Posted on 11/21/2018

Fraunhofer USA: Celebrating 25 Years of Innovation and Collaboration

In 1994, in order to meet the challenges of globalization of business and science, Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft took steps to strengthen its international presence. Fraunhofer USA was incorporated in Rhode Island as a non-profit 501 (C) 3 in September of that year.

Fraunhofer USA, with the support of Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft Institutes, started the operations in Massachusetts and Michigan that formed the early foundations of the organization. The following years brought the growth and changes resulting in the expansion of Fraunhofer USA into its current business locations in Maryland, Delaware, California and Connecticut, in addition to the long-standing Massachusetts and Michigan locations.

Fraunhofer USA Centers today cover a wide variety of research subject and are continuously broadening the scope of research fields to meet ever changing demand. Prof. Thomas Schuelke, Executive Vice President of Fraunhofer USA Inc., notes “Being present in the Unites States enables us to most effectively support our partners from industry and government in one of the world’s most advanced technology markets where Industry 4.0 will have significant impacts on sustainability and competitiveness of manufacturing.”

During Hannover Messe USA 2018, Fraunhofer, Fraunhofer USA, and partners successfully offered insight into the latest research results in the fields of production, digitalization, automation and networking, resulting in competitive advantage for businesses. “The future of digitalized manufacturing and Industry 4.0 rests entirely upon the ability to pool expertise and resources”, says Prof. Georg Rosenfeld, Member of the Executive Board of the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft. “Our interdisciplinary expertise sparks new ideas that meet the challenges of a digitalized world and helps create customized solutions right along the value chain for companies of all sizes.”

Digitalized production technologies are transforming business models and changing market structures. Concepts like Industry 4.0 and the Internet of Things represent a paradigm shift in business and society, generated by a growing number of increasingly connected and automated devices, machines and products. “The economic impact of digitalization is staggering. Industry 4.0 will give significant rise to productivity in all economically important industries”, Prof. Fritz Klocke, Director of the Fraunhofer Institute for Manufacturing Engineering and Automation IPA, concludes. “But from the new opportunities that accompany digitalization, expectations grow. As well as being cost-efficient and sustainable, connected production and work processes must be secure, flexible and intuitive. As an established partner to worldwide industry, Fraunhofer is perfectly positioned to support highly customized mass production, developing solutions that are always tailored to customers’ practical requirements. Our experts are playing an active role in strengthening the long-term global competitiveness of the companies that make up Germany’s and Europe’s industrial base and continue do so for US enterprises as well.”

The organization has formed mutually beneficial partnerships and collaborations with excellent academic institutions such as the University of Maryland, Boston University, Michigan State University, the University of Delaware and the University of Connecticut. Dr. Marco Kampka, Program Manager at Fraunhofer CMI in Boston remarks, “At Fraunhofer USA we don’t keep to ourselves, instead we seek to spread knowledge and inspire new ideas.”

As Fraunhofer USA approaches almost a quarter century in operation, it can not only draw on those years of experience here in the US, but also on almost 70 Years of expertise from Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft. With this pool of expertise, the name “Fraunhofer” is synonymous with all current topics of applied research, such as Industry 4.0 and Cyber-Physical Systems and beyond.


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