The Fraunhofer Institute for Manufacturing Engineering and Automation (IPA) was founded in 1959 and incorporated in the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft in 1971. Of the 60 institutes that make up this prestigious research organization, the Fraunhofer IPA is one of the largest single institutes, employing around 280 scientists.
Finding solutions to organizational and technological challenges, particularly within the production environment of industrial (biotechnology) enterprises is the key focus of the research and development work carried out at the Fraunhofer IPA. 16 individual departments are engaged in the fields of Corporate Organization, Surface Engineering, and Automation, for example to improve cell culture techniques. The R&D projects aim to enhance production processes and make products more cost-effective and environmentally friendly. Moreover the Fraunhofer IPA has got an external project group in Mannheim for automation in medicine and biotechnology (PAMB). It cooperates with the local university clinic e.g. to introduce automated systems in operation theatres.