The Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft is an autonomous organization with a decentralized organizational structure, which currently maintains 56 research institutes and a patent office in locations throughout Germany. Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft is the leading organization of institutes of applied research and development in Europe. Future-oriented strategic research commissioned by the government and public authorities are carried out with the aim of promoting innovations in key technologies with an economic and social relevance in the next five to ten years. Work focuses on specific tasks across a wide spectrum of research fields, including communications, energy, microelectronics, manufacturing, transport, and the environment.
Based on its vision of a user-centric ubiquitous computing and communication environment, Fraunhofer FOKUS, the Institute for Open Communication Systems, researches and develops mobile communication systems in wireless and wired networks by engineering the elements that enable the complete seamless integration of technology with end devices and the deployment of open flexible communication services and applications. FOKUS fields of research are all tailored to the expectation that future applications in IT and communications technology will need more flexible and universal technological bases with the seamless convergence of infrastructures, services, end devices, and content. Future user demands for ubiquitous availability and user- friendly operation can only be met by personalised systems, which first require new developments to be put in place in terms of communication networks, service platforms, application servers, and context-aware multimedia content. In the autonomic communication research area, which was actively developed by FOKUS and promoted to international level, FOKUS works on the provision of intelligent, adaptive communication and information infrastructures that implement self-management features to seamlessly adapt to changing conditions and application demands.
The FOKUS competence centre, Future Applications and Media (FAME), researches and develops methods for a cooperative but autonomic behaviour of system elements. The extended support of cooperation includes the semantic-based discovery of functions, the monitoring of elements, and the delegation of tasks. Suitable methods, such as rule-based programming, are applied to support the distributed tasks execution. The knowledge about the environment, preferences, and situation is taken into account to offer a suitable added-value to the user in simplifying and improving the interaction with computer systems. The main research focus is on the design and implementation of open service infrastructures. The long-term research and development activities cover a number
of related work areas, such as context awareness, loosely-coupled service provisioning, semantic-based knowledge systems, and recommender systems.