Best Practices and Breakthrough Models
Edited by Sven H. De Cleyn and Gunter Festel
Chapter 6: ‘Intrapreneurship at the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft’: how to stimulate greater entrepreneurship among researchers
The Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft is Europe’s largest application-oriented research organization, carrying out practical research in close cooperation with its customers. At present, Fraunhofer maintains 67 institutes and research units across Germany and also operates subsidiaries abroad. Fraunhofer Venture is the technology transfer office for Fraunhofer start-ups. However, the number of spin-offs emerging from Fraunhofer institutes is stagnating. This is due to Fraunhofer’s strong links to industry as well as a flourishing economy. Due to the high number of industry projects, Fraunhofer researchers have limited time to work on their own ideas; furthermore, in the current economy, the industry offers well-paid and stable jobs. Moreover, the senior management of Fraunhofer institutes is hesitant to support spin-offs because talented researchers with technological know-how could then leave their institutes.
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