Anniversary: 25 Years Fraunhofer IESE

Engineering the Digital Future since 1996

In 2021, we celebrated our 25-year anniversary Since our institute was founded, we have been researching and working with our partners on trend-setting key technologies – always keeping in mind the goal of strengthening the economy and providing added value for society.

With our topics and solutions, we do not only address what is happening today, but also think about how we can shape the digital future of tomorrow.


This is why we are the MORGEN DENKER*!

[*: The “Thinkers of Tomorrow”, which is the title of our German podcast series.]

Anniversary Messages for Fraunhofer IESE

Many representatives from research, industry, and government congratulated Fraunhofer IESE on its 25-year anniversary.

Ministerpräsidentin RLP Malu Dreyer, Fraunhofer iESE
© Elisa Biscotti
Malu Dreyer, Minister President of the state of Rhineland-Palatinate

Malu Dreyer, Minister President of the state of Rhineland-Palatinate

“We are glad to have Fraunhofer IESE at our side as a competent and dependable partner to shape the digitalization of our state in such a way that technical innovation becomes social and societal progress.”


To the Virtual Guestbook [in German]

Time travel over the past 25 years

Over the course of our anniversary year, ISA took a chronological look back with us at the last 25 years – from the founding of Fraunhofer IESE until today. Who still remembers what went on in 2020?


© Fraunhofer IESE
In 2020, most events took place online as virtual events fort he first time, including the annual meeting of the IESE Advisory Board.

From the chronicle of IESE:

For IESE, the year 2020 meant 25 years of software-, systems-, and innovation engineering. Over the years, the original focus on software engineering shifted more and more in the direction of systems engineering and networking as central components of the digital transformation.

Innovation engineering is also taking on new importance when it comes to making customers fit for the digital future, true to the motto of IESE: “Engineering the Digital Future”. In order to define focal points in this large area, IESE concentrated on four focus topics in 2020: “Digital Ecosystems”, “Dependable AI”, “Virtual Engineering/Digital Twin”, and “System Modernization”.

New websites were created for each of these topics, which are complemented by the new podcast series “MORGEN DENKER”. And since there was no anniversary event due to the COVID-19 pandemic, a virtual guestbook was created where many long-time supporters of IESE shared their thoughts and good wishes.

ISA looks back:

"The researchers at IESE love change, and what drives them is the search for new societal and economic challenges and the development of digital solutions. With Sars-Cov-2, all employees were suddenly faced with a previously unimaginable new situation in March 2020.

But embracing change and turning it into many new opportunities thanks to a positive spirit and digital possibilities is exactly what the IESE team has done. And therefore I am very happy to be the anniversary ambassador for this great team 😊."


© Fraunhofer IESE
Fraunhofer in RLP - 70 Years of Fraunhofer

From the chronicle of IESE:

In 2019, the topic of “Autonomous Systems” gained increasing importance for IESE, because they will play an important role in the future not only in the area of mobility, but also in industrial production and agriculture. The competencies of IESE in the areas of systems engineering and safety engineering were strengthened by the establishment of the research program “Autonomous Systems”. Projects such as BaSys and Digital Villages entered the next round in 2019.

On 6 November 2019, the three Fraunhofer Institutes in Rhineland-Palatinate (IESE and ITWM from Kaiserslautern, IMM from Mainz) celebrated the 70th anniversary of the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft with a joint ceremony and a subsequent Career Night for students at the Fraunhofer Center in Kaiserslautern.

More on 2019 in the annual report

ISA looks back:

"The year 2019 was dominated by climate protection: In March 2019, schoolchildren took to the streets for the first time worldwide on Fridays to demonstrate for climate protection at “Fridays for Future”. Since June 2019, a new means of transportation, the environmentally friendly e-scooter, has been available in German cities.

As part of its projects on Smart Grid, IESE is also working to make its contribution to the topic of climate protection through the intelligent networking of different energy sources and the resulting efficient energy supply. The PFAFF project as a “climate-neutral urban district” is just one example of this."

Electric scooters have been a familiar sight in the city since 2019.


© Armin Okulla
Opening of the Berlin Contact Office

From the chronicle of IESE:

On 1 March 2018, the Berlin Contact Office of Fraunhofer IESE was opened officially right on the banks of the Spree River in the Fraunhofer-Forum. Since then, the institute has been offering its partners, interested parties, and the media a point of contact in the German capital for its expertise regarding digitalization.

Overall, the year 2018 was under the motto “Safe AI” (AI=Artificial Intelligence), because the safety assurance of Artificial Intelligence increasingly became a challenge that IESE has been addressing with its research ever since. Research also continued in the areas of Industrie 4.0 and data usage control, but also on new topics such as Virtual Engineering, CrowdRE, Agile Transition, and Future Worlds of Work.

The month of November saw the kick-off of the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft’s new lighthouse project “Cognitive Agriculture” (COGNAC for short), which is led by IESE and focuses on the development of concepts for an efficient digital ecosystem in agriculture.

In the same month, IESE bid farewell to its founder and long-time institute director, Prof. Dieter Rombach, with a festive retirement ceremony.  

More on 2018 in the annual report

ISA looks back:

"The fact that it is not only IESE that deals with digital health topics in the context of its research program was demonstrated in 2018 by Apple, among others: For the first time, an ECG was built into the Apple Watch 4 presented in September. And just like with this Apple Watch, there is particular concern at IESE regarding good communication and the health of its employees.

By the way: Another trend started emerging in 2018: foldable displays, which were to find their way into smartphones and TV sets with rollable displays."

Apple Watch Nike+ Series 4 showing its screen with Activity Rings.
The latest Apple Watch generation to date now also focuses on health, in addition to communication and fitness.


© Fraunhofer
Joseph-von-Fraunhofer Prize for Human-Centered Technology 2017

From the chronicle of IESE:

In 2017, IESE started to dedicate itself to the topic of platforms and the platform economy. Along with this, autonomous driving, autonomous systems, and digital twins became new focal areas of research at IESE.

In addition, not one, but two projects of Fraunhofer IESE in the area of Health earned awards for the institute in 2017:

  • EPICSAVE, which received an award in the innovation contest “Land of Ideas”, was about the future of education and training in the medical field thanks to Serious Gaming and the use of virtual data glasses.
  • The 2017 Joseph von Fraunhofer Prize for Human-Centered Technology went to the project SUSI TD, where research was conducted into how AAL technology (Ambient Assisted Living) can enable senior citizens to live independently in their own homes for a longer period of time. 

More on 2017 in the annual report

ISA looks back:

"The production of the Tesla Model 3 from 2017 onwards marked the beginning of the success story of one of the best-selling electric cars in the world. This would lead to e-cars becoming suitable for the masses.

All fans of video game consoles were happy at that time that the Nintendo Switch was finally available for purchase.

The research of IESE is also brought to life in many a project with games like “MiniLautern”. And do you think it is a coincidence that the smart activist in this game is called Ellen Mask, of all names?!?"

© Fraunhofer IESE
At Fraunhofer IESE, research is brought to life experienced in a playful way!


© Fraunhofer ITWM
Opening of the Fraunhofer High-Performance Center "Simulation- and Software-based Innovation"

From the chronicle of IESE:

The year 2016 marked the 20th anniversary of the founding of Fraunhofer IESE. In the anniversary year, the topic “Digital Ecosystems” was the focus of work at IESE. The trend from software engineering to systems engineering continued. With the BaSys 4.0 project, the topic of Industrie 4.0 took on great significance for the future of IESE. The topic of data usage control also became an important part of the IESE portfolio with the framework IND²UCE.

In January 2016, the Fraunhofer High-Performance Center “Simulation- and Software-based Innovation” was founded, which bundles the scientific strengths in Kaiserslautern through cooperation between IESE, ITWM, the two universities, and various companies.

Finally, in September, the IESE Blog was launched.

More on 2016 in the annual report

ISA looks back:

"Machine beats human – In 2016, the computer program AlphaGo won against the South Korean Lee Sedol, one of the world’s best professional players of the board game Go. Another milestone in the history of AI!

Also, Sunway TaihuLight was declared the world’s fastest supercomputer and remained so for the next two years.

In general, a lot happened in 2016  that would lead to global changes: The British voted for BREXIT and the Americans elected Donald Trump as the 45th President of the United States."

© Poroong
AlphaGo marks another milestone in the history of AI.


© Fraunhofer IESE
Passing the torch

From the chronicle of IESE:

2015 was a year of change for IESE: After many years of commitment as Executive Director of Fraunhofer IESE, our founding director Prof. Dieter Rombach passed on the torch: On 20 January 2015, the ceremonial handover to Prof. Peter Liggesmeyer took place in the presence of numerous guests from the worlds of politics and business. Prof. Rombach did, however, remain with IESE as Director Business Development until 2018.

In May, IESE received a prestigious international award, the “2015 IEEE Software Engineering Synergy Award” from the largest professional association of engineers in the world, in recognition of its achievements as an innovation driver for the economy.

As part of the research program Smart Rural Areas, the kick-off for the project “Digital Villages” took place in July 2015 to test smart technologies for future-proof infrastructures in rural areas in three municipalities in Rhineland-Palatinate.  

More on 2015 in the annual report

ISA looks back:

"Alexa first saw the light of day in 2015. Is there anyone today who does not know the digital voice assistant from Amazon?

The little smart speakers were used, for example, in the IESE project “Digital Neighbors”. Not only did they make the lives of elderly people more comfortable, but a few years later, Alexa also helped to dispel the loneliness in the lockdown a little. "

With the sales launch of Amazon Echo, Alexa is making ist way into our homes.


EARTO award ceremony, Fraunhofer IESE
© Fraunhofer IESE
EARTO award ceremony

From the chronicle of IESE:

Smart Ecosystems were an important topic in 2014 because highly networked systems impose new requirements on systems engineering competence.

In 2014, we also pushed the development of methodologies for model-based safety development in the BMBF project SPES_XT as well as in the EU project CRYSTAL.

Researchers of Fraunhofer IESE received the renowned Innovation Award of the European Association of Research and Technology Organisations EARTO for the IND²UCE Framework, which helps to protect sensitive information from future misuse and enables new business models (keyword: data usage control).

Over the course of the year, our research program “Smart Rural Areas” evolved into a new focus area as a counterpart to “Smart Cities”. With “Smart Rural Areas – Intelligent Technologies for the Land of Tomorrow”, we were once again among the winners of the 2014/2014 nationwide competition “Landmarks in the Land of Ideas”.

More on 2014 in the annual report

ISA looks back:

"From being a controversial figure to being cheered and celebrated – in 2014, Jogi Löw made a soccer fairy tale come true at the World Cup in Brazil. With him, the German national team surprisingly became world champions, and IESE also celebrated vigorously.

In addition, with the advance of smartphones and tablets, apps increasingly replaced classic software programs. In the following years, IESE also developed numerous apps, e.g., in the context of Smart Rural Areas."

World Cup in Brazil - Germany becomes world champion and IESE rejoices!


© Frank Bomarius
On the occasion of his 60th birthday, Prof. Dr. Dieter Rombach receives the Fraunhofer Medal from Prof. Fellner (representing the Executive Board)

From the chronicle of IESE:

In 2013, we focused on the more efficient use of Big Data, building on our competencies for Smart Ecosystems including mobile devices.

Software Engineering and Big Data Analytics as enablers for innovations was the keyword.

On 06 June 2013, Prof. Dieter Rombach celebrated his 60th birthday. A large ceremony on 07 June 2013 honored him as a person, his services to progress in software engineering, as well as his great commitment to interdisciplinary cooperation between industry and research; for his services to the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft, he was awarded the Fraunhofer Medal.

In August, the Rhineland-Palatinate Minister President Malu Dreyer visited the Fraunhofer Center and informed herself in detail about the current research areas and flagship topics of Fraunhofer IESE.

In December, the German Informatics Society (Gesellschaft für Informatik e.V. (GI)), the largest professional society for computer science in the German-speaking world, elected Prof. Dr.-Ing. Peter Liggesmeyer as the new GI President for the next two years.

More on 2013 in the annual report

ISA looks back:

"Augmented Reality kept tech enthusiasts busy in 2013 as Google marketed its "data glasses" to developers for the first time. Today, IESE uses VR glasses, for example, in a project to train emergency medical technicians.

In other news, Bertelsmann gave up their encyclopedia business for good. No wonder, as Wikipedia had already been around for a long time by then 😉."

© Fraunhofer IESE
VR glasses are used at IESE to train emergency medical technicians.


© Uwe Völkner – Fotoagentur FOX
Dr. Thomas Luiz (IESE) accepts the "Selected Landmark in the Land of Ideas" award from the then Minister President of Rhineland-Palatinate, Kurt Beck.

From the chronicle of IESE:

The year 2012 was characterized for us by innovation and by becoming competitive for the "Digital Society 2.0". IESE started to explore the evolution of system classes from Information Systems and Embedded Systems to Smart Ecosystems, thus preparing the future of software engineering.

On 9 March 2012, the official opening of the first Fraunhofer Project Center in Brazil took place in Salvador, Bahia, Brazil.

There were also two awards for IESE in 2012: the Innovation Award 2012 of the dbb Beamtenbund und tarifunion for the Germany-wide project P23R Process Data Accelerator, and the award “Selected Landmark 2012” for the “German Center for Emergency Medicine and Information Technology (DENIT) at IESE in the nationwide competition “365 Landmarks in the Land of Ideas”.

More on 2012 in the annual report

ISA looks back:

"Curiosity is what always drives the spirit of research at IESE. Curiosity is also the name of the Rover mission to Mars, which started in August 2012 with the goal of exploring the early history of the planet Mars. In the same year, U.S. astronaut Neil Armstrong, the first man to walk on the Moon, died.

What else happened? Facebook set the next milestone in its success story with its stock market flotation."

The Rover mission to Mars wowed the world in 2012.


Chronik 2011, Fraunhofer IESE
© Fraunhofer IESE
IESE was represented at many trade fairs in 2011.

From the chronicle of IESE:

The highlight of the year 2011 was the celebration of the 15th anniversary of our institute on 08 June 2011 with numerous prominent representatives from research, industry, and government. In the context of IESE’s innovative application-oriented research, the focus in 2011 was on the topic of innovation and competitiveness through mobile services.

Building on our competencies for cyber-physical systems, IESE increasingly devoted itself to the use of mobile devices for product-related services.

The global visibility of IESE was reflected in the increasing number of international collaborations with partners from research and industry. In addition to the Fraunhofer Center Maryland, Fraunhofer Project Centers were established in Australia and Brazil.

More on 2011 in the annual report

ISA looks back:

"After tablets and smartphones increasingly also entered the world of application-oriented research at Fraunhofer IESE, one of the great computer visionaries, Apple co-founder Steve Jobs, passed away in 2011.

With the nuclear disaster in Fukushima, the world experienced the second mega disaster after Chernobyl, which also ushered in a new era away from nuclear power and towards alternative energies in Germany,

Another exciting topic for application-oriented research at IESE!"

Environmental technology concept. Sustainable development goals. SDGs.


© Fraunhofer IESE
On the occasion of the 100th birthday of Konrad Zuse, Horst Zuse inaugurates the exhibit of Z23 at IESE.

From the chronicle of IESE:

2010 was the 100th birthday of computer pioneer Konrad Zuse. On 8 July 2010, IESE opened its treasure collection and presented Zuse’s famous computing machine Z23. At a ceremony, Horst Zuse paid tribute to his father’s lifetime achievements and inaugurated the refurbished Z23 as an exhibit for posteriority. This computing machine was an important milestone for the development of commercially produced computers, and only very few such machines still exist today.

With a new “Innovation Center” in Kaiserslautern, the competencies of the Technical University (TU) and the two Fraunhofer Institutes IESE and ITWM in applied mathematics and computer science were bundled. The establishment of the European Technology & Innovation Center of the agricultural machinery manufacturer John Deere in Kaiserslautern was a highlight of our industrial collaborations. Peter Liggesmeyer, scientific director of Fraunhofer IESE, became spokesperson of the newly founded Fraunhofer Embedded Systems Alliance.

More on 2010 in the annual report

ISA looks back:

"2010 was the year of the tablet computer. Everyone wanted to get their hands on one of the first iPads, which meant that Apple had more than 50,000 preorders in the first few hours already.

But who of you would have known that computer science entered West German universities with the Zuse computer Z22, which was built starting in 1958? One of the reasons: Its procurement was state-subsidized ;-). Its successor, the Z23, was only built 98 times and can be admired on the premises of IESE."

In 2010 the tablet conquered the world.


© bz_saemmer
Prof. Dr. Rombach receives the Federal Cross of Merit from the former Minister President of Rhineland-Palatinate, Kurt Beck.

From the chronicle of IESE:

2009 was a year of awards: The Fraunhofer Center, which consists of IESE and ITWM, became a “Selected Landmark 2009” in the competition “365 Landmarks in the Land of Ideas” for the innovative technical conference with affiliated technical exhibition “Digital Commercial Vehicle Technology”.

The director of our institute, Prof. Dieter Rombach, received the Federal Cross of Merit on Ribbon awarded by the German President as well as an honorary doctorate from the University of Oulu, Finland, for his lifetime achievements as a software engineer.

Experiences, innovations, and trends in software and systems engineering were the focus of the Software Engineering 2009 (SE 2009) conference organized by the Gesellschaft für Informatik e.V. (German Informatics Society) at Fraunhofer IESE with more than 200 participants from industry, research, and government. 

More on 2009 in the annual report

ISA looks back:

"While IESE was showered with awards, world events were dominated by rescue packages for the economy to barely avoid the collapse of the global financial system.

In addition, a global pandemic called swine flu struck fear into the hearts of the world.  "

In 2009 the financial crisis concerns the whole world


© Fraunhofer IESE
The exhibit accompanying the 1st annual “Digital Commercial Vehicle Conference”

From the chronicle of IESE:

The year 2008 held an anniversary in store for us software engineers: The term “Software Engineering” was first coined exactly 40 years – incidentally on the occasion of a NATO meeting in Garmisch, Germany. In the meantime, this research area has even made its way into our homes: For our research work in the area of “Ambient Assisted Living”, we received an award as “Selected Landmark 2008” as part of the initiative “Germany – Land of Ideas”.

2008 also saw the 1st annual “Digital Commercial Vehicle Technology Conference” held at the Fraunhofer Center, the launch of the IESE Academy with a top-class seminar program, and the establishment of the German Center for Emergency Medicine and Information Technology DENIT at IESE. 

More on 2008 in the annual report

ISA looks back:

"In 2008, the world looked towards America, where Barack Obama won the election as U.S. president and went down in the history books as the first African-American president of the United States. 2008 was also the year of a downturn in the global economy, the origin of which was the U.S. real estate crisis in 2007 and the subsequent financial market crisis.

IESE was able to successfully defy this downward spiral with innovative software and systems engineering solutions!"

In 2008, the U.S. is at the center of the world!


© Fraunhofer IESE
German President Köhler visits Rhineland-Palatinate and makes a stop at Fraunhofer IESE.

From the chronicle of IESE:

The highlight of 2007 was the visit of German President Horst Köhler on 7 November, to whom we presented life assistance systems and smart living environments in our “Ambient Assisted Lab” as a technological implementation of the motto of his visit, “Partnership of the Generations”. The year 2007 was also characterized by our research in the area of Ambient Intelligence – from projects with senior citizens to our participation in CeBIT 2007.

With the Fraunhofer Innovation Cluster “Digital Commercial Vehicle Technology”, a new cooperation between IESE, Fraunhofer ITWM, and several industrial companies was established for the joint development of new solutions for competition-relevant challenges of the commercial vehicle industry. 

More on 2007 in the annual report

ISA looks back:

"Product of the year 2007 was Apple’s first portable computer – the iPhone! It pushed Blackberry and the like out of the market because not only could you make phone calls, take pictures, and surf the web – no, it also looked great and was easy to use. And so the iPhone has changed the smartphone industry for good to this day."

© istock | deepblue4you
First iPhone G3


© Fraunhofer IESE
The "virtual printer" at IESE is unveiled together with RICOH.

From the chronicle of IESE:

The grand opening of the Fraunhofer Center took place on 21 February 2006. At the 2006 Soccer World Cup, we provided a “virtual printer” as a service to journalists as part of the “Virtual Office of the Future” competence center, together with the Japanese company RICOH and the World Cup office of the city of Kaiserslautern. On 10 October, we celebrated our tenth anniversary and officially opened our “Assisted Living Lab” to research novel technologies for “smart” living environments that provide optimal everyday support for elderly people or people in need of assistance. Due to increasing demand from the public sector for systems engineering, we also expanded our portfolio to include the business area “eGovernment”.

More on 2006 in the annual report

ISA looks back:

»Soccer, soccer, and more soccer – the 2006 World Cup was a nationwide, roaring soccer festival. Germany may not have won the World Cup, but it was the champion of hearts!

And IESE not only celebrated heartily, but together with other partners provided a virtual printer as a service for the World Cup games held in the city of Kaiserslautern.«

In 2010 the tablet conquered the world.


Fraunhofer IESE
© Fraunhofer IESE
The “hyperboloid” is set up in front of the Fraunhofer Center.

From the chronicle of IESE:

The year 2005 was special in every respect. One dominating topic for us was the move to the new Fraunhofer Center on Trippstadter Strasse. Before the building could be handed over, today’s “landmark” was installed: the 13-meter-high "hyperboloid", which was designed and built by the artist Martin Willing. Fraunhofer IESE already moved in in August, with Fraunhofer ITWM following in December.

In 2005, we intensified our involvement in the areas of Embedded Systems and Ambient Intelligence and, among other things, further expanded our cooperation with the Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency JAXA. In the fall, we hosted the annual DASMA conference MetriKon, which has traditionally focused on the topics of “Software Metrics” and “Effort Estimation of IT Projects”.

More on 2005 in the annual report

ISA looks back:

»While the institute management and the staff of Fraunhofer IESE moved into the new institute building, there were two other changes of significance to Germany in 2005:

A German Pope named Joseph Ratzinger followed the late John Paul II into the Vatican and gave himself the name Benedict XVI. And on 22 November, Angela Merkel became the first woman in history to be elected Chancellor by the German Parliament.«

Moving into the Chancellor’s Office: Angela Merkel becomes Germany’s first female chancellor.


Fraunhofer IESE
© Fraunhofer IESE
Grundsteinlegung für das Fraunhofer-Zentrum in Kaiserslautern

From the chronicle of IESE:

2004 was a successful year for our institute in every respect. Against the background of steadily increasing revenues and growing staff numbers, we strengthened the management level with a second institute director - Prof. Dr. Peter Liggesmeyer – in order to be prepared for the future in the best possible way. As for our scientific reputation, we were able to improve our 6th place in the worldwide ranking of the “Journal for Systems and Software” from the previous year to 4th place. With the signing of the cooperation agreement with the Japanese Ministry of Economy (METI), we further expanded our activities with Japanese partners. On 30 April, the foundation stone for the new Fraunhofer research center was laid in the presence of many VIPs.

More on 2004 in the annual report

ISA looks back:

»In February 2004, Mark Zuckerberg and his co-founders initiated Facebook at a Harvard student dormitory. What initially started as a digital yearbook for students is now also indispensable at IESE as the social media platform for addressing our young researchers.

In terms of sporting events, a lot was going on that year as well: Olympic Games in Athens and European Football Championship, where a sensation was achieved. With Otto Rehhagel as their coach, Greece became the European soccer champion for the first time ever! «

Facebook Screenshot
For Fraunhofer IESE, too, Facebook is a portal to reach young students.


_The official start of construction for the third Fraunhofer Institute Center in Germany was on 27 October 2003, Fraunhofer IESE
© Fraunhofer IESE
Kick-off: The official start of construction for the third Fraunhofer Institute Center in Germany was on 27 October 2003.

From the chronicle of IESE:

In 2003, Fraunhofer IESE achieved an excellent 6th place among all software & systems engineering research institutions worldwide in the international ranking of the prestigious journal “The Journal of Systems and Software” – as the only German and best European institute among the Top 15. In view of the ever shorter cycle time for the development of innovative products, we established “Research Labs” as a new form of cooperation, where user experts from a company collaborate with our researchers directly at IESE for a limited period of time. Among the first was the competence center “Virtual Office of the Future” with the Japanese IT giant RICOH. Furthermore, on 27 October, ground was broken for the new Fraunhofer Center.

More on 2003 in the annual report.

ISA looks back:

"International cooperation was the main focus of IESE. The Concorde also connected continents for several decades before it was retired in 2003.

Unfortunately, even back then diseases such as SARS did not stop at national borders – with enormous consequences for humankind and the economy."

© iStock/Erich Karnberger
The Concorde supersonic aircraft is decommissioned in 2003 due to insufficient profitability.


Baupläne Fraunhofer IESE
© Fraunhofer IESE
Appointment with the former Lord Mayor of the City of Kaiserslautern: "The plans are ready – another milestone on the way to the Fraunhofer Center."

From the chronicle of IESE:

In 2002, application areas and industries became the key factors in the reorientation of our applied research topics, and new forms of strategic collaboration with our customers in industry emerged. We newly established business areas in the fields of embedded systems, infrastructure services, IT-based business processes, and software engineering methods. Our competence areas focused on systematic-experimental methods, software development, software management, and software competence development. In 2002, the planning of the new institute building also continued: The premises were transferred to the Fraunhofer- Gesellschaft, a team of architects was selected, and the construction plans were finalized and approved by the federal and state governments.

More on 2002 in the annual report.

ISA looks back:

"The year 2002 started with a real Euro euphoria: Germans, and certainly some IESE employees, could not wait to hold the new banknotes of the common currency in their hands. However, people quickly mourned the DM and the term TEURO (made up of teuer (German for expensive) and euro) was born.

Furthermore, the "ILSE" depression hit many European countries, and in August 2002, its unbelievable water masses destroyed parts of Saxony and Bavaria, in particular."

The euro ushered in the age of a new currency., Fraunhofer IESE
© Fraunhofer IESE
The euro ushered in the age of a new currency.


Chronik 2001: 5 Jahre Fraunhofer IESE
© Fraunhofer IESE
Kurt Beck, former MP of Rhineland-Palatinate and Prof. Dieter Rombach, institute founder and former head of IESE on the way to the ceremony

From the chronicle of IESE:

The highlight of 2001 was the celebration of our institute's fifth anniversary. A strategic reorganization of the institute, where the static line organization was supplemented by a dynamic matrix organization of business and competence areas, became the basis of our continuing success. We further expanded our collaborations, also with international partners and with the University of Kaiserslautern, and received recognition for our research achievements. In September, we organized the first major conference at our institute, the 3rd International Conference on Product Focused Software Process Improvement (Profes 2001). Furthermore, in 2001 we initiated the first planning activities for a new building for our institute.

More on 2001 in the annual report.

ISA looks back:

"While tourist trips were already leaving Earth in 2001 - we remember the multimillionaire Dennis Tito and his trip into space for a modest 33 milion US dollars - IESE remained on Earth in terms of internationalization, To accommodate our growth, the institute's management started to think about a new building.

By the way: In January 2001, Wikipedia was founded as an ad-free online encyclopedia in numerous languages. But who would have thought back then that an encyclopedia based on volunteer authors would actually work? And today? It's hard to imagine life without it!"

Wikipedia - the No. 1 information platform for 20 years


Chronik 2000 - Landesgartenschau, Fraunhofer IESE
© Fraunhofer IESE
Well-equipped for the software industry? "Exhibition at the State Garden Fair in Kaiserslautern"

From the chronicle of IESE:

The year 2000 was marked by important internal and external developments. The internal developments included the transition of Fraunhofer IESE to permanent institute status, a strategy discussion that lead to a reorganization of Fraunhofer IESE, as well as further improvement of our customer orientation. The external developments included our growing status as a national software engineering competence center and as one of the leading competence centers in (experimental) software engineering worldwide, as well as the successful development of our sister organization in the U.S. Overall, the year 2000 was our most successful year to date.

More on 2000 in the annual report.

ISA looks back:

"Not only in the most successful year of IESE to date did everything revolve around even more customer orientation. The new cult cell phone Nokia 3310 also captured the spirit of the times with funny or extravagant Jamba ringtones. With the USB stick, the smallest common storage medium arrived on the market and was of course offered in all kinds of shapes and colors to suit the tastes of its clientele.

By the way: “Big Brother is watching you” – in nearly every German living room starting in February 2000."

© redstallion
USB stick in all variants, there was something for every taste!


Mit dem Euro begann ein neues Währungszeitalter., Fraunhofer IESE
© Fraunhofer IESE
An institution becomes an institute

From the chronicle of IESE:

In October 1999, the Fraunhofer Senate voted to make our institute a permanent member of the Fraunhofer Gesellschaft e.V., effective immediately. This decision was based on a very successful external review of our research competencies and business orientation by a panel of highly renowned experts in 1998, almost four years of successful industry collaborations, and the conviction that the market for software engineering expertise will continue to grow in the future.

More on 1999 in the annual report.

ISA looks back:

"The millennium said goodbye with an impressive total solar eclipse over Germany, Europe, and Western Asia. At the time, the millennium gave rise to the wildest speculations about the future. However, the expected large-scale breakdown of computers was not to come true, so IESE was able to further expand its offerings in the area of software and systems engineering without any complications.

By the way: did you know that the euro was already introduced in 11 EU countries in 1999? However, only as demand deposit…"

© Herron
Admiring the solar eclipse with special glasses


Chronik 1998: Gründung Maryland, Fraunhofer IESE
© Fraunhofer IESE
Prof. Basili and Prof. Rombach at the founding ceremony of the Fraunhofer Center Maryland.

From the chronicle of IESE:

The year 1998 was marked by a reorganization of IESE to better address industrial needs across major branches of industry. Several new competence centers were added (e.g., learning organizations in the areas of software as well as training and continuing education), and the SWA Software Akademie AG was established in Kaiserslautern to enable professional marketing and organization of our industrial training and education program. Internationally, the most outstanding event was the founding of the Fraunhofer Center for Experimental Software Engineering, Maryland (FC-MD), which is closely affiliated with the University of Maryland at College Park, and its official opening on 25 February 1998 in the presence of numerous prominent political representatives from Germany and the US.

More on 1998 in the annual report.

ISA looks back:

"In 1998, IESE set out for the land of unlimited freedom and founded the Fraunhofer Center Maryland in the USA. Unfortunately, this was not a good year to be noticed by the American press, as for weeks there was only one topic: the so-called Lewinsky affair.

By the way: Incidentally, while the FCK immediately became German champion following its promotion from the second German soccer league to the Bundesliga, Trapattoni, the Bayern coach at the time, was less pleased with his portégé Strunz: “I have finished!😉“."

1. FC Kaiserslautern - Meisterschaft 1998, Fraunhofer IESE
© 1. FC Kaiserslautern
The championship team of 1. FCK 1998


From the chronicle of IESE:

The year 1997 was characterized by the further build-up of our staff and our continuing establishment as an internationally leading center of competence, which was reflected, among other things, in our increased participation in international conferences, numerous journal publications, and longer visits by internationally leading software engineering experts at IESE. In terms of collaborations with industry, the number of both follow-up and new orders increased, and a trend towards long-term strategic industry collaborations emerged.

More on 1997 in the annual report

ISA looks back:

"While the Mercedes A Class was literally thrown off course in the so-called “moose avoidance test” in 1997, IESE was by no means thrown into a tailspin. With long-term strategic industry collaborations and increasing international recognition, the institute had its sights set firmly on the fast lane.

By the way: The year was characterized by a lack of sleep and a lack of concentration because a Tamagotchi moved into many households, beeping day and night because it wanted to be fed and cared for."

Chronik 1997: Das "elektronische Küken" - Tamagotchi, Fraunhofer IESE
The "electronic chick" - Tamagotchi


Prof. Dieter Rombach at the opening ceremony on 14 Feb 1996, Fraunhofer IESE
© Fraunhofer IESE
Prof. Dieter Rombach at the opening ceremony on 14 Feb 1996

From the chronicle of IESE:

In the first year of our existence, we already received significant support from companies in all major branches of industry, established ourselves as a highly recognized applied research institution, and became an integral part of the information technology infrastructure in our home state of Rhineland-Palatinate. Our highly qualified staff of international standing grew from 14 employees at the time of our foundation on 14 February 1996 to 67 employees at the end of 1996. We acquired industry projects from numerous industries and built up an international research reputation

More on 1996 in the annual report

ISA looks back:

"Two new stars in the IT sky were born. In addition to Nintendo 64, Fraunhofer IESE also made its debut. 

By the way: A whole generation burst into tears ─ the boy band "Take That" announced their separation!"

The controller of the n64 Nintendo game console, Fraunhofer IESE
© luza studios
Common year of birth:
Fraunhofer IESE and Nintendo 64