The Fraunhofer Society was founded in 1949 in Munich and has by now become the biggest establishment for applied research in Europe. It is a recognized non-profit organisation. Some 13.000 employees, predominantly qualified scientists and engineers, work in 57 Fraunhofer Institutes with an annual research budget of over 1 billion Euros. They do contract research for private enterprises and the state.
In 2003 the head office of the Fraunhofer Society moved into a new building at Hansastraße in Munich. Apart from the administration department three of the Fraunhofer research establishments are located in Munich: ESK (Communication Systems), EMFT (Modular Solid State Technologies) and PST (Patent Center for German Research).
The Fraunhofer Society is very interested in making the results of its innovative research public. Therefore the institutes are not only research establishments, but also host lectures and meetings and thus stimulate the discourse between science and society.