Looking back, what has made the biggest mark on you at Fraunhofer IIS?
My colleagues were and still are an important factor, especially those from the early days. We are united by a basic understanding that we work together, that we achieve more together than separately, and that everyone has their eye on the bigger picture. Another advantage is the way the institute is organized, so that the final decision-making body is within the institute itself. We are not dependent on a head office, possibly located in another part of the world, that struggles to understand what’s happening on the ground.
What is special about Fraunhofer?
To conduct research and to assert yourself on the market at the same time is quite a unique combination, and that is the challenge I set myself as a director. The question is: How can you manage to introduce a product-based perspective while maintaining Fraunhofer’s character? For example, we have introduced product management and other typical corporate procedures into the Audio and Media Technologies Division, so that staff can now undergo training to become a product manager, for example. In this way, decisions incorporate more of an outside perspective, and we should be more successful at combining research with the development of new products. Interestingly, IIS is seen as leading the way for other Fraunhofer Institutes in this respect.