The journey of a product from the first idea to the finished object is made by completing a series of fundamental steps – steps for which Fraunhofer IZM can contribute its expertise and experience. The client decides whether to commission Fraunhofer IZM for all or only individual steps and at which point the cooperation should start.
- The cooperation typically starts with an innovation workshop, in which Fraunhofer IZM and the client sit down together to define the goals of their project and agree on the terms and conditions for going forward.
- A feasibility study may be required to ascertain whether a product idea is indeed viable. The first part of this shared effort tests whether the product idea can be implemented and which features and functions would be realistic options. At the end of the feasibility study, a set of product specifications is developed and agreed in consultation with the client.
- The second part of the feasibility study, the most promising solutions are analyzed in more detail, and the scope is expanded from pure technical feasibility to cover aspects of costs and reliability. The results are combined in a scope statement for the future cooperation.
- In the following cooperative development project, the idea is implemented and a functional model produced for the client.
- After the functional model has been tested and approved, it is refined into a prototype with more emphasis on matters of manufacturing, use, and reliability.
- For the final step, Fraunhofer IZM can assist the client in the search for qualified manufacturing partners and certification authorities.