Restructuring at Fraunhofer location in Leipzig: Fraunhofer ISI to integrate departments from Fraunhofer IMW

In an effort to further develop the portfolio of the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft in both subject-specific and commercial terms, particularly with an eye to innovation research, the executive board of the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft has adopted a package of measures relating to the Fraunhofer Center for International Management and Knowledge Economy IMW. As a result, parts of Fraunhofer IMW, which will then no longer have independent status, will be integrated into the Fraunhofer Institute for Systems and Innovation Research ISI. This means the Leipzig location will continue to operate from a stronger long-term position.

The Fraunhofer Center for International Management and Knowledge Economy IMW pools together its expertise and range of services in the areas of internationalization and the knowledge economy at the Leipzig location. In spite of its employees’ hard work, dedication, and successful research and various structural initiatives, Fraunhofer IMW had been unable to position itself for long-term success within the framework of the Fraunhofer research portfolio. Against this background, the executive board commissioned a forward-looking, in-depth analysis of both the portfolio and the financial and commercial situation of the center. Based on this analysis and detailed considerations, the board felt a management decision had to be made and decided to submit a resolution to this effect to the senate of the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft for approval. The resolution is on the integration of the Knowledge and Technology Transfer and the Regional Transformation and Innovation Policy departments into Fraunhofer ISI as well as on the closure of the remaining parts of Fraunhofer IMW, meaning that Fraunhofer IMW will no longer have independent status.

Maintaining and developing the Leipzig location

It is the intention to strengthen the Leipzig location in relation to innovation research, with a focus on topics such as structural transformation and regional policy advice. Following an extensive process and in-depth considerations, the executive board has concluded that there are substantial factors connecting two departments of Fraunhofer IMW — Knowledge and Technology Transfer and Regional Transformation and Innovation Policy — with Fraunhofer ISI. At the request of the executive board, Fraunhofer ISI therefore assessed the two departments’ suitability and agreed to integrate and further develop them together with their new colleagues, forming a new ISI site in Leipzig.

The goal of all of these considerations, which also include closing the remaining Fraunhofer IMW departments, is to maintain and strengthen the Leipzig location and preserving jobs in innovation research there in the long term. In addition, there are long-term plans to further develop the portfolio of the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft, particularly with regard to innovation research.

The senate of the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft is to make its final decision on the measures in June. The current schedule calls for the measures to be implemented in two phases, with the restructuring occurring as of July 1, 2024, followed by the partial closure of IMW, ending its independent status as of March 31, 2025.

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The Fraunhofer Institute for Systems and Innovation Research ISI analyzes the origins and impacts of innovations. We research the short- and long-term developments of innovation processes and the impacts of new technologies and services on society. On this basis, we are able to provide our clients from industry, politics and science with recommendations for action and perspectives for key decisions. Our expertise is founded on our scientific competence as well as an interdisciplinary and systemic research approach.

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