Foto: Philipp Plum, Illustration: Lennart Andresen/ Fraunhofer FOKUS


As one of our strategic research topics, sustainability deals with developing technologies and solutions that positively impact the environment, society, and economy. FOKUS has set itself the goal of firmly integrating energy efficiency, resource conservation, and social responsibility into research projects to make the networked world safe, reliable, and sustainable.

By working closely with industrial partners, the public sector, and society, Fraunhofer FOKUS helps implement sustainable innovations. The institute thus contributes to solving social challenges and developing a more sustainable society.

Icons of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations
United Nations

Our contribution to the Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, the international community adopted 17 global sustainability goals with the 2030 Agenda. These Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the United Nations encompass ecological, economic, and social issues. Fraunhofer FOKUS is making concrete contributions to achieving these goals in digital networking, digital life, the digital state, security, and certification. The researchers focus primarily on SDG 9, “Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure,” SDG 11, “Sustainable Cities and Communities,” and SDG 16, “Peace, Justice, and Strong Institutions.”

Sustainable Development Goal 9 

Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization, and foster innovation

Fraunhofer FOKUS makes an essential contribution to economic development in Germany and Europe by supporting the transfer of innovations in the field of high-quality, reliable, sustainable, and resilient infrastructure into practice. For example, the demand-specific 5G communication networks developed by FOKUS facilitate the cross-border operation of industries, which can reduce the life cycle costs of transportation, energy, media, and factories. FOKUS is also working on early hazard detection and warning of the population in the event of disasters and preventing cybercrime.

Sustainable Development Goal 11

Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable

Fraunhofer FOKUS supports the mobility transition with solutions for networked mobility and intelligent urban planning, focusing on both motorized and non-motorized transport. This helps to reduce the CO2 footprint of growing urban populations significantly and contributes to a better connection of rural areas. The car and its surroundings must become more intelligent to benefit both road users and the environment. For example, the further development of automated rail transport is helping to conserve cities and resources and deal with the effects of rapid urbanization. Open access to official data (open data), for example, on local public transport, air quality, or population trends, also offers added value for the population and companies.

Sustainable Development Goal 16

Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all, and build effective, accountable, and inclusive institutions at all levels

Free access to data and an open Internet are essential components of sustainable digitalization. By transferring cutting-edge research, Fraunhofer FOKUS ensures the development of efficient and inclusive institutions: With open data platforms and the transition to “data-driven government,” the administration can plan public measures and processes based on data and, thus, in a predictive and sustainable manner and ensure intelligent services. In addition, the digitalization of public authorities enables social participation: An open data structure creates trust in social processes and municipal decisions and strengthens social participation.