IWES in the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft

© Fraunhofer/Markus Jürgens

The Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft, based in Germany, is one of the world’s leading applied research organization. Prioritizing key future-relevant technologies and commercializing its findings in business and industry, it plays a major role in the innovation process.

As a trailblazer and trendsetter in innovative developments and research excellence, it helps to shape our society and our future. Founded in 1949, the organization now operates 76 institutes and research units across Germany.

Its nearly 32,000 employees, predominantly scientists and engineers, work with an annual business volume of 3.4 billion euros; 3.0 billion euros of this stems from contract research.

IWES: A strong, specialized network provides advantages

For an industry institute such as IWES, which initially focused on wind energy and has now also expanded the scope of its research to include hydrogen technology, close cooperation with industry is vital. Regular exchange between industry and IWES ensures needs are recognized and logged so as to develop methods and solutions for urgent and future problems.

A board of trustees consisting of national and international representatives and political players advises Fraunhofer IWES on its strategic orientation and its positioning in the growth markets of wind energy and hydrogen.

Through cooperation within the Fraunhofer Group for Energy Technologies and Climate Protection and the Fraunhofer Group MATERIALS on content as well as through collaborations with individual institutes on specific issues, Fraunhofer IWES benefits from the advantages of a strong network of highly specialized players. In addition, the key technological and economic challenges of the energy transition are addressed by the Cluster of Excellence Integrated Energy Systems CINES.

The collaboration of 20 Fraunhofer institutes in the Fraunhofer Energy Alliance bundles the range of services offered by the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft in the fields of energy technology and the energy industry. This pooling of expertise and utilization of synergies enables us to offer our customers tailored, cost-efficient solutions from a single source.

Scientific excellence

Scientific excellence is of key importance to the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft and thus also Fraunhofer IWES. IWES’ goals include being considered by politicians and funding bodies as an outstanding player in the German scientific landscape, to acquire and retain customers as an attractive cooperation partner, and to be successful in the fight for the best brains.

In 2022, Fraunhofer IWES worked on a total of 89 nationally and EU-funded public projects, contributing to technological progress and the innovative strength of companies with eight invention disclosures and nine patent applications. 84 master’s and Diplom theses were completed, nine research-focused postgraduate students earned their doctorates, and IWES employees published 67 scientific publications. 

Customer proximity in key markets

As an institute of the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft, IWES benefits from the organization’s subsidiaries in Europe, North America, and South America. In Asia and the Middle East, Fraunhofer Representative Offices and Fraunhofer Senior Advisors form the bridge to the local markets. An office in Brussels acts as an interface between Fraunhofer and the institutions of the European Union. This makes it possible to guarantee customer proximity in key markets. In addition, IWES also has an insight into the current local situation and the respective foreign market.

The development and expansion of renewable energies also requires restructuring of the energy system, which is why Fraunhofer IWES has been expanding its strategic alignment for the period until 2025 with research activities covering all aspects of the topics of digitalization, sector coupling, and project planning optimization as well as the operation of wind turbines and farms. With the expansion of its Hydrogen Labs, IWES is driving forward the integration of hydrogen technologies into the energy and economic system at both a national and an international level as well as accelerating the production of green hydrogen.