UK Launch of Fraunhofer

Release / 23.5.2013

Europe’s biggest innovation organisation opens in the UK

The UK branch of Fraunhofer, Europe’s biggest applied research organisation, was launched tonight (23rd May) by Business Secretary Vince Cable, paving the way for a major acceleration in high-tech innovation in Britain.

Fraunhofer UK will partner with universities and industry to ensure the UK’s best research is developed to a stage where it can readily be adopted by industry, generating the commercial success that fuels growth and keeping the UK at the forefront of the global race for innovation.

Welcoming the introduction of Fraunhofer in the UK, Business Secretary Vince Cable said:

“The UK produces some of the most pioneering scientific research in the world but we need to ensure our best ideas are developed to a stage where they can be easily adopted by business, generating the commercial success that fuels growth.

"Fraunhofer has a proven track record in bringing new ideas and technologies to market across the world. Alongside the Technology Strategy Board’s Catapult centres, Fraunhofer UK will make a valuable contribution to the innovation landscape across the UK.”

Fraunhofer UK will bridge the gap between university research and industry, train PhD students to be more business-ready, act as a long term R&D partner to UK companies allowing them to focus on near-term marketing and production, and provide a gateway to the best technical expertise in Europe, USA, and Asia.

Executive Director of Fraunhofer UK, Tim Holt, said: “It is imperative that the UK innovates more and that we are smarter, and swifter, at generating business success from university research. Sitting at the interface between universities and industry, Fraunhofer will help the UK create a powerful innovation system from blue-skies research to applied research and development and from prototyping and small-scale production to full-scale manufacturing.”

The first Fraunhofer UK centre has already been established at the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow. The Fraunhofer Centre for Applied Photonics will provide laser research and development – and associated technologies, including optical sensors – for a variety of sectors, such as security, healthcare, energy and transport.

Professor Martin Dawson, Head of the Fraunhofer Centre for Applied Photonics said: “The Fraunhofer Centre for Applied Photonics will help companies across to UK develop innovative new products and processes and provide them with a supply of well informed, knowledgable, and practical recruits who understand what industry demands from them."

Research and development projects to be undertaken by the Fraunhofer Centre for Applied Photonics include:

•  laser sources for medical imaging systems that could revolutionise imaging technologies enabling high-resolution deep-tissue imaging for neuroscience and cancer research.

•  advanced lasers that can detect substances at long-range such as atmospheric pollution

•  novel laser sources which can be used to aid the positioning of wind turbine farms to maximise the efficiency of the site location and help predict wind direction and strength. 
Professor Ulrich Buller, Senior Vice-President at Fraunhofer Gesellschaft and Board Director of Fraunhofer UK Research Ltd, said: 
“Our aim is that a Fraunhofer Institute partnered with an excellent university, operating according to the proven Fraunhofer model, provides first class applied research to the regional, national and international markets. The new Fraunhofer Centre for Applied Photonics in Glasgow will be able to reach out to companies across the UK. 
The Fraunhofer model bridges the gap between university research and industry to boost the regional, national and international economy.” 
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