About Fraunhofer Portugal

Associação Fraunhofer Portugal Research


The Associação Fraunhofer Portugal Research (Fraunhofer Portugal), is a non-profit private association founded by Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft, the largest organisation for applied research in Europe.


A Driving Force in Innovation.

Fraunhofer Portugal aims on the creation of scientific knowledge capable of generating added value to its clients and partners, exploring technology innovations oriented towards economic growth, the social well-being and the improvement of the quality of life of its end-users.


Research of Practical Utility.

Fraunhofer Portugal promotes and coordinates the cooperation between its research centers, other research institutions and Industry partners, with the objective of undertaking applied research of direct utility to private and public enterprises and of wide benefit to society.


Business Model


Fraunhofer Portugal’s business model derives from the well tested – and undisputedly successful – ‘Performance related funding model’ operated by Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft in Germany. This model defines that Fraunhofer Portugal’s income should move towards equilibrium between 3 different funding sources:

1. Industry Contract Research – revenues from external research and development projects with private institutions;

2. Government Contract Research & Project Funding – revenues from contract research and R&D projects financed by local, national government and the EU;

3. Institutional Funding – public grants, used for the funding of basic research.

As a consequence, Fraunhofer Portugal is motivated to pursuit a dynamic equilibrium between application-oriented fundamental research, enabling to work ahead on solutions to problems that will not become acutely relevant to industry and society until five or ten years from now, and simultaneously developing innovative R&D projects, solving industry’s pressing problems.

In other words, the Fraunhofer Portugal research work is oriented toward concrete applications and results.


Fraunhofer's Structure in Portugal


Fraunhofer Portugal was founded by:


CCILA - Câmara de Comércio e Indústria Luso-Alemã


Research Centers


Fraunhofer Portugal AICOS


Fraunhofer Portugal currently materialises itself through the Research Center for Assistive Information and Communication Solutions – AICOS (Fraunhofer Portugal AICOS), located in Porto and born in 2009 following a partnership between the Fraunhofer Society (Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft), the Foundation for Science and Technology and the University of Porto (UP).

From its debut with 12 employees, AICOS now has two offices in Portugal employing circa 100 people, of which 80 are researchers.

With a client portfolio from a broad range of areas, such as health, agriculture, retail or energy, AICOS has consolidated competences in:


Human-Centred Design

Artificial Intelligence

Cyber-Physical Systems


AICOS’ track record in institutional and commercial collaborations has built a wide network of active partners. Since 2009, AICOS has been involved in 12 European projects and established partnerships with over 150 organisations in 31 countries.


Fraunhofer Portugal AWAM


As one of the research centers operating under the roof of Fraunhofer Portugal, Fraunhofer Portugal AWAM (Research Center for Advanced Water, Energy and Resource Management – AWAM) was founded in 2019 in partnership between the Fraunhofer Society (Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft), Fraunhofer Portugal, the Foundation for Science and Technology (FCT), the Universidade de Évora (UÉ) and the Universidade de Trás-os-Montes e Alto Douro (UTAD).

Dedicated to applied research in this specific field of science and technology, Fraunhofer Portugal AWAM aims at developing, adapting and applying innovative processing technologies to close regional loops of nutrients, water and energy.


Governance Model



Fraunhofer Portugal seeks to follow the best practices in every area of its governance, being that reflected in its statutes and the subsequent transparency of its internal organisation.

The associative structure of Fraunhofer Portugal distributes clearly the functions, duties and responsibilities of the diverse governing boards.


More info