FAQ's Frequently Asked Questions

What is Fraunhofer UK Research?
Fraunhofer UK Research Limited is a not-for-profit company limited by guarantee, registered in Scotland, SC419797. It has responsibility for ensuring that all Fraunhofer Research Centres in the UK follow the model developed by Fraunhofer Gesellschaft as well as compliance with UK laws and regulations.

It has the status of Research and Technology Organisation, so it is neither industrial nor academic. We are a member of AIRTO.

What is Fraunhofer CAP?
Fraunhofer CAP is a centre which provides professional R and D service to industry. Fraunhofer CAP and future UK Centres will report to Fraunhofer UK Research Limited which is the new legal entity and this is also based in its own lab.s and offices at the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow.

What does a Fraunhofer Centre do?
Fraunhofer provides professional Research and Development services to industry. 

Fraunhofer succinctly:

  • Professional R&D services to industry
  • Demand driven, applied research combined with scientific excellence
  • Strong integration with academia
  • autonomy of institutes/centres combined with simple corporate rules and a strong consistent brand

Can I access IP?
Yes. IP generated by contract research with industry funding will be available to the funder(s) under the IP terms and conditions agreed for the particular project. We understand that you need access to IP and that will happen with all projects. IP generated by self-funded Fraunhofer Research Centres in the UK will be owned by Fraunhofer UK Research Limited and will be made available for licence.

What is the benefit and return to Germany?
The Fraunhofer Society is keen to extend their brand globally and have established Research Centres in the USA, Portugal, Italy, Austria and Chile as well as offices in other countries. The Fraunhofer Society considers that the model of industrial engagement, which they have developed over the past approximately 40 years, represents the “gold-standard” for bridging the “valley of death” between University activities and industrial requirements. By extending the technology network globally, Fraunhofer can offer more. Any surplus generated in the UK will be reinvested in the UK. IP generated in the UK will be owned by Fraunhofer UK Research Limited

Which German based Fraunhofers will Fraunhofer CAP work with?
As part of the Fraunhofer family, it will have close links with Fraunhofers in Germany and worldwide. However, Fraunhofer CAP’s sponsor partner with the Fraunhofer family is Fraunhofer IAF, in Freiburg, Germany.

Will the Institute of Photonics continue as part of the University of Strathclyde?
Yes. The Institute of Photonics will continue to pursue high quality research with high impact using a balance of Research Council, Industrial and collaborative (FP7, TSB etc.) support.
Almost all of the Institute’s 50 personnel will remain as the Institute of Photonics, within the Faculty of Science, University of Strathclyde. In order to seed Fraunhofer activity and establish Fraunhofer CAP quickly, a select few Institute researchers who have a strong industrially focussed activity, as well as some support staff, transferred to Fraunhofer CAP.

Is the Fraunhofer separate from the University?
Yes, Fraunhofer is a separate, not-for-profit, limited company. Following the proven German model, each Fraunhofer entity has one University partner. This allows for the registration and quality assurance of PhD students, for example, and keeps the Fraunhofer in close contact with the latest research. Productive existing relationships with, for example, SUPA and SU2P partners will be leveraged for mutual benefit and new links created too.

PhD and EngDoc students?
Consistent with the proven Fraunhofer model, research students can complete their studies within the Fraunhofer environment, registered with and co-supervised by with a University. Fraunhofer Institutes in Germany and Centres in other countries prove to be highly prized destinations for good students who seek a career in industry following their doctorate.

So the Fraunhofer is free to operate with any company and any University?
Yes, the Fraunhofer is at liberty to engage worldwide, working with anyone.

Is this just another short term project?
The stakeholders in Fraunhofer CAP understand the model and are committed to making this a long term success. The Scottish Government, Scottish Enterprise the Scottish Funding Council, the Fraunhofer Society and the University of Strathclyde have worked together to bring a package of investment for an appropriately ambitious 5 year plan; with the understanding that the Fraunhofer model is one which requires on-going support.

What is the scale of the Fraunhofer CAP?
Over the first five years the Fraunhofer CAP is planned to reach around 80 staff.

Will Fraunhofer CAP be virtual?
No, this is a real centre with real labs and real full-time researchers working only there.

Where will it be located?
In the first five years, Fraunhofer CAP will be a tenant on the University of Strathclyde, Glasgow city centre campus in the University Centre building.
From April 2015 Fraunhofer will be a core tenant in a discrete section of the Strathclyde TIC building. Anticipating the nature of the work required, the Fraunhofer CAP offices and laboratories are being planned to have appropriate controls to ensure company confidentiality. Locating within the TIC building as a tenant is a great opportunity to have purpose built laboratories in a state-of the art facility, with an industrial perspective, without the temporal, administrative and capital burdens of constructing a building. It is both convenient and appropriate to be located close to the partner university to facilitate all aspects. This prestigious facility also promises to also be an attractive destination for companies and co-location of project work.

Where did it come from?
In early 2009, the UK Government asked Fraunhofer Gesellschaft how the UK might better engage with Fraunhofer. Fraunhofer then invited some 20 universities, with existing links to Fraunhofer, to a meeting in Stuttgart in December 2009. In the following period Fraunhofer visited those UK Universities who expressed most interest in establishing a centre, with 3 front runners emerging in due course. The University of Strathclyde was able to secure backing from all stakeholders promptly.
Of particular note is the response from the photonics companies based in Scotland and across the UK who expressed a strong desire and commitment to work with Fraunhofer CAP. We thank them for that and look forward to working productively together. Many of them are already repeat customers and collaborators.

Why does Fraunhofer Gesellschaft want to have a subsidiary in Scotland/UK?
Fraunhofer has established research Centres in USA, Italy, Austria and Portugal.  It seeks to extend its brand and the global reach extends the network of willing collaborators and access to industrial partners, for example for EU projects.  As a not-for-profit organisation it does not need a direct financial return from the UK, just a willingness to collaborate.

 

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