50 years of Fraunhofer IZFP – 50 years of Fraunhofer top research in Saarland

Press release Fraunhofer IZFP /

In the attendance of numerous high-ranking guests, the 50th anniversary of Fraunhofer IZFP was celebrated yesterday with a large ceremony in the auditorium of Saarland University. Around 130 guests from politics, business, industry and research accepted the invitation.

© Fraunhofer IZFP / Uwe Bellhäuser
Prof. Dr. Bernd Valeske eröffnete die Festveranstaltung und gab in seinem Vortrag u. a. einen historischen Rückblick sowie einen strategischen Ausblick auf die zukünftige Entwicklung des saarländischen Forschungsinstituts.

With this ceremony, the Fraunhofer Institute for Nondestructive Testing IZFP looked back on half a century of research and development “Made in Saarland”.

Prof. Dr. Bernd Valeske, Executive Director of Fraunhofer IZFP since January 2022, opened the festive event and gave a historical review as well as a strategic outlook on the future development of the Saarland research institute in his speech, among other things. “50 years of Fraunhofer IZFP mean 50 years of materials understanding and applied research in the field of materials science. The applications range from industrial technology to transportation and life sciences. Our institute is a pioneer and a driving force for a wide range of tomorrow's innovations,” explained Prof. Valeske.

Classical non-destructive testing (NDT) is currently undergoing a transformation process. In this context, the need for cognitive and hybrid sensor systems with embedded AI is also increasing exponentially: These systems are becoming elements of the “Industrial Internet of Things” and thus represent an essential pillar for Industry 4.0 environments. “Our focus is on the development of solutions for digitized and AI-optimized NDT systems, the share of which is growing steadily. Here, we rely on the pioneering technologies of the Fraunhofer IZFP,” says Prof. Valeske.

Jakob von Weizsäcker, Minister of Finance and Science, conveyed the congratulations of Saarland's Minister President Anke Rehlinger and emphasized the importance of Fraunhofer IZFP in his laudation: “Congratulations on a successful half century! Fraunhofer IZFP always has its finger on the pulse of research and industry. It develops intelligent sensor technology for the quality-optimized material cycle. At the interface between the megatrends of digitalization and sustainability, research makes a key contribution to material and energy efficiency. Fraunhofer IZFP thus contributes significantly to sustainable prosperity and dynamic economic development and is an important location factor for the Saarland.”

Other high-ranking guest speakers paid tribute to the success story of Fraunhofer IZFP.

The evening was rounded off by an exceedingly inspiring and entertaining lecture by Prof. Dr. Ortwin Renn from the Institute for Transformative Sustainability Research, IASS Potsdam.

Afterwards, the “Physikanten & Co.” captivated guests with a live performance of amazing experiments. “We are delighted to present this great science show, which has already thrilled more than one million viewers,” Bernd Valeske emphasized.

The entire festive event was accompanied by musical intermezzi by pianist Lada Nevmyatullina.


More about Fraunhofer IZFP:

Fraunhofer IZFP is an internationally renowned research and development institute for applied, industry-oriented research with headquarters in Saarbrücken. The institute's activities focus on the development of intelligent sensor and data systems for safety, sustainability and efficiency. The results of its work are used in business and industry. The scientific andtechnological solutions support science and industry as well as contribute to shaping our society and our future.

In addition to customized sensor systems, sensor data management, data analysis and data value creation with AI and machine learning techniques, the R&D portfolio also includes extensive consulting activities in the field of standardization, among others.

The understanding of technical testing and sensor physics is also complemented by technologies and concepts from AI research.

The decades-long understanding of applications and processes for materials and the products made from them continues to form a solid basis and provides the impetus for Fraunhofer IZFP's future expanded research mission: The expansion to include aspects of digital signal and information processing aspects, applications in domains such as critical infrastructure, the food industry, the sustainable circular economy and resource conservation are possible for the first time.