Crowdresearch - Does Fraunhofer need a crowd system to use external basic knowledge?


For the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft the integration of topics and findings from international basic research is a strategically important issue. With that said, the Executive Board is interested in approaches to specifically identify, quantify and attract relevant external basic research findings in the form of findings, topics and people. At the same time, the megatrend of participation demands better use of the "intelligence of the masses". Thus, over the last two decades, numerous promising crowd-based approaches have developed, such as crowdsourcing, funding, voting and creation.

Project description:

The aim is to investigate how research results and competencies from basic research can be integrated and implemented in application-oriented Fraunhofer research projects. This process should help to close the gap between basic research and application via Fraunhofer in order to accelerate or ensure the transfer.  The aim is to use crowdsourcing approaches for this purpose.

1. Communication and participation with exploitation partners: Crowdsourcing offers the opportunity to incorporate user feedback into innovation processes at an early stage and interactively, thus enabling needs-oriented research.

2. Data-driven approaches to identify relevant topics and challenges, e.g. monitoring of news, literature, patents and Fraunhofer internal sources including their mapping to internally available skills.

3. Crowd challenges to identify knowledge carriers to find solutions or prioritize topics.

Our services:

Within the project, guideline-based interviews were conducted based on a comprehensive literature search and a best practice analysis from the field and various use cases for crowd-based transfer instruments in the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft were developed. Concrete requirements and feedback from various stakeholders were included. In particular, the approaches of crowd feedback and internal crowdfunding and their possible uses are being investigated for the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft

For this purpose, six possible use cases were created and examined for their feasibility and the benefit towards Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft.

As a result, alternative courses of action were evaluated, a possible roadmap for Fraunhofer was developed and consequences for the positioning of Fraunhofer in the innovation system were discussed.


Fraunhofer headquarters

Project partners:

Fraunhofer IAIS

Fraunhofer MEVIS

Project duration:

04/01/2019 – 09/30/2019