttgart and the State Government of Baden-Württemberg with a view to advancing future-oriented research topics and bringing them quickly to the market. Lighthouse research, industry-on-campus projects and start-ups co-exist on the Stuttgart technology and innovation campus S-TEC. S-TEC networks companies with Stuttgart’s highly-diverse research landscape. The campus is divided into centers that each works on future-relevant research topics with a high technical innovation character, such as additive manufacturing, cybercognitive intelligence, cyberphysical systems, digitized battery cell manufacture, as well as frugal products and manufacturing systems.

From digital to biological transformation

What is the next step after digitizing the value chain? Fraunhofer IPA is already taking on a key role in the development of biointelligent value-adding systems today. In the future, the biological transformation will merge nature with technology, i.e. the biosphere and technosphere. The principles, processes and organisms optimized by evolution over 3.5 billion years will increasingly find their way into value creation in industry. Thanks to innovations in bioengineering and information technology, these can now be cultivated and implemented in a wide range of industrial processes. This makes value creation more effective, more efficient and more sustainable - for the benefit of humans and especially the environment.

Additional Information


Institute and Division Management


Networks and Cooperations


IPA Innovation Award


Facts and Figures