Press releases

Please find our recent press releases on our German site. Please note that most of our press releases are written in German.

Selected Press Releases

Leipziger Fraunhofer researchers support world record attempt for crowdfunding in sport with technical assistance

Leipzig, 13.8.2017 – At 10:00 today the starter’s pistol was fired at the press breakfast in the old pipe and cable store in Mainz for the "crowdFANding – Ein Fanhaus für Mainz" crowdfunding campaign in the run-up to the celebrations for the beginning of the season at 1. FSV Mainz 05. The objective of the campaign is to build a fan centre for the active fans of the Federal League club – and it is hoped that a world record is achieved and it will be entered in the Guiness book of records as the best-supported crowdfunding-project in sport. Researchers of the Gruppe Innovationsfinanzierung des Fraunhofer-Zentrum für Internationales Management und Wissensökonomie IMW in Leipzig are providing the project with technical support and they are investigating the factors underpinning the success of crowdfunding in sport.

Crowdfunding, also known as Schwarmfinanzierung in German, has developed into a successful alternative method of securing finance for (start-up) businesses, artists and creative types and increasingly for property and sport as well since 2011. This independent and contemporary form of involvement is, however, still largely unknown within the popular sport of football. At the same time, football in particular, with its enthusiastic and globally-linked fans, does provide ideal conditions for successful crowdfunding campaigns. Following the "crowdFANding – Südkurve bleibt!" pilot campaign with more than 2,000 supporters from 35 countries, now the Mainz crowdFANding-Projekt wants to achieve its goal of having a fan centre built for active fans of the federal league team 1. FSV Mainz 05. At the same time the aim of the campaign is to beat the world record of 6,467 supporters and, in so doing, be entered in the Guiness Book of Records as the best-supported reward-based crowdfunding project in sport. "In the pilot campaign we showed what can be done with the aid of crowdfunding by sportfans, if they all pull in the same direction. As an innovation-financing group we are pleased that we are now supporting the second crowdFANding project with technical back-up and trying out contemporary tools of active public participation," according to Erik Ackermann, a member of the technical staff at the Gruppe Innovationsfinanzierung (Innovationfinancing group), which is managing the football-mad project team at the Fraunhofer IMW. The team at the Gruppe Innovationsfinanzierung is providing the platform with long-term technical support. The finance experts are supporting the campaign with the preparations and getting it up and running. They are involved in the technical development of the web site, analysing comparable German and international campaigns and managing the factors underpinning success for future crowdFANding campaigns. One thing that really matters to the researchers in Leipzig is that they gain a better understanding of the options created by co-determination in Crowdfunding in Sport, from support being lent on a single occasion, right up to exerting an influence on decision-making processes concerning sport-related policy. The results of the technical support will be published in specialist publications and conference presentations.

At present only a few crowd-funding platforms are currently targeting sports-projects in the German market designed to facilitate investment in young talent, support amateur associations at a regional level or give sports fans the opportunity to lend fan-loans to their favourite club. The "crowdFANding" crowdfunding platform materialised as a result of the "crowdFANding – Südkurve bleibt!" pilot campaign, which was awarded the Thüringer Public Prize for Innovation 2016 (Innovationspreis Thüringen) and was also provided with technical support by the Gruppe Innovationsfinanzierung at the Fraunhofer IMW, which – in close co-ordination with the active fan scene – only supports projects fans of all sports feel passionately about and the clubs they follow. The "crowdFANding – Ein Fanhaus für Mainz" will be running up until 10 September at

Contact person:

Technical member of staff at the Innovation-financing Group
Erik Ackermann 
Phone +49 341 231039-135

Press contact Fraunhofer IMW | Communication
Dirk Langolf, Head of Marketing and Communications
Phone +49 341 231039-250


Fraunhofer Center for International Management and Knowledge Economy, IMW

The Fraunhofer IMW can look back over ten years of applied socio-economic research and experience at the Leipzig location. Some 170 researchers from 20 countries help clients and partners from the business, industrial, political and science communities in addition to public institutions, to benefit from the innovation drivers globalization and digitalization. The institute's international projects, network activities and analyses focus on how people can benefit from socio-economic and applied research, as well as from the dynamics of a knowledge-based society and the future of industrial production. The interdisciplinary team of researchers provides businesses, organizations, institutions, countries, local communities and regions with sound technical support during strategic decision-making processes. Initially founded as the Center for Central and Eastern Europe (MOEZ) in 2006, the strategic realignment and new foci of the institute, which has been certified to the DIN EN ISO 9001:2008 DNV-GL standard, are expressed in the new name chosen in 2016, the Fraunhofer Center for International Management and Knowledge Economy IMW. The institute's expertise focuses on innovation research, knowledge and technology transfer and corporate development in an international competitive environment.

Birmingham City University and Fraunhofer IMW to build a strategic European partnership

BIRMINGHAM AND LEIPZIG, 17TH AUGUST 2016 – Birmingham City University and the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft today signed an MOU to build a strategic partnership, formed in the context of a changing Europe and a growing regional renaissance in the West Midlands of the UK. Both parties will work to advance their relationship in international research cooperation, technology and innovation transfer, commercialization and training across a range of sectors.

This groundbreaking initiative builds on the recent development of a number of significant projects where Birmingham City University is playing a leading role, including STEAMHouse, the Birmingham Knowledge Hub and the launch of the six-strong ‘Midlands Enterprise Universities’. Employing more than 24,000 staff, Fraunhofer is Europe’s largest application-oriented research organization with research efforts geared entirely towards human needs: health, security, communication, energy and the environment. The international and interdisciplinary team of experts at the Leipzig-based Fraunhofer Center for International Management and Knowledge Economy IMW, combines its economic, social, political and cultural scientific expertise to answer questions relating to knowledge and technology transfer, corporate development in international competition, sustainability management and infrastructure economics. This international capability will be married with Birmingham City University‘s applied research strengths across the creative industries, social sciences, architecture and urban development, transport and mobility, cyber security and digital technologies, among others.

Building on Birmingham City University‘s extensive engagement with business and well-established track record of collaborative working, the partnership will leverage Fraunhofer’s unparalleled expertise in technology transfer and commercialization, the development of creative spaces and applied research. Forming part of STEAMhouse, the “Birmingham City University / Fraunhofer IMW” partnership will deliver a new model of pan-regional innovation, build research excellence and create a platform for international market development.

In a parallel agreement, Fraunhofer IMW will also enter into a partnership with smart city and innovation leaders Redpill Group, who have spearheaded the development of the Birmingham City University / Fraunhofer IMW partnership; as strategy consultants and innovators in urban technologies, Fraunhofer and Redpill will work together internationally to incubate, build and support new companies and accelerate their growth in global markets. Redpill will engage Fraunhofer’s capabilities to support technology innovation and enterprise, developing new products and services applied specifically to citizen-centric smart city projects. Fraunhofer IMW and Redpill will work closely together to create new markets, open up commercial opportunities and drive new business creation.

All parties expect that formal partnership agreements will be completed by October 2016.


Professor Dr. Thorsten Posselt, Director of the Fraunhofer Center for International Management and Knowledge Economy, said „We know how technology development and transfer work. As an integral part of Fraunhofer, our practically oriented research and our solutions are always focused on finding solutions for specific problems in business, politics and society. Together with our partners we aim to identify new markets to tap and to ensure the competitiveness of German and European companies.”

Professor Julian Beer, Deputy Vice Chancellor of Birmingham City University said “Birmingham City University is delighted to be establishing this formal relationship with one of Europe‘s best known applied research organizations, which aligns so well with our mission and values – it builds on our groundbreaking STEAMHouse initiative; putting creativity and design at the heart of innovation and productivity.”

Dr Robin Daniels, Managing Director of Redpill Group, said “the decision by the UK to leave the EU has sent shock waves through the British and European research and innovation community. Amid the uncertainty that has followed it is more important than ever to forge new partnerships, to raise the bar and to deliver even greater value to our clients and partners. The new partnerships that will result from this announcement will do just that and we are delighted to not only have driven and closed these agreements, but also to be an active party in taking them forward to Europe and the world.”


Birmingham City University                      
Benjamin Goodwin, Media Relations Manager
Phone +44 (0)121 331 5695    

Press contact Fraunhofer IMW
Dirk Langolf, Head of Marketing and Communications
Phone +49 341 231039-250

Redpill Group Ltd
Robin Daniels, Managing Director
Phone +44 (0)783 350 8456


Birmingham City University

With more than 23,500 students from 80 countries, Birmingham City University is a large, diverse and increasingly popular place to study. The University works with in excess of 5,000 businesses regionally, nationally and internationally, utilizing its academics, students and graduates to solve real world problems.

Redpill Group Ltd

Redpill Group are strategy consultants and innovators in urban technologies and commercial development. Working internationally with cities, companies and universities to deliver sustainable solutions to complex challenges, Redpill Group also combines innovation with the incubation, building and support of young companies; developing new technologies and working with partners to take them to global markets.

Fraunhofer Center for International Management and Knowledge Economy, IMW

In 2016, Fraunhofer IMW is able to look back over ten years of applied socio-technological and socio-economic research and experience in Leipzig. The Fraunhofer economists develop science based solutions to meet the challenges of globalization, and to ensure the long term success of clients and partners from the worlds of business, industry, research and society. Man, his environment and life’s realities are the focus of the institute’s international projects, innovation projects, analyses and networking activities.

Originally founded as the Fraunhofer Center for Central and Eastern Europe (MOEZ) in 2006, the institute has rebundled its economic, social, political and cultural scientific expertise and services under the new name Fraunhofer Center for International Management and Knowledge Economy, IMW since July 18th, 2016.

The institute’s international and interdisciplinary team of experts answers questions about knowledge and technology transfer, corporate development in international competition, sustainability management and infrastructure economics.