Navigation Links
Fraunhofer frontline themes: Tomorrow's opportunities

This release is available in German.

"The interests of ordinary people, their wishes and needs must always be a prime consideration in our research work," says Fraunhofer President Professor Hans-Jrg Bullinger, explaining the approach taken by the research organization. "We have identified six research areas in which we believe that future technologies and products will be of the greatest benefit to mankind. People need health, an intact environment, security, communication, energy and mobility. These are the areas on which we will focus our research capacities in the years to come."

Starting with these six focal areas, Fraunhofer has conducted an intensive discourse and identified fields of research that will be as fast and effective as possible in helping to meet present-day challenges such as global warming, dwindling resources and health problems. "In pursuing these twelve frontline themes, Fraunhofer is demonstrating its active role in securing the future of Germany as an industrial location. We not only show where tomorrow's opportunities lie, but also systematically develop innovative solutions," states Bullinger. "In order to do this, we invest our own funds in preliminary research and pool our distributed expertise in a manageable selection of frontline themes."

Under the motto of "Fraunhofer frontline themes: Tomorrow's opportunities", interdisciplinary teams of scientists and engineers are working on new technologies and solutions that will help to make our life healthier, safer, simpler and more mobile. There are twelve different project:

Focus on health

Personal health assistant
The electronic guardian angel
Smart assistance systems can help even sick and elderly people to lead independent lives in their own homes. One such system is the digital health assistant. It monitors patients' cardiovascular functions 24 hours a day, enabling them to contact medical specialists in the event of an emergency. Preventive healthcare, diagnostics, therapy and care are other areas of application for this technology.

Bio-functional surfaces
High tech with a sensitive skin
Medical implants are intended to uphold bodily functions, monitor individual risks or facilitate long-term treatment plans. In future this will be made possible by bio-functional surfaces: The "skin" of a material, instrument or device performs a specific function when in contact with biological environments. It picks out certain molecules, receives signals or stimulates a response.

Food chain management
Always fresh on the table
Kiwi fruits from New Zealand, mangos from Thailand, beef from Argentina today's shoppers can find an international selection of goods even in small supermarkets. However, globalization also poses challenges: Foodstuffs have to be produced in accordance with current food regulations, properly packaged and shipped, and finally arrive fresh on the customer's table. Food chain management makes it possible to display and optimize the entire food production chain from production and processing to the retailer and the end customer.

Focus on the environment

Decentralized integrated water management
Saving precious water
In Germany we consume a lot of water: over 130 liters per head dayly. If we are to continue providing high-quality drinking water at low prices in future, the water consumption must be cut. New technologies help to use drinking water economically and treat wastewater to make it suitable for domestic use. Intelligent sensors monitor the systems and report such failures as leaky water pipes.

Focus on energy

Energy-efficient modernization
More than just a facade
About one-third of the energy consumed in Germany goes into regulating the temperature in buildings. Old buildings, in particular, need a lot of energy: They eat up between three and five times as much heating energy as modern houses. Up to 80 percent of this energy could be saved by good insulation coupled with efficient heating and cooling systems. Researchers are testing multifunctional facade modules and new heat storage units for internal insulation. Planar heating and cooling systems for walls, ceilings and floors are taking shape in the laboratory.

Solid-state light sources
Bright and efficient illumination
A light bulb converts only 5󈝶 percent of the invested energy into light; most of it is diffused as heat. A team of seven Fraunhofer Institutes is developing alternatives: highly efficient cold light sources made of semiconductors. The researchers' objective is to develop new light sources that produce an effect similar to daylight, and whose form and intensity can be adapted to any desired situation.

Energy storage in power grids
Solar and wind-generated electricity on demand
Renewable resources will play an increasingly significant role in the energy mixture of the future. But they are more difficult to calculate. The amount of current fed into the grid depends on the weather and the time of day. Fraunhofer scientists are working to make the supply of wind and solar energy as easy to plan as the production of energy at conventional power stations. For this to succeed, they need new and more efficient power storage units.

Green power train technologies
New impetus for eco-friendly cars
Very high demands are made on tomorrow's cars: They must use up a minimum of natural resources during manufacture, have a low fuel consumption when driving, discharge as few pollutants as possible into the atmosphere, and require very little maintenance. Researchers from seven Fraunhofer Institutes are working to improve the power train, which comprises all the components involved in generating torque and transmitting it from the engine to the wheel. They are forging ahead with the development of the low-energy engine, the lightweight gear unit and the lightweight Cardan driveshaft.

Focus on security

Energy self-sufficient sensors and sensor networks
Vigilant clusters
The sensors of the future are tiny, robust, inexpensive and can be used anywhere. They draw their energy from motion, light or temperature differences. Because these sensors are interlinked, they not only acquire highly significant and conclusive data, but also improve a system's responsiveness and reliability. Sensors like these can be used for purposes such as the monitoring of tunnels.

Focus on communication

Visual analytics
A clear overview in the data jungle
The Internet, company networks, sensors, simulations and electronic processes deliver a wealth of information. But how can you filter out just the precise information that really matters from this huge mass of data? "Visual analytics" provides a solution, making the best possible use of the different abilities of humans and computers. The computer processes large quantities of data and converts them into a visual display that people can understand. The user can concentrate on pattern recognition and the evaluation and analysis of the data studied.

Focus on mobility

Hybrid material structures
Combining the best of the best
The demands made on products and their properties are steadily becoming greater and more complex. Products are expected to offer a wealth of functions, weigh as little as possible, be easy to handle, and cost as little as possible to buy and maintain. This cannot always be achieved to the desired extent using conventional materials. One solution is to use composite materials, which combine different materials and their most useful properties. The researchers see the greatest market potential for hybrid materials in the vehicle and machine construction industry.

Integrated localization technology
On the move quick and safe
Fraunhofer researchers are working on a unified technology for locating people and goods. Designed to benefit industry and commerce, transportation and mobility, it is based on global satellite navigation systems (GNSS) such as Galileo, which unlike GPS is not subject to military control. One of its objectives is to keep a constant watch on goods being unloaded in ports and transferred to rail or road vehicles. The new platform also offers numerous advantages for passenger transportation: Integrated navigation even for pedestrians, and parking without searching, are just two examples.

These twelve frontline themes will be systematically further developed by Fraunhofer researchers in the coming years and translated into practical day-to-day solutions. They will open up new opportunities for the German economy, which can only maintain its competitive edge through constant innovations.


Contact: Franz Miller

Related medicine news :

1. National Frontline Caregiver Coalition: Bush Administration Medicare Cuts Will Undercut Rural Americas Nursing Home Care
2. Statement From Larry Minnix, President & CEO, American Association of Homes and Services for the Aging (AAHSA) on the Senate Special Committee on Aging Hearing, Caring for Our Seniors: How Can We Support the Frontlines?
3. Rutgers center sparks liquid bandage, a new frontline wound treatment
4. Dasatinib, Nilotinib show strong early results as frontline therapy for chronic myelogenous leukemia
5. Lucrative Sales Opportunities Abound With Melaleuca, The Wellness Company(R)
6. FasterCures President Greg Simon Testifies to U.S. Senate HELP Committee on Cancer Challenges and Opportunities in the 21st Century
7. Transportation: Making Connections Event to Explore Opportunities and Solutions for People With Disabilities
8. OB Challenges Create Hospital Opportunities in 2008
9. Adult Glioblastoma: Strategies, Challenges, and Opportunities
10. Perot Systems and ChinaSoft to Pursue Chinese Healthcare Opportunities
11. Big Opportunities Are in the Bag for Food Retailers
Post Your Comments:
Related Image:
Fraunhofer frontline themes: Tomorrow's opportunities
(Date:11/27/2015)... ... 2015 , ... "When I was traveling, I was very ... "Many people catch diseases simply from sitting on such dirty toilet seats. I ... germs." , He developed the patent-pending QUDRATECS to eliminate the need to sit ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... ... November 27, 2015 , ... MPWH, the No.1 Herpes-only dating community in the world, revealed that ... ). More than 3.7 billion people under the age of 50 – or 67% ... WHO's first global estimates of HSV-1 infection . , "The data shocks us highly!" ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... ... November 27, 2015 , ... The moment you stop ... not only fulfilling the needs of advisers and clients but going above and ... providing top-tier customer service. However, there's always room for improvement, which is why ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... ... November 27, 2015 , ... Dr. Thomas Dunlap and ... Dr. Tucker Bierbaum with Emergency Medicine at St., Joseph Health System’s Santa Rosa ... Sepsis conditions present in similar ways and require time-critical intervention to avoid large area ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... ... November 26, 2015 , ... Inevitably when people think Thanksgiving, ... choose to buy during the Black Friday and Cyber Monday massage chair sales ... search the Internet high and low to find the best massage chair deals, they ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:11/26/2015)... -- Research and Markets ( ) has ... Horizons and Growth Strategies in the Japanese Therapeutic ... Forecasts, Competitive Intelligence, Emerging Opportunities" report to ... --> This new 247-page report provides ... monitoring market, including emerging tests, technologies, instrumentation, sales ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... 2015 ... the  "2016 Future Horizons and Growth ... Testing Market: Supplier Shares, Competitive Intelligence, ... --> ) has ... Future Horizons and Growth Strategies in ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... , November 26, 2015 ... Juntendo universitetssjukhus ser potential att använda SyMRI ... (MR-bilder) för patienter med multipel skleros ... forskningsavtal med SyntheticMR AB för att kunna ... på sjukhuset. Med SyMRI kan man generera ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: