Guiding topic: Cognitive Sensor Technologies

What drives us

Why we made cognitive sensor technologies a guiding topic for our institute:

For a successful economy: In the context of digital transformation, cognitive sensor technologies are an important foundation for a successful, powerful economy in Germany. We see it as our duty at Fraunhofer IIS to contribute the skills and expertise of our team to the building of these foundations.

Effective combination of know-how and resources: By pooling our expertise and resources, we possess the skills and know-how to bring cognitive sensor technologies to the next level. Pure electronics is no longer enough for companies looking to become world leaders. Our USP lies in how we combine our hardware and software and enrich them with machine learning techniques in such a way that sensors become cognitive and processes are not only connected, but smart.

Environment for innovations: We are convinced that future innovations will be driven by artificial intelligence. With our research and development in the field of cognitive sensors, we are creating the technological environment to make this possible.

Strategic development: We build on our longstanding experience with electronics and sensor systems, which is needed when working on cognitive sensor technologies. On this basis, we are strategically further developing ourselves and our portfolio and helping business along this path.

Lighthouse in Bavaria: Through our research work and collaborations with universities and institutes of technology, we create unique AI expertise in Bavaria.

Our approach

How we develop the topic in terms of strategy and operations:

We have made cognitive sensor technologies as a high strategic priority and are now driving the topic forward. In this regard, we are pursuing a long-term development plan for technologies and know-how across all seven research areas.

In addition, we are collaborating with the best research institutions – for example, as part of our initiatives for the future.

We integrate our partners from the commercial sector into our strategic development and act in close coordination with politics and industry associations in order to advance the local area, Bavaria and Germany.

Our competencies

In our work, we build on our expertise across the entire IoT reference chain:

  • Sensors and circuits
  • Communication technology
  • Data evaluation (analytics)
  • Services and business models

For these fields of application

The following areas of application already benefit from our expertise and developments:

  • Mobility
  • IoT communication
  • Human sensing
  • Product and material monitoring
  • Supply chains

Our USPs

What sets us apart in the area of cognitive sensor technology:

Thanks to the breadth and depth of our skills, and through the possible combinations thereof, we work in a unique research environment for developments in the field of cognitive sensor systems. For instance, we command a wide portfolio of sensor technologies (everything from hardware and firmware to signal processing), which allows us to model the entire IoT development chain. In the application of artificial intelligence, we are building on the talents of some 70 in-house researchers, thereby offering matchless research and development expertise for our customers and partners. We possess excellent know-how in – and access to – the relevant fields of application.

Clear advantages for our customers and partners

How we benefit our customers, partners and society in general:


Quality: We offer high-quality support in the development, implementation and use of cognitive sensor technology in various fields of application.

Innovation: Our innovations and constantly improving technologies serve our customers and partners as a springboard for the further development of their products and services.

Access: Frequently, SMEs cannot afford to hire their own AI specialists. Through our Fraunhofer research services, we give these companies access to our expertise in this area.

Specialists: We continuously train and develop experts in the field of cognitive sensors for the scientific and industrial sectors. By virtue of our top-level research, we also increase the attractiveness of our region for specialists in this field.


Promising partnerships:

Besides our internal R&D work, we also conduct research within Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft networks and work in close cooperation with the Friedrich Alexander University of Erlangen-Nürnberg, as well as other universities and institutes of technology. In addition, we are purposefully forging international networks with research partners.

Furthermore, we are developing objectives and implementation models in cooperation with our partners from the commercial sector.

Selected collaborations


Campus of the Senses

Human perception gets digital at the Campus of the Senses in Erlangen


ADA Lovelace Center

Analytics, Data and Applications – Plans for a unique research infrastructure to support the Bavarian economy.

Find out more!


Guiding topic: Audio and Media Technologies

In these pages, we present our second guiding topic: audio and media technologies