TAU and German research institute establish innovation platform for sensors 

Tel Aviv University will collaborate with Fraunhofer EMFT - the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft unit specializing in applied research into sensors and actuators.

 Tel Aviv University and German research institute Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft (photo credit: CHEN GALILI)
Tel Aviv University and German research institute Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft
(photo credit: CHEN GALILI)

Tel Aviv University and German research institute Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft - Europe’s largest application-oriented research organization, numbering 70 branches and 30,000 employees, have established a new collaboration: a joint innovation platform for applied research in the field of sensors. Specifically, TAU will collaborate with Fraunhofer EMFT - the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft unit specializing in applied research into sensors and actuators. The new platform, entitled [email protected] (Fraunhofer Innovation Platform for Sensors and Applied Systems at Tel Aviv University), was inaugurated at a special ceremony at TAU’s Steinhardt Museum of Natural History, attended by dozens of dignitaries from both nations, including German Ambassador to Israel Dr. Susanne Wasum-Rainer, Israeli Ambassador to Germany Ron Prosor and other leading representatives of the industrial, public, and academic sectors. The agreement was signed by Prof. Dan Peer, TAU’s VP of R&D, and Prof. Dr.-Ing. Reimund Neugebauer, President of Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft.

The leading team of [email protected] includes Prof. Yossi Rosenwaks - Managing Director from TAU; Dr. Sabine Trupp - Managing Director from Fraunhofer EMFT; Prof. Slava Krylov - Technical Director from TAU; and Christian Wald - Technical Director from Fraunhofer EMFT. The platform will address sensors and related applications in areas as varied as safety, security, health, manufacturing, transportation, agriculture, the environment, and more.

Prof. Yossi Rosenwaks, Managing Director from TAU, explains: “The new agreement with Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft fills a critical gap for many Israeli innovators from both industry and academia, constantly developing new ideas in the almost endless field of sensors. These inventors are in urgent need of a one-stop shop where they can test their innovations, conduct proof-of-concept trials, and build prototypes, in preparation for the ultimate goal of commercialization. To date, however, Israel lacks an institute specializing in applied R&D for sensors and hardware in general, that could provide them with suitable solutions. Consequently, our inventive scientists and engineers, who contribute significantly to the global scene of sensors (as they do in many other areas), face many obstacles when they try to bring their ideas to fruition. The new platform, combining the experience and advanced equipment and research infrastructures of Fraunhofer EMFT with our knowledge and expertise at TAU, will provide sensor researchers with the easily accessible and comprehensive solutions they need.” 

Prof. Neugebauer, President of Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft: “Sensors are an essential element in artificial intelligence and human-machine interfaces, which play a decisive role in humanity’s digital future. Already these advanced technologies are transforming our economy and society – with applications as diverse as cellular phones, autonomous vehicles, mapping by satellite, medication release, and many more. Specifically, the rapid introduction of intelligent, adaptable, and networked devices by the advent of the Internet of Things creates an urgent need for new types of sensors and corresponding hardware. Our strong belief in Israel’s creative and bustling technological scene, and the impressive capabilities of TAU, in particular, led Fraunhofer EMFT to establish a close collaboration with TAU scientists in 2019. The new [email protected] platform now steps up this collaboration, offering joint R&D activities to meet the growing needs of sensor developers in Israel, Germany and around the world.” 

Prof. Slava Krylov, Technical Director from TAU: “We are grateful to Prof. Neugebauer, his team, and Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft for giving us the unique opportunity to launch the Fraunhofer Innovation Platform (FIP) at Tel Aviv University. TAU, Israel’s largest and most comprehensive research university, is currently home to dozens of excellent research groups working on various areas and aspects of sensor research, and the new platform will be most beneficial to them and many other sensors developers across the country. Focusing on projects and applications with significant commercial potential, our new joint platform will provide developers with advanced infrastructures, systems and networks for real-life scenarios, with eventual transfer to standard industrial production considered from the earliest stages of development. Our vision is that [email protected] will become a globally recognized R&D solution provider for intelligent sensor systems, targeting customers from business and industry, other academic institutions, and public research funding agencies worldwide.” 

Ramot, the tech transfer company of Tel Aviv University, will manage the commercialization activities and transactions between the industry and the center. "We welcome this collaboration between Tel Aviv University and an honorable institute like Fraunhofer, and believe this unique connection will foster groundbreaking applied research in the field,”  said Keren Primor Cohen, Ramot's CEO.