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What does Fraunhofer USA do?

Our Offer

Fraunhofer USA’s business is applied research and development for private and public customers. Projects focus on delivering innovative technology solutions and rapid lab-to-market tech transfer. In the process we provide our partners with access to world-class scientific research and unique engineering resources. We help to identify and develop the best technology solution addressing our customers’ needs.

We help our partners to develop and maintain an edge in a competitive global market by deploying the very latest technologies and responding quickly to market developments. 

In most industry sectors, research and development is a cornerstone of success. However, maintaining an in-house R&D team is often cost-prohibitive. Contract research with Fraunhofer USA is a good alternative. We perform well structured projects with clearly defined deliverables in a timely and professional manner.


Our Team

You will find at Fraunhofer USA highly trained and professional engineering teams with state-of-the-art equipment and connected to a global network of technology resources. Our employees thrive on the opportunity to combine top-notch research with real-world applications. It provides any scientist or engineer with the best practical experiences and is highly motivating.


Global Resources

Access to our Fraunhofer-Network is global and active in the world’s major economic regions for many years. Globalization is a phenomenon that affects all areas of the economy, including the market for research and development services. To remain relevant, any organization must benchmark itself in a global context. Through Fraunhofer USA you can access networks and pick up on the latest technological trends. 



Through internal research Fraunhofer USA continually strengthens and expands core competences addressing lead markets. The following competences areas are utilized current Fraunhofer USA projects:

  • Production Technologies
  • Information and Communication Technologies
  • Light and Surfaces
  • Energy and Climate Technologies
  • Materials
  • Microelectronics
  • Health



Engaging with Fraunhofer USA is easy. Just contact us and we guide you through the process. Contact Us


Who does Fraunhofer USA work with?

Fraunhofer USA has excellent and mutually beneficial partnerships with several US universities. Like the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft in Germany, Fraunhofer USA understands the benefits of partnering with academic institutions of excellence and fostering integrated and enduring relationships.  The university partnerships provide mutually beneficial synergies in many ways that increase the capabilities of both organizations. We collaborate extensively with other universities, non-profit research institutions, and others in jointly applying for government research grants and contracts, either as the prime organization or as a sub-recipient. We have a number of on-going government grants and are in compliance with government regulations pertaining to government funding.

Our industrial clients include large multi-national companies, SMEs, and startups. Through our structured and rigorous approach, we mix emerging research with state-of-the-art technologies to develop custom solutions not available in the marketplace. Our clients typically engage with us in two ways:


Contract Research and Development

We offer a free-of-charge assessment as to whether our organization can help address your needs. If we can, we next gather sufficient information to provide a proposal as to how we can be of service, typically under a non-disclosure agreement. All of our proposals include a phased approach to mitigate risk, a clear statement of deliverables, milestones, and cost. We have a flexible and transparent intellectual property policy which has worked well with both large and small companies, alike.


Joint Government Funding

Fraunhofer USA can support companies applying for government funding, in the form of joint proposals or as R&D subcontractors with letters of support. We participate in both large-scale government programs as well as SBIRs, and are in compliance with all pertaining government regulations for such funding. 

To address the full spectrum of projects, Fraunhofer USA works with government agencies on the Municipal, State and Federal level. Some challenges are so complex that they require multiple partners to develop a solution. It is also possible to incorporate external partners and additional companies. Fraunhofer USA researchers have plenty of experience in running large-scale projects efficiently and fairly – and they know how to check what government funding is available.


What can Fraunhofer USA do for its customers?

Improving products

As every business person knows, you should always focus on staying one step ahead. In practice, that means refusing to be satisfied with even your most successful products, and instead continuously seeking out improvements and launching new products. And that is where Fraunhofer USA comes in: We improve your products, enhance their performance, develop entirely new offshoots, and help you to cut costs in areas such as manufacturing and distribution.


Moving from product development to short-run production

Sometimes a successful job involves more than just a tailor-made solution. Developing an innovative prototype is an important step, but the production process often poses similar levels of complexity and must be developed in tandem with the product. Fraunhofer USA researchers can work with the customer to take both product and process all the way through to short-run production – just one way in which Fraunhofer USA helps customers to launch new products swiftly and successfully.


Market analysis and innovation consulting services

Anticipating a trend and getting your new product onto the market before anyone else is a great way to get ahead. That’s why Fraunhofer USA carefully monitors technological trends and market developments to help customers get ahead of the curve. Fraunhofer USA can also carry out feasibility and profitability studies and provides information on available sources of funding.


Incorporating new technologies

Fraunhofer USA is at the cutting edge of technological developments. Fraunhofer USA is your best choice when it comes to transforming these kinds of new technologies into products. Our researchers hit on the right ideas – and they know how to transform them into products and processes.


Acquiring licenses

Fraunhofer USA carries out contract research for companies, but it also carries out its own independent research in some areas, often with interesting results. This pre-competitive research has given rise to inventions that can be commercially exploited by companies under license. 


Optimizing existing processes and organizational structures

Markets change – and so do technologies, statutory requirements and economic conditions. Companies change too, by expanding, entering into new partnerships and customizing their product portfolio. There are many reasons why an existing production facility or structure might no longer meet current requirements. Fraunhofer USA experts have extensive experience in finding the best ways to improve technical and organizational processes, motivating people to come up with innovative ideas, and identifying and spurring on under-exploited capabilities.


Characterization, testing and certification

Development also involves analysis and testing. Fraunhofer USA has an extensive range of high-quality equipment designed to test components, materials, coatings and processes and to reproducibly demonstrate their levels of functionality, safety and reliability. 


Fraunhofer USA – a prestigious partner

Fraunhofer USA is highly regarded by the professional and business communities and by buyers of finished products. That’s why many companies are happy to reveal that their development work was carried out in collaboration with Fraunhofer USA. Nevertheless, all publications require prior approval and we only ever name our customers if we have first obtained their express consent to do so.

Everything else to know about Fraunhofer USA

Still have questions? Check out the FAQ below or contact us to learn more.

  • In short, yes. Innovations offer the basis for both a successful economy and successful companies. This is especially true in industries where product life cycles are steadily getting ever shorter owing to global competition and rapid technological development. Ideas alone are not enough – you also need experienced professionals who can help you transform your ideas into innovations and, ultimately, into successful products.

  • Contract research is Fraunhofer USA's main field of business – a fact that is reflected in their employees’ expertise. Fraunhofer USA researchers are familiar with the conditions and constraints that companies encounter on a daily basis and they understand what is important, often because they have worked in the industry themselves.


    Our close cooperation with industry partners means we can constantly tailor Fraunhofer USA research to address the mounting challenges that companies face. The cornerstones of our approach are guaranteed confidentiality, continuity in key positions, top-class facilities, and reliable project management. Our efficient style of collaboration ensures that our customers get the agreed solution on time and ready to put into practice. We also handle the issue of usage rights with the utmost professionalism. 


    Other research providers, the bulk of whom are publicly funded, may seem like a more economical option at first glance. But what ultimately gives Fraunhofer USA the edge, even from an economic perspective, is its professional approach towards cooperation and its long-standing ties to industry. The high levels of customer satisfaction confirmed by survey after survey are an indication of the excellent reputation and stature that Fraunhofer USA enjoys as a partner to business.

  • Customers tend to have a fairly concrete idea of the challenge they are facing and the deadlines they must meet, and in many cases they simply make a direct approach to Fraunhofer USA. Feel free to contact us to discuss your needs. 

  • The scope and scale of cooperation with Fraunhofer USA is flexible, with the Centers catering to the specific needs of each particular client. Successful cooperation often begins with an entry-level project. But regardless of whether your project is large or small, you can be sure you will receive the same professional level of research and development services from Fraunhofer USA and its employees. The classic model of cooperation beings with a one-off contract: A company perceives a need for research or development – for example it wants to launch an innovative product, improve a method or technique, solve a logistical problem, or audit a process to obtain certification. A discussion with Fraunhofer USA identifies possible solutions and clarifies the form the partnership could take and the estimated cost. Regardless of whether the project is large or small, its goal is to solve the problem and to launch the innovation within the company or on the market.

  • The initial consultation phase is free of charge. Fraunhofer USA only starts charging for its research and development work once the scope of the cooperation has been defined and the corresponding agreements have been finalized.

  • After-sales service is an important aspect of customer satisfaction. Once the innovation has been launched, you can request specific information from  Fraunhofer USA concerned to address your ongoing needs, for example in the form of staff training and development.

  • Yes. We always use the very latest, state-of-the-art technical equipment. Also, thanks to the close collaboration between Fraunhofer USA and universities we get access to the most recent developments in each field. Our international activities keep us in touch with the cutting-edge aspects of each field of technology – and of course in many fields the latest technological developments are being pioneered by the Fraunhofer Network itself.

  • Cooperation with companies is the bread and butter of Fraunhofer USA employees’ work. They see it as their fundamental duty to ensure their work always focuses on practical applications. Thanks to their broad customer base, Fraunhofer USA researchers also have plenty of experience in how companies think and work and have been able to gain major insights into different corporate cultures. Many of our staff worked in industry before they joined Fraunhofer USA. Fraunhofer USA research can best be compared to a company’s outsourced research department, another environment where application of the results is the primary goal. And that is how we define ourselves at Fraunhofer USA, too: We work for businesses, and we help our customers transform knowledge into profit.