Innovation philosophy

Business enabled by IPA – 5 steps to success

From the finding the idea to implementing it successfully on the market, an innovation goes through five phases of development. Fraunhofer IPA methodically aids and accompanies innovations, from the technical invention through the development of the product and respective business model, right up to launching and establishing the new product on the market.

1. Technical invention

In line with market requirements, customer inquiries or an in-house development, innovative technical solutions are constantly being created at Fraunhofer IPA. We validate, optimize and test each single one to find out if it is an exciting, marketable, technical invention that is new in the world and patentable. Later, through having a technical monopoly, this solution can place a company in a unique position.

2. Product development

Regardless of whether it’s a new process, material, construction, machine or software tool: we scrutinize each innovation systematically and accompany it step-by-step to prepare it for the market.


  • Processes: de-burring, painting, coating, 3-D printing
  • Materials, e.g. for lightweight structures, CNT-based composites, functional paints for passenger vehicles
  • Constructions: tools, robots, exoskeletons, prostheses
  • Machines: assembly, laboratory automation, measuring and certification systems
  • Software tools: SCM, ERP, MES, apps

3. Business model development

Whatever the target group, whether for in-house manufacture, licensing, as part of a service package, direct marketing or through a marketing company: the marketing mix, potential production and recycling processes, as well as the respective financial model, are numerous and highly complex. Making the right decisions is critical to economic success. Either with or for our customers, Fraunhofer IPA develops viable business models tailored to the product concerned.

4. Market launch

However, developing conclusive products and business models is only part of the job: these also have to be put into practice. Thanks to its wealth of experience, Fraunhofer knows which road leads to success and provides the necessary support – whether it’s a spin-off, joint venture or a new business area in a customer’s company. We help you with a
targeted market launch, e.g. with training programs, knowledge transfer, IP licensing or R&D services.

5. Market establishment

If the first product launched by a company a commercial success, it must keep going. Market establishment is when a company succeeds in satisfying and inspiring its customers in the long term, as well as in developing existing segments. To achieve this, several measures are required. The most important aspect is to systematically carry on developing innovative products based on further new technical inventions – thus closing the innovation life cycle.