Applied Research Consortia Project

Industry-led R&D consortia are a proven approach to productive pre-competitive collaboration among multinational businesses, large and small. In such consortia intellectual property and know-how can be protected even as it is shared among partners and consortium members.  The most effective pre-competitive R&D consortia are hosted by, or adjacent to, major research universities. They are structured to be amenable to supporting public R&D investments and they promote the participation of university-based researchers, and the engagement of undergraduate and graduate students in industry-defined research.

The ARC Project will develop, and advocate for, industry-led cross-border R&D consortia across a range of pre-competitive challenges and opportunities.

In launching the ARC Project, Fraunhofer USA draws upon decades of successful experience, both in the United States as well as globally, in contract RD&D for industry and governments. Fraunhofer’s experience includes both multiclient RD&D projects and industrial applied research consortia. That breadth and depth of experience means that Fraunhofer USA, independently and drawing on the 76 institutes of Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft, can serve as start-up organizational host and interim steward for industry-led consortia across an unparalleled range of pre-competitive R&D challenges.


The ARC Initiative will be actively pursuing the following industry-defined pre-competitive research areas in 2023:

  1. Wireless Networks: Next generation architecture, devices, and standards for wireless networks

  2. Quantum Sensors and Communication: Cost and performance barriers to scaling the use of quantum sensors and communication

  3. Rare-Earth Minerals: Securing adequate and sustainable supply of rare-earth minerals or functional replacements

  4. Digital Infrastructure Energy Efficiency: Reducing the power requirements of digital infrastructure

  5. Industrial Decarbonization: Decarbonizing high temperature industrial processes

  6. Carbon Waste Conversion: Scale up of converting carbon waste streams into chemical feedstock and products

  7. Local Climate Change Resilience: Cost effective modeling of climate change impacts on the local built environment and landscapes

  8. Cross-Border Digital Epidemiology: Effective and timely cross-border digital epidemiology which draws on new forms of data

  9. Orbital Space Situational Awareness: Improved space situational awareness for orbital traffic coordination and space debris clean-up

  10. Gene and Cell Therapies: Reduction to practice for scaled production of safe, effective vectors for gene and cell therapies