Zentrum am Zoo
"Zentrum am Zoo" in Berlin: First headquarter of Fraunhofer FOKUS in West-Berlin ullstein bild/ Lehnartz

Historical developments of FOKUS

"The technical developments of the last years in the area of computer and communication technologies allow us to support the communication and cooperation amongst humans in a complete new way overcoming the physical and temporal separation." (GMD annual report 1991/1992)

In times of GMD

  • 1988: The research centre for Open Communication Systems (FOKUS) is founded as an institute of the Society for Mathematics and Information Technology (GMD) by Prof. Dr.-Ing. Radu Popescu-Zeletin in Berlin. The core area of FOKUS' work is the development and testing of new architectures and procedures for innovative applications in a broadband environment.
  • 1996: Prof. Dr.-Ing. Radu Popescu-Zeletin receives the Rumanian science award for his life work.
  • 1997: FOKUS moves to the “Atrium" in the Kaiserin-Augusta-Allee in Berlin-Charlottenburg. 173 employees work at FOKUS.
  • 2001: The GMD and the Fraunhofer Association merge: FOKUS is from now on the Fraunhofer Institute for Open Communication Systems. There is a reorientation towards application-oriented research in a business environment. More than 200 employees work in eight competence centers.

FOKUS becomes a Fraunhofer institute

  • 2004: For her outstanding performances in research and teaching Prof. Dr. Ina Schieferdecker is awarded with the Alfred-Krupp promotion prize for young university lecturers.
  • 2005: Prof. Dr.-Ing. Radu Popescu-Zeletin receives the highest decoration of the Republic of Rumania (Ordinul National Pentru Merit in grad de Comandor).
  • 2005: The magazine “Bild der Wissenschaft” elects Prof. Dr. Ina Schieferdecker as one of the top ten German scientists.
  • 2005: Opening of test- and development-labs in which own developments and products of our partners are integrated and practical scenarios are developed.
  • 2006: The successful spin-offs Iptel.org and Twonky Vision GmbH are sold to US American companies.
  • 2010: Introduction of the new German identity card: In cooperation with partners from the economy and public administration Fraunhofer FOKUS was significantly involved in the introduction of the new identity card of the Federal Republic of Germany.
  • 2010: Awarded as “Selected place in the country of ideas” by the Germany-wide innovation competition “365 places in the country of ideas” for the mobile ridesharing “OpenRide”.
  • 2010: The Future Internet Assembly awards the project “Panlab”, which is funded by the European Union and led by Prof. Dr. Thomas Magedanz (Fraunhofer FOKUS), with the “Future Internet Award”.
  • 2010: Fraunhofer FOKUS is awarded with the “TeleTrusT Innovation Award 2010” for the data protection supporting combination of the new German identity card and the Microsoft technology U-Prove.

Integration of the ICT institutes in Berlin

  • 2012: The three Berlin information and communication Institutes FOKUS, FIRST and ISST-Berlin are merged under the name Fraunhofer FOKUS. 490 employees in eleven competence centers now develop information and communication technologies for smart cities.
  • 2012: Berthold Butscher, vice manager of FOKUS, retires after more than 24 years at FOKUS and is replaced by Gerd Schürmann.
  • 2012: FOKUS opens the innovation center “FOKUS InnoCity” in Santiago de Chile. With the new research site and in cooperation with South-American partners from industry, politics and science FOKUS wants to develop smart city solutions for the region.
  • 2013: The Competence Center Public IT (ÖFIT) is founded by the German ministry of the interior. Awarded as “Selected place in the country of ideas” by the Germany-wide innovation competition “365 places in the country of ideas” for the early warning system KATWARN.
  • 2014: Prof. Dr. Manfred Hauswirth becomes institute director on October 1. Concurrently, he becomes professor for "Open Distributed Systems" at the Technische Universität Berlin (TU Berlin). Prof. Popescu-Zeletin retires from his position as Director of Fraunhofer FOKUS on  September 30.  
  • 2015: The Executive Board of the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft appointed Prof. Dr. Ina Schieferdecker on 1 January in the institute management of FOKUS. She heads the institute together with Prof. Dr. Manfred Hauswirth and holds parallel a professorship at the Free University of Berlin for Model-based development and quality assurance of software-based systems.