We design and evaluate socio-economic knowledge management and cooperation processes in complex research and innovation projects for our clients and partners from the research, science and business communities.

We investigate the non-technical barriers and levers (the social, political and economic factors with a respective impact) that influence the future use of new technologies and the dissemination of new social practices.

Our services further include the analysis of and advice on research and innovation policy relevant areas that need addressing and on the design and evaluation of policy measures.

We analyze transfer systems and their organizational structures under consideration of the stakeholders involved, the context factors and the incentive structures.

Fields of work

Since 2008, the Professionalizing Transfer Processes Unit has been successfully involved in European (7th European Framework Programme for Research FP7, HORIZON 2020, INTERREG: CENTRAL EUROPE Programme) and national Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) projects in the following areas:

  • Analyzing the areas where socio-economic aspects impact on the use of new technologies or social innovations within the scope of foresight processes
  • Developing future scenarios in support of strategic decision making (e. g. AGENT-3D)
  • Measuring and evaluating the impact of research and innovation policy measures (e. g. IntTransNet)
  • Knowledge and cooperation management (e. g. ALTERFOR)
  • Project communication (public relations) (e. g. ALTERFOR)

Current Publication

Making Successful Use of the Economic Potential of Research – Study Published with Recommendations for Funding Support

Support policies can enable scientists to early identify and successfully exploit, the economic potential of their research. Until now, Germany has lacked an inventory of its extensive program landscape. Motivation enough to set up the study “Ways of Promoting Commercial Exploitation from Research and Academia – Lessons from Support Policy Practice”. In the study, experts from the Fraunhofer Center in Leipzig analyzed all of the cross-federal-state measures funding individual projects during the last decade: nationwide public funding programs, institution-bound initiatives of the major non-university research institutions, plus the hitherto not externally evaluated program ForMaT (Research for the Market in Team). They identified two gaps in the current funding landscape: first, the facilitation of the early discovery phase, in which scientists generate potentially commercially useful ideas and then assemble a suitable team for their implementation. Secondly, a funding tool supporting the validation of promising projects, beyond excellence programs, was also missing. In a second step, the Leipzig researchers examined what the key factors for the economic success of research are. Besides the influence of cooperation partners, professional science communication and financial instruments – technology transfer intermediaries and the personality of the key team members were also central to the analysis. For the study, the Fraunhofer experts analyzed the relevant research literature covering knowledge and technology transfer, existing program evaluations, program guidelines and project reports, and then complemented these with their own investigations. The Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) sponsored study derives recommendations for action and configuration options for both the support policy and for innovators from science and academia. The final report was published by Fraunhofer in parallel to the Leipzig Book Fair and is also available as an eBook through Fraunhofer-Publica.

EU Plus


EU Plus: Management, Financing and Communication of EU funded projects

Selected projects in the annual reports of the Fraunhofer IMW

In its annual reports, the Leipzig Fraunhofer Center presents the wide scope of its socio-economic services spectrum. The expert teams' contributions provide a compact overview of the institute's projects and product, subject and research focuses.