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New Fraunhofer Center for Sensor Intelligence Announced

Measurement data captured by smart sensors enables knowledge-based decisions. To put it simply, a sensor can make decisions, control processes or trigger actions by itself. This is particularly important when it comes to optimizing industrial technology manufacturing processes. In order to further advance developments in this field of technology a joint agreement has been signed to establish the Fraunhofer Center for Sensor Intelligence ZSI.

The opening of the new Fraunhofer center will see the emergence of a highly innovative field of research involving intelligent sensor technology that builds on the core areas of expertise of the two Fraunhofer institutes: Fraunhofer IZFP and Fraunhofer IBMT. The center’s particularly application-oriented approach to research is set to demonstrate the potential of these sensor systems in the sectors of materials, production and healthcare. In addition, the joint research and demonstration center will address the specific issues associated with industrial digitalization and develop solutions in the field of complex sensor systems.

Minister President Tobias Hans highlighted the opportunities that Fraunhofer ZSI will create for this research location: “Fraunhofer IZFP and IBMT are key elements of our research landscape. This cooperation to establish the new Fraunhofer center will provide considerable impetus for implementing our innovation strategy and tackling the current challenges of structural transformation, for example, through the introduction of highly innovative, automated processes in the automotive sector.  The integration of Fraunhofer ZSI into the existing research landscape on the campus of Saarland University will create a unique competence cluster for digital transformation.

“Whether it’s in the pharmaceutical industry, mechanical engineering or materials research: The further development of intelligent sensors is a key prerequisite for the additional optimization of numerous technologies and processes to strengthen and expand our position in the face of international competition,” explained Prof. Reimund Neugebauer, President of the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft. “From research to product implementation, transfer and application, Fraunhofer ZSI will cover the entire innovation chain of intelligent sensor development, thus facilitating a real innovation drive. In addition, the new center will combine and expand the core areas of expertise of this outstanding regional research landscape. This will ensure that the region plays a leading international role in the field of intelligent sensors, with a focus on future-proof and sustainable technology.”

The plan is to establish Fraunhofer ZSI on the campus of Saarland University. The new building and its facilities, which will cost around 35 million euros, are to be funded from federal, state and EU Structural Funds (ERDF) resources. In addition, the budget for personnel and projects for the five-year start-up phase of Fraunhofer ZSI is expected to be around 29 million euros, which will be funded by the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft, the state of Saarland and other third-party donors.

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