By Andreas Nettsträter | Fraunhofer IML – Transferring knowledge and technology to companies is a significant pillar of the Innovationlab. So-called transfer projects aim specifically at small and medium-sized companies – and they soon pay off in many ways.

In transfer projects, small and medium-sized companies can gain access to technologies, procedures and methods developed at the Innovationlab and transfer those projects into practice. With the support of the science community – and virtually in tandem – they develop hybrid services for socially networked logistics in the projects. The aim of the transfer projects is to enable companies to make major innovative and technological leaps forward.

The transfer projects at the Innovationlab promise small and medium-sized companies straightforward access to R & D – with assessable risks and noticeable effects.


Transfer projects are characterised by quick, lean and effective implementation within just a few months and with little administrative and financial outlay.

  • Companies get support relevant to their current technological status.
  • The specific requirements of medium-sized companies are taken into consideration accordingly.
  • Companies can simply try out new technologies.
  • By formulating precise and focussed questions in transfer projects, research results can be implemented immediately.

Right from the beginning of a project, i.e. during the ongoing process, the employees in the company benefit from the scientists’ methodological skills: they can copy models and solutions for their daily business that reduce their workload immediately.

The results from any project – from optimising internal processes and setting up new business models, through to implementing new innovative products – stay in the company and can be used immediately.

It is vital for both transfer projects and other research projects to realise that investigating future topic areas in this way can ensure companies are at the cutting edge with their knowledge and gain them a competitive advantage. And: customers clearly rate this sort of commitment as a positive indication of a company’s sustainability!

How companies can get involved

First of all, companies contribute ideas – together with the scientists – for so-called transfer projects within the context of a selection process and describe them in a one- or two-page outline proposal. If this idea is shortlisted, a more comprehensive project application must be made. The transfer projects are finally selected on this basis. Calls for proposals take place in the spring of 2017 and 2018. Companies can get more detailed information by contacting

About the author

Andreas Nettsträter, Department of Strategic Initiatives at Fraunhofer IML, is responsible for network management and knowledge transfer in the Innovationlab.