For each High Performance Center, an internal Fraunhofer committee evaluated the quality and ambition of the strategic and operational plans for 2022, the actual results achieved and measures implemented for 2021, and a self-selected transfer highlight that serves as a prominent example of the high performance center's impact. Each of these three evaluation items was assessed with 0 to 10 points. In total, a maximum of 30 points was possible.
Of these, the High Performance Center Simulation and Software Based Innovation scored 28 points. It was ranked joint first with the Photonics Center in Jena, which scored the same number of points, followed by the Electronics Systems Center in Erlangen.
Successful Collaboration with BioNTech Convinces the Committee
The transfer highlight 2021 was rated as particularly outstanding: the cooperation with BioNTech. As part of this project, the scientists involved have developed a flexible platform that can be used to manage the production process of individualized cancer drugs and the COVID-19 vaccine at BioNTech. According to the reviewers, the center of excellence is thus achieving a »highly relevant and far-reaching impact«.
High Performance Center Scores with High Transfer Success
The high industry revenues and in particular the already impressive software license revenues were noted very positively. The active cooperation was praised, as was the employee rotation among the partners. The strategically forward-looking orientation of the high performance center was also emphasized. In the view of the evaluators, the High Performance Center character, i.e. the close cooperation between the partners, was clearly evident and led to the high transfer success of the performance center.
Although the self-set goals of the High Performance Center were very ambitious, the goals were largely achieved and the planned transfer measures were almost completely implemented convincingly through effective and valid measures. The evaluators speak of an »almost perfect result«.
Background: High Performance Centers at Fraunhofer and Evaluation Procedures
High Performance Centers are cooperative projects initiated by Fraunhofer to intensify regionally specific research priorities with the aim of increasing the impact of R&D projects in industry and society. To this end, universities, colleges, Fraunhofer institutes and other non-university research establishments at a single location work together with companies and social stakeholders on specific topics. They bring together suitable partners and accompany ideas through to the market.
In recent years, the High Performance Centers have established themselves as spearheads for transfer and good-practice forges. A so-called »omnibus model« enables a competitive system with annual performance evaluation and consistent results orientation. The first competition round started at the beginning of 2022 with a three-year term up to and including 2024. Based on the cumulative results of the annual success evaluations (2022, 2023, 2024) and under the basic principle of »the best stay«, at least two High Performance Centers will drop out at the end of the term and at least two new consortia can take their place in the second competition round starting in 2025. The first of these reviews took place in May 2022 by a Fraunhofer-internal commission.