Center for Economics of Materials CEM extends Fraunhofer IMW's portfolio

Press Release | Leipzig /

The Center for Economics of Materials CEM was founded in 2017 as a joint facility of the Fraunhofer Institute for Microstructure of Materials and Systems IMWS and the Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg. With its expertise in techno-economic research, it contributes to securing and developing competitive and locational advantages, increasing resource efficiency and establishing new business models. The CEM experts advise business and politics on issues ranging from industrial transformation to the structures of innovative sustainable management.

Future security and model region

After its successful establishment as a part of the Fraunhofer IMWS, the CEM has now been transferred as a branch office to the Fraunhofer Center for International Management and Knowledge Economy IMW located in Leipzig. The transfer of the CEM to the Fraunhofer IMW took place on January 1, 2020, with the CEM remaining based in Halle (Saale). Thus, the Fraunhofer IMW is now not only represented in Saxony, but also in Saxony-Anhalt.

By pooling the socio-economic and techno-economic competencies in the two federated states, the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft underlines its commitment to successfully shaping structural change together with industry, politics and society. Prof. Reimund Neugebauer, President of the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft, explains: "A successfully managed structural change with the goal of a sustainable industrial society not only requires new technologies, but must also consider business models, economic and political framework conditions and social acceptance. The integration of the CEM into the Fraunhofer IMW will make a significant contribution to the future security of the regions affected by structural change. The resulting experiences and approaches to solutions offer an enormous application and transfer potential worldwide. Central Germany can thus become a model of successful industrial transformation".

Complementary competencies

The aim of this powerful association is to accompany structural change through applied research and to present itself as a competent partner in the affected regions. The extensive competencies of the Fraunhofer IMW are ideally complemented here by the technology-based and economic expertise of the CEM research unit. Fraunhofer IMW looks back on more than thirteen years of applied socio-economic and socio-technological research and experience in national and international projects. It has proven competencies in the fields of data and knowledge economics, innovation and technology management, strategy development and internationalization of companies. In recent years, the CEM research unit has built up extensive expertise in the economic assessment of technologies and structural change. Based on macroeconomic system analyses and quantitative policy impact research, solutions for specific challenges in the transformation of industrial structures and technologies have been developed.

Prof. Thorsten Posselt, Director of the Fraunhofer Center for International Management, says: "The new branch office in Halle complements our profile as the socio-economic institute of the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft. It enables us to shape the structural change and the transformation processes taking place in Central Germany and beyond in joint responsibility and in interaction with industry, science, society and politics. Our expertise in knowledge and technology transfer, value-added networks, knowledge economy and our understanding of the pressure to innovate uses the driving forces behind successful change. With our socio-scientific and economic expertise, we are growing into a key contact for industry, society and politics in Central Germany.

Dr. Christian Growitsch, former head of the CEM and since January 1, 2020 Director in the Fraunhofer Executive Board Division Technology Marketing and Business Models, adds: "The CEM will be an elementary building block in the interdisciplinary, techno-economic accompanying research of structural change and will be able to bring its sought-after competencies and successfully established networks to bear even better as part of Fraunhofer IMW".

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