The Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft’s research work is oriented toward concrete applications and results. Pure basic research, as practiced at universities, is funded to almost 100% by public grants. Industrial R&D, up to prototype level, is largely financed by private enterprise.

The Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft receives funding both from the public sector (approximately 30%) and through contract research earnings (roughly 70%). As a consequence, the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft operates in a dynamic equilibrium between application-oriented fundamental research and innovative development projects.