Partnerships and collaborations

Strong partners for innovation

Innovation thrives on strong partnerships and trusting collaborations. FAU maintains an extensive network with impressive connections to science, business and society. Large and small, public and private, national and international partner organisations work with us on research and innovation, joint talent and professional development, on further education and life-long learning and many other projects. Collaboration projects are always based on the specific needs of our partners and our common objectives. The following is just a selection of our partnerships:


  • Research for energy reform

    Graphic of draft of exterior of building

    Image: Gerber Architekten

    The Helmholtz Institute Erlangen-Nürnberg for Renewable Energy (HI ERN) conducts fundamental research and develops materials and technologies for climate-neutral and sustainable energy supply at acceptable costs. FAU, Forschungszentrum Jülich and Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin combine their expertise in the fields of material, energy and process research.

  • A long-standing tradition of optics research

    People outside the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Light at dusk.

    Image: FAU/Georg Pöhlein

    Developing white light sources which are many times stronger than light bulbs, manipulating individual photons or the smallest focal spot in the world – these are just some of the activities carried out by the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Light. All aspects of the researchers’ work is centred around controlling light in every way; in space and time, in polarisation and in its quantum properties.

    In collaboration with FAU, Friedrich Schiller University Jena, the Fraunhofer Institute for Integrated Circuits (IIS), and the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Optics and Precision Engineering (IOF), the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Light runs an international doctoral programme called the International Max Planck Research School Physics of Light (IMPRS-PL).

  • Creator of the MP3 format

    Fraunhofer Institute for Integrated Circuits (IIS)

    Man listening to music


    The Fraunhofer Institute for Integrated Circuits (IIS) founded in Erlangen in 1985 is the largest Fraunhofer Institute in the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft. It gained international fame by its substantial contributions in the development of the mp3 and MPEG AAC audio coding formats.

  • Top-level research into cultural history

    Leibniz-LogoThe most artefacts, the largest exhibition space and the strongest international focus: The Germanische Nationalmuseum in Nürnberg (GMN) is the largest museum of its kind in the German-speaking world. It is also the only one of its kind in the Leibniz Association, which also includes research museums. The GMN and FAU have strengthened their long-standing partnership and in a joint appointment procedure, both institutions filled the positions of Director of the Museum and Chair of Museum Research and Cultural History by appointing Daniel Hess. This collaboration forms a link between the field of humanities in Erlangen and the cultural-historical research institute and also offers students at FAU new opportunities for putting their theoretical knowledge into practice.

  • Fraunhofer Institute for Integrated Systems and Device Technology (IISB)

    The Fraunhofer Institute for Integrated Systems and Device Technology (IISB) conducts applied research and development in the areas of microelectronics and nanoelectronics, power electronics and mechatronics. The institute has received international recognition for its technology, device and material developments for nanoelectronics, its activities in the area of simulation and its work on power electronic systems for energy efficiency and hybrid and electric cars.

Overview of research projects and partnerships at FAU


  • FAU meets Schaeffler

    Woman with VR glasses.

    Image: Schaeffler Technologies AG & Co. KG

    As part of the initiative ‘Schaeffler Hub for Advanced Research’ – SHARE – FAU has signed a cooperation agreement with Schaeffler. The aim of the agreement is to jointly work on research topics in the field of digitalisation and manufacturing processes and to test their industrial application at an early stage. The topics range from innovative materials and manufacturing processes to digital networking of machines and systems, and new training concepts.

    SHARE at FAU

  • Center of Knowledge Interchange

    Prof. Dr. Siegfried Russwurm, a member of the Managing Board at Siemens AG (left) and FAU President Prof. Dr. Karl-Dieter Grüske signed the CKI agreement in the presence of Dr. Natascha Eckert, Head of Siemens University Relations, Prof. Dr. Reinhard Lerch, Director of CKI, and Prof. Dr. Joachim Hornegger, FAU Vice President for Research. (Image: FAU/Erich Malter)

    Image: FAU/Erich Malter

    By founding the Center of Knowledge Interchange (CKI), FAU and Siemens raised their successful and long-standing partnership to a new level. The centre serves as a platform to bring together researchers at the university and the company and to promote collaboration projects efficiently. As a partner in the CKI programme, FAU has taken its place in the network alongside other prestigious universities in the USA, China, Denmark and Germany.

  • Energie Campus Nürnberg (EnCN)

    Energie Campus Nürnberg is also based at ‘Auf AEG’ (Image: Kurt Fuchs)

    Image: Kurt Fuchs

    At Energie Campus Nürnberg (EnCN), FAU, Georg-Simon-Ohm Hochschule Nürnberg, the Fraunhofer Institute for Integrated Circuits (IIS), the Fraunhofer Institute for Integrated Systems and Device Technology (IISB), the Fraunhofer Institute for Building Physics IBP and the Bavarian Centre for Applied Energy Research (ZAE Bayern) consolidate their wide range of expertise in this promising field of research.

  • Neue Materialien Fürth


    Image: FAU/Erich Malter

    Neue Materialen Fürth GmbH (NMF) is a practice-oriented research institution set up by the Free State of Bavaria with the aim of creating close collaborations between research institutes and partners from industry to find practical applications for new materials and manufacturing processes in industry. The company is closely linked to Neue Materialien Bayreuth GmbH (NMB).

  • Medical Valley

    Medical Valley

    Image: FAU/Erich Malter

    Medical Valley (EMN) is one of the strongest, most active medical technology research clusters in the world. Renowned partners from industry, research, healthcare and politics have come together to form this interdisciplinary network. Their common goal is to come up with successful solutions for the healthcare of tomorrow.


    Zollhof group photo

    Image: Zollhof Tech Incubator

    ZOLLHOF is a digital start-up centre that offers comprehensive support to start-ups in areas such as the Internet of Things, smart city and big data. It was set up in Nuremberg on FAU’s initiative. Those starting their own companies can hire open office space including infrastructure, and are given practical assistance in developing their products and services, benefiting from connections to an extensive network of companies and entrepreneurs cooperating with ZOLLHOF.


    Josephs Innovation Lab (Image: Fraunhofer IIS/Franziska Birk)

    Image: Fraunhofer IIS/Franziska Birk

    JOSEPHS is an open innovation lab that was set up as a project in 2014 by Fraunhofer IIS with the support of the Chair of Information Systems 1 at FAU. The aim of the lab is to discover the future and experience the creative world of product and service development. Test new ideas in our workshop and play an active role in creating and improving innovations. Your feedback is passed on directly to the companies involved.

  • Leistungszentrum Elektroniksysteme (LZE)

    The two Erlangen-based Fraunhofer Institutes IIS and IISB, and FAU, together with Siemens and other partners from industry and research, are combining their strengths in a centre for electronic systems: Leistungszentrum Elektroniksysteme. (Image: Fraunhofer/Marc Müller)

    Image: Fraunhofer/Marc Müller)

    FAU and the two Erlangen-based Fraunhofer Institutes IIS and IISB, together with Siemens and other partners from industry and research, are combining their strengths in a new centre for electronic systems: Leistungszentrum Elektroniksysteme. The aim is to strengthen the Nuremberg Metropolitan Region’s position and international reputation as Germany’s leader in the field of electronic systems.

  • Digital Health Innovation Platform d.hip

    A man giving a presentation to a group of people in suits

    Image: FAU/Tobias Zobel

    Creating a network for experts to stimulate ideas as early as possible. FAU, Universitätsklinikum Erlangen, Siemens Healthineers, Fraunhofer Institute for Integrated Circuits IIS, and Medical Valley EMN are driving digitalisation in medicine and healthcare forward by setting up a Digital Health Innovation Platform (d.hip).

Overview of research projects and partnerships at FAU


  • Bionicum

    Interactive elements in the exhibition in Bionicum

    Image: Bayerisches Landesamt für Umwelt/Mile Cindric

    Technical innovations that take nature as a model: In Bionicum at Nuremberg Zoo, visitors can learn more about bionics in interactive exhibition. FAU cooperates with Bionicum both in teaching and in research in the Netzwerk Bionik Bayern (Bavarian Bionics Network).

  • Internationales

    Two acrobats on a moving platform in Erlangen Schlossgarten

    Image: internationales Malter

    The internationales is the most-important German festival for figure and object theatre. Theatre and Media Studies students work with artists or blog about the festival, researchers discuss performances and the Schlossgarten and other locations at FAU become the stage for shows or exhibitions.

  • Poetenfest

    Audience in front of Orangerie

    Image: Erlanger Poetenfest/Erich Malter

    Every year during the last week in August, Erlangen celebrates the beginning of the German ‘literary autumn’ with the Erlanger Poetenfest. Various events are held for the Poetenfest in the Schlossgarten, Orangerie, in the foyer of the Schloss or in the University Library, and researchers from FAU take part in podium debates and discussions.

  • Erlanger Schloss FAU

    Image: FAU

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