Institute Profile

Fraunhofer IPA – one of the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft’s largest institutes – was founded in 1959 and employs nearly 1000 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 15 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.

Lead & future topics

In 2020, we realigned our lead and future topics to focus on twelve research areas:

Battery manufacture

Adding value through biointelligence

Digital transformation

Frugal manufacturing systems

Sustainable economy and climate-neutral production

Artificial intelligence in manufacturing

Lightweight engineering and functional coatings

Mass Personalization

Cleanliness in manufacturing

Resilient value creation

Robot technologies and services

Human-centered production technologies

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 and based on two strategic cornerstones: mass sustainability, which aims at minimizing the consumption of resources while maximizing the standard of living, and mass personalization, with which we hope to combine the cost advantages of mass production (economies of scale) with those of flexibilization (economies of scope). Our goal is to enable individualized products in lot sizes of 1 to be manufactured at the same price as mass-produced goods.

S-TEC networks companies with research and politics

S-TEC was co-founded by Fraunhofer, 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, as well as training courses and further education programs take place on the campus. S-TEC networks companies with Stuttgart’s highly-
diverse research landscape. The campus is organized into centers according to 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, 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 numerous 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