The university of Twente and Fraunhofer have entered into a long-term partnership in the area of applied technical science. The first step is the establishment of a Fraunhofer Project Centre for ‘design and production engineering in complex high-tech systems’ at UT, Fraunhofer's first representation in the Netherlands.
Fraunhofer is Europe’s largest non-profit organization for applied research and has a powerful international reputation. 66 research institutes are affiliated in Germany and 7 abroad. The cooperation is an important step in Twente's further development as a technological top region. Fraunhofer institutes focus on translating fundamental scientific research into technological applications in industry. The institutes have significant autonomy for this. Fraunhofer generates an annual research budget of more than €2 billion. 65% of this comes directly from industry and publicly financed research projects. Its objectives are similar to those of TNO, the largest research institute in the Netherlands.
Independent institute in Twente
With evidence of success, the Fraunhofer Project Centre at the University of Twente can grow in the longer term to become an independent institute focusing on joint R&D projects with industry. For this, the University of Twente will cooperate closely with the Fraunhofer Institute for Production Technology IPT in Aachen, Germany.
The Project Centre focuses primarily on assignments based on issues from industry and from international cooperative projects. Young engineers from both the University of Twente and from Saxion will work on these projects under the supervision of experienced engineers. With the accrued expertise and the link with both research facilities, they will build an interesting portfolio that forms the foundation for a career in industry or for a PhD position.
Fraunhofer's approach provides a supplement to the ‘classical model’ of science by promoting a multiple-year course of PhD study at a university or in direct collaboration with a business. Multiple research and knowledge-development assignments of short duration and from various businesses can form the foundation for a PhD.
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