Small and medium-sized companies are reporting a considerably reduced volume of innovation activities. At the same time, it appears that business sector research and development activities are increasingly moved elsewhere. Together with colleagues from the Fraunhofer headquarters, researchers from the International Innovation Policy and Transfer Design Unit therefore developed a study commissioned by the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft aimed at assessing the importance of the research organization for medium-sized companies in Germany, at analyzing the collaboration potential and needs of small and medium-sized enterprises, and at making recommendations for the improvement of such collaborations. The study was based on a mix of quantitative and qualitative methods. Besides an extensive online survey conducted with medium-sized enterprises that are Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft clients, another key element was in-depth interviews with institute representatives and company heads.