Annual Report 2021

Fine-tuned for you: Our institute strategy 2021-2026

We are Europe´s leading radar research institute and are setting technological trends with which we have made a sustainable contribution to greater security, safety and efficiency in society and business in recent years and will continue to do so in the future.

We have based our Guiding Strategy 2026 on seven pillars that will ensure the success we and you are striving for:

We are proud of this – verifiable – position and we not only want to maintain it, but to further expand it for the benefit of our customers and partners from industry, research and public institutions. We have achieved it by consistently expanding and deepening our core competencies since the founding of the institute and by continuously adjusting our course to market needs. This enables us to support your business areas in the best possible way with our cutting-edge technologies. As a Fraunhofer Institute, every five years we take advantage of the valuable view of top-class external experts on our institute and evaluate our strategic orientation with them in an audit. This was the case again in November 2021. We were able to fully convince the invited experts from industry and research with our Strategic Plan 2026+. Thus, we are convinced to continue to provide you with unique added value and competitive advantage for your working environment and product portfolio with our work around radar and high-frequency sensor technology. This is our mission.

Our business areas have seen almost consistent positive growth over the last few years, confirming that our work has its finger on the pulse of the times and your needs. For the next five years, we are therefore aiming for an overall budgetary growth of around ten percent per year, combined with a corresponding increase in personnel. By increasing our share of economic revenue to over 30 percent in the long term, we want to apply our research even more consistently in line with Fraunhofer’s mission.

Defense and space observation: Our research for greater security in Germany and Europe

Of course, our core businesses of defense and space continue to play a major role. Our unique comprehensive expertise built up over decades to detect, track and analyse near and far-off objects makes our sensor technology and algorithms indispens-able components for defense and security tasks on Earth and for our satellite-based infrastructure in space. For an overview of our offerings and examples of ongoing work in these areas, see the chapters on p. 30 and 31 and p. 42 and 43. For example, we are modernizing our proven TIRA Tracking and Imaging Radar by 2025 and making it even more powerful with new capabilities. In combination with our successfully launched new development GESTRA and its planned followon projects, some of which have already been started – read more about them on pages 44 and 45 – we offer you unique capabilities for space situational awareness.

Not only since the upsetting events in Ukraine, Germany and its European partners have been working to modernize their defense systems to maintain German and European sovereignty. Four major military projects – FCAS, MGCS, AFSC and ECRS – have already been launched or are currently in the process of being decided. We have focused our defense research on supporting these four major projects. Radar and high frequency technology is essential for the surveillance and reconnaissance performance of these systems, and so we can and want to make a decisive contribution to security in Germany and Europe with our in-depth know-how!

Effectiveness, sustainability and safety and security also for transport, medicine and production

We have also aligned our civil research and development priorities to the most prom-ising and pressing trends of the moment. This includes sensor technology for new, increasingly autonomous mobility, as in the KonSens project for automated evaluation of intersections (see p. 55), as well as for the future market of civil drone systems in our Business Unit Traffic. We are developing solutions for greater resilience for our cities (project example RuLE, p. 50 and 51) in our Business Unit Security as well as for greater sustainability in production, for example through technologies for non-destructive testing (see p. 58) or effective materials cycles (project example: Waste4Future, p. 59) in our Business Unit Production.

We are also working to tap radar applicationscloser to people, for example for medical purposes, by miniaturization radar systems while maintaining or increasing their performance and simplifying their handling in our Human and Environment business Unit (project example M3Infekt, p. 62 and 63).

Through targeted cooperation, especially within the Fraunhofer world, we can offer you the entire portfolio from customized individual components to perfectly integrated overall sensor systems and from studies to prototype construction and small series.

Of course, we have also closely examined our internal processes for this purpose in this strategy process. For example, with thematically clustered think tanks and new internal cooperation opportunities, including the introduction of SAP, we want to make our bundled know-how available to you even more efficiently for your projects in the future.

Let´s design the future together and develop solutions for your business areas. We are ready!