How Working with the Fraunhofer IWM Takes Shape

How can the Fraunhofer IWM help with your project?

Once a company or private institution expresses interest in working with the Fraunhofer Institute for Mechanics of Materials IWM on their endeavor, they are invited to an initial consultation which is both free and without obligation. The goal of this initial discussion is to establish what the potential objectives would be for the venture as well as how the budget and time scale might be set. This is followed by contract negotiations, the signing of an agreement (a confidentiality agreement can be included in the cooperation contract should the client request one), and commencement of the R & D (research and development) work.


Customized research and development projects

Our service, research or development projects are adapted to the needs of our clients – we tailor our work to both small and large companies as well as public institutions and are experienced in both entry level projects and international endeavors of great scope. We stand in as an innovative multidisciplinary research station for small and medium-sized companies without their own R&D department. Many of our projects are direct industry contracts, in which we apply our entire range of services, including: advisory discussions, feasibility studies, materials analyses and assessment, product and system optimizations, damage detection and damage avoidance, process and component development.



Information provided to us by clients and project partners is handled with the utmost confidentiality. Non-disclosure agreements are included within cooperation contacts at the request of the client.


Project management and project results

The form and type of results desired is defined during project preparation. The goal is that the client’s requirements are satisfied as well as the practical relevance of the results. The scientists and engineers at the Fraunhofer IWM work within modern project management guidelines; the work is subjected to continual project controlling in regards to content, schedule related milestones and project costs, ensuring both flexibility and quick reaction times.


Project Costs

Research and development contracts operate on a net cost basis, payable by the client. The Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft is a non-profit institution. Application orientated, preliminary research and the development of future research topics are financed with public and institution funds.


Clients retain the rights to their projects

Customers that embark on a cooperation project with the Fraunhofer IWM receive the rights to the products, prototypes and other material objects that are developed on their behalf. Customers also receive the rights they need to use the inventions, intellectual property rights and know-how generated by Fraunhofer in the course of the project. These rights and licenses are made available to the customer either non-exclusively or exclusively for the application that formed the basis of the contract research project. Exclusive, application-specific rights of use give the customer optimum protection against their competition. Outside the scope of this “customer zone”, Fraunhofer reserves the opportunity to further develop its own know-how, inventions and intellectual property rights.



At the Fraunhofer IWM, adherence to laws and applicable standards as well as value orientated action, both internally and externally, are of the highest importance to us. The Fraunhofer-Gesellshaft compliance system provides transparency and responsible adherence to legal regulations in order to protect our organization and employees.

Compliance at Fraunhofer

Principles of the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft regarding cooperation

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