Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft partners with NTU to set up its first research institute in Asia

November 25, 2009

Germany's Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft, Europe's largest institution for applied research in computer graphics, in collaboration with Singapore's Nanyang Technological University (NTU), is setting up its first interactive digital media research institute outside of Europe and the United States.

Fraunhofer, with 60 research institutes and an annual research budget of 1.5 billion Euros, is partnering NTU to set up Fraunhofer Singapore, which will focus on promoting applied research and commercialisation opportunities in the field of Interactive Digital Media (IDM). To be located at NTU, the institute will work on research areas of interest related to current requirements of the market and the economy, such as computer graphics, computer vision, virtual reality and augmented reality.

President NTU, Dr Su Guaning says: "This is the first time that Fraunhofer has come to Asia to set up such an institute. That they have chosen NTU as their research partner in the area of computer graphics, interactive digital media, virtual reality and augmented reality, speaks volumes for NTU's research and innovation culture and the strength of our engineers and scientists at NTU. We are delighted to partner one of the most hugely regarded computer graphics powerhouses of Europe".

NTU will be working directly with Fraunhofer's Institute for Computer Graphics Research (Fraunhofer IGD), Europe's renowned industrial computer graphics and visual computing institute, to focus on emerging technologies and explore mutual interests in science and technology orientated towards social well-being, economic growth and quality of life. The institute will also work with industry partners such as Lufthansa, Siemens and Daimler, who are directly involved in the Board of Fraunhofer.

The long-term goal is to establish a collaborative framework to promote continuous and systematic research cooperative actions in the field of IDM between Fraunhofer institutes, NTU, the industry and other research and development organisations in Singapore, and contribute to the economic well-being of Singapore and the Asian region.

Fraunhofer Singapore will be funded by NTU, Fraunhofer and Singapore funding agencies to the tune of some $10 million over five years.

The institute is targeted to begin operations in the first half of 2010 with 20 scientists and researchers. It is expected to boast a team of some 50 international researchers within the next two to three years.

The agreement to set up Fraunhofer Singapore was signed by NTU Provost Professor Bertil Andersson and Professor Dieter W. Fellner, Director of Fraunhofer IGD on 25 November 2009. His Excellency Mr Jörg Ranau, German Ambassador to Singapore, together with NTU President Dr Su Guaning, witnessed the signing.

Nanyang Technological University

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