Joint Press Release
Press Release No. 37 | September 15, 2020

From Research to Application: DFG and Fraunhofer to Fund Six Trilateral Projects

Approximately €5 million in funding over a period of three years / Companies to get involved in research innovations at an early stage

Approximately €5 million in funding over a period of three years / Companies to get involved in research innovations at an early stage

The Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG, German Research Foundation) and the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft are funding six new trilateral projects that involve the transfer of findings from DFG-funded projects to industry. The DFG Joint Committee and the Fraunhofer Executive Board have now selected six projects from the twelve proposals submitted. The new projects – in which universities, Fraunhofer Institutes and companies cooperate with each other – will receive a total of approximately €5 million in funding from the DFG and the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft for a period of three years.

The three partners involved in each of the trilateral cooperation projects are to develop the results of the DFG-funded projects further based on a joint work programme. One part of the project will be led by scientists from a university while the other parts will be managed by staff at the respective Fraunhofer Institutes and the industrial partner. The rights and obligations of the three partners are regulated by a cooperation agreement.

This way, companies are given the opportunity to get involved in research innovations at an early stage. The Fraunhofer experts take the lead in exploiting the project results vis-à-vis application partners or other interested parties in industry. In return, the university receives a fixed percentage of the proceeds.

The DFG and Fraunhofer approved funding for seven trilateral transfer projects for the first time in 2019. In this year’s second call for proposals, 35 draft proposals were initially received: these were evaluated by a review panel using a written process according to the criteria for trilateral transfer projects. The aim was to identify in advance those projects that meet the specific criteria and should therefore be invited to prepare a full proposal. In the end, 15 consortia were invited to submit a full proposal and twelve proposals were submitted.

Due to the enormous response from science and industry, a third call for proposals was launched on 5 August 2020; a funding decision is expected in July 2021.

The six trilateral projects in detail:
(in alphabetical order according to the university locations of the DFG projects):

“Technology development for the efficient production of glass components for the interior and exterior of future automobiles” (Project leaders: Professor Dr.-Ing. Stefanie Reese and Professor Dr.-Ing. Reinhold Kneer, RWTH Aachen, Professor Dr.-Ing. Thomas Bergs and Tim Grunwald, Fraunhofer Institute for Production Technology (IPT), Aachen; Application partner: J. Hauser GmbH & Co. KG, Solms)

“Aluminium-copper bonding wires for power electronic modules” (Project leaders: Associate Professor Dr.-Ing. Sören Müller, TU Berlin, Professor Dr.-Ing. Martin Schneider-Ramelow, Fraunhofer Institute for Reliability and Microintegration (IZM), Berlin; Application partners: Hesse GmbH, Paderborn, Vitesco Technologies GmbH, Nuremberg)

“Development of a system for robot-based CO2 jet cutting of large-volume and geometrically complex lightweight construction materials” (Project leaders: Professor Dr.-Ing. Eckhard Weidner, Ruhr-University Bochum, Professor Dr.-Ing. Eckart Uhlmann and Christian Mohnke, Fraunhofer Institute for Production Systems and Design Technology (IPK), Berlin; Application partners: CTC GmbH Stade, Stade, FFT Produktionssysteme GmbH & Co. KG, Fulda)

“smartCAST – digital castings with condition monitoring for autonomous vehicles” (Project leaders: Professor Dr.-Ing. Walter Lang, University of Bremen, Professor Dr.-Ing. Matthias Busse and Christoph Pille, Fraunhofer Institute for Manufacturing Technology and Advanced Materials (IFAM), Bremen; Application partners: KSM Castings Group GmbH, Hildesheim, MAGMA Gießereitechnologie GmbH, Aachen)

“Scalable THz miniature radar for industrial applications” (project leaders: Professor Dr.-Ing. Thomas Zwick, KIT Karlsruhe, Dr. Arnulf Leuther, Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Solid State Physics (IAF), Freiburg; Application partner: VEGA Grieshaber KG, Schiltach)

“EMMA4Drive – dynamic human model for autonomous driving” (Project leaders: Professor Dr.-Ing. Jörg Fehr, University of Stuttgart, Dr.-Ing. Joachim Linn, Fraunhofer Institute for Industrial Mathematics (ITWM), Kaiserslautern; Application partner: fleXstructures GmbH, Kaiserslautern)

Further Information

Media contact:

  • Benedikt Bastong,
    Press and Public Relations, DFG,
    Tel. +49 228 885-2109,
  • Janis Eitner,
    Head of Communication, Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft,
    Tel. +49 89 1205-1333,

Programme contacts:

For further information on the DFG and Fraunhofer trilateral transfer projects, see: