Self-reflection and repositioning — always keeping the institute’s goals in mind

The Strategy Process 2022 at Fraunhofer IFAM

Since 2004, the Fraunhofer strategy process has provided the institutes with demanding quality standards for their systematic development. This self-evaluation was now due to take place again at Fraunhofer IFAM. Under the leadership of a core team, the institute, its orientation, and social and economic trends were examined holistically to derive goals for the coming years.

Which developments and changes were addressed in the 2022 strategy process?

The boundary conditions have changed, sometimes dramatically, for Fraunhofer IFAM in recent years. No one in the world was well prepared for the occurrence of a pandemic. The global shortage of raw materials and energy not only affects our everyday lives, but also our research activities. And beyond that, advancing climate change is having a major influence on the design and direction of our projects. These and other trends have been anchored in the institute’s strategy and linked to existing competencies.

What are the overarching goals of the strategy process?

Strategy processes serve to define the medium-term orientation of Fraunhofer IFAM and thus to ensure the long-term focus and stability of the institute. The strategy has the task of aligning the institute’s competencies with external requirements and developing them further in a targeted manner on this basis. In addition, the goals should be meaningful and guide the actions of the employees.

What are the challenges in implementing the goals?

To be able to implement the institute’s goals as well and as completely as possible, the commitment and drive of all employees is required. The institute’s management not only sets targets, but also actively participates in the realization of the goals. These must be backed up with concrete measures and time schedules. In addition, regular internal evaluations are necessary to monitor the achievement of goals and to make necessary adjustments.

Which topics have gained in importance in recent years?

All research topics related to sustainability and resource conservation have gained significantly in importance and attention. In addition to, for example, classic topics in lightweight construction, issues relating to the circular economy, environmental protection and a sustainable energy supply have clearly come into focus.