The year 2020 is drawing to a close. It has been characterized above all by the circumstances of the - still ongoing - COVID-19 pandemic and the challenges with which we are all familiar.
The Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft has launched the “Fraunhofer vs. Corona” action program in order to pool the diverse fields of competence of the institutes on a Fraunhofer-wide basis and to provide a contribution towards overcoming the direct and indirect consequences of the SARS-CoV 2 virus. The Fraunhofer IST is contributing its expertise to several projects simultaneously.
We have thereby firmly adhered to our vision and have continued to work intensively on the development of films and surfaces for sustainable future-oriented products and the associated production systems. In addition to medical technology, important focal points have been - and continue to be - energy storage systems, thin-film sensors, precision optics and electroplating. Industry 4.0 solutions, particularly in the form of cyber-physical systems, play a special role in all the main-focus areas.
We are especially pleased that we were able to further intensify the collaboration at the regional level this year. With the TU Braunschweig, the Open Hybrid LabFactory, the participants in the Wasserstoff-Campus Salzgitter (hydrogen campus) and our Fraunhofer Project Centers for Energy Storage and Systems ZESS in Braunschweig and for Electromobility and Lightweight Construction in Wolfsburg, we have powerful partners at our side with whom we are developing sustainable solutions for shaping our future.
Unfortunately, many events could not take place this year; face-to-face encounters, whether at project meetings or trade shows, conventions and conferences, were, in most cases, simply not possible. Instead, digitization has undergone a tremendous acceleration, and we have created new possibilities for coming together and have also tested new digital formats. These experiences are valuable and will also have an influence on future forms of collaboration. I am confident that in the near future, we will once again have the opportunity to exchange information directly and in person.
With this in mind, on behalf of the entire staff of the Fraunhofer IST I would like to wish you and those close to you a peaceful festive season, a merry Christmas, and a healthy New Year 2021 with a great deal of confidence and optimism.