The Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft, based in Germany, is the world's leading organization for application-oriented research. With its focus on key technologies of relevance to the future and on the exploitation of its findings in business and industry, it plays a central role in the innovation process. As a guide and stimulus for innovative developments and scientific excellence, it helps to shape our society and our future. Founded in 1949, the organization currently operates 75 institutes and research facilities in Germany. Around 29,000 employees, most of whom are trained in the natural sciences or engineering, generate an annual research volume of 2.8 billion euros. Of this, 2.4 billion euros is generated through contract research.