#20 Years of Fraunhofer IDMT

Our Fraunhofer IDMT is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year. And that needs to be celebrated. For a whole year, we will be publishing articles on this anniversary page - reviews, outlooks, video messages and reports on our various events in the anniversary year. The page will therefore be filled with colorful contributions throughout the year.

We look forward to an exciting anniversary year 2024!

Our events in the anniversary year


Event / 17.4.2024

Our tree planting campaign in the anniversary year


Event / 22.5.2024

Anniversary celebration

On May 22, 2024, we celebrated a great anniversary event with our guests. We looked back on 20 years of Fraunhofer IDMT and presented current topics.


Event / 10.10.2024

Anniversary edition of our Talent School!

A double birthday! Our Fraunhofer Talent School Ilmenau turns 15!


Event / 5.11.2024

Workshop Digital Broadcasting and Media

At the end of the anniversary year, we invite you to the broadcast industry event in Erfurt.

Our posts in the anniversary year


Philipp Grunden (automotive thüringen), Professor Alfred Pecher (Schaeffler Germany) and Robert Fetter (IAB Weimar) congratulate.


We love birthday wishes! Many thanks to Alexander Nouak from the Berlin office of the Fraunhofer ICT Group.


On June 5, we celebrated our institute's anniversary with a sporting event and joined the Erfurt company run with an IDMT team.


On May 22, the Fraunhofer IDMT celebrated its 20th anniversary with an anniversary event.


1000 Douglas firs, over 80 enthusiastic helpers. That was our tree planting campaign in our anniversary year!


16 years of our Oldenburg branch hearing, speech and audio technology HSA. We look back!


We simulate virtual acoustic noise environments. This allows virtual prototypes to be acoustically tested in later application environments - even before they have been built.


Using AI, we develop technologies to detect synthesized and manipulated audio and video data. This helps us to verify the authenticity and origin of media content.


We develop technologies and concepts for privacy and security, e.g. to protect sensitive company or health data and at the same time make the best possible use of it for analyses.


We create and improve desired sounds and reduce disturbing noises - for a new listening experience.


We develop AI-based technologies for the automatic extraction of metadata for broadcast monitoring, music production, and program analysis.


We develop AI-based solutions to analyze urban and natural sounds - for applications ranging from noise monitoring to environmental protection.


To analyze industrial sounds, we mimic human hearing using acoustic measurement technology and AI.


We develop efficient and adaptive sensor concepts for a wide range of applications and requirements.


Research in focus. Find out more about our innovative research topics at the Ilmenau site in the coming weeks.


Video / 10.1.2024

Join us on a short journey through time and experience in our video how our institute building was built back then.


We are celebrating 20 years of IDMT! It's amazing how quickly time has passed! Our Fraunhofer IDMT has been around since January 1, 2004.

Here you will get an overview of selected events of the last 20 years of Fraunhofer IDMT history.


May 19, 2000

Eröffnungsfeier der Fraunhofer-Arbeitsgruppe AEMT im Jahr 2000.
Opening ceremony of the Fraunhofer AEMT working group in 2000.

Foundation of the Fraunhofer Working Group for Electronic Media Technology AEMT. The working group is part of the Fraunhofer Institute for Integrated Circuits IIS in Erlangen. mp3 developer Professor Karlheinz Brandenburg takes over as head of the new working group and, at the same time, of the Department of Electronic Media Technology at Ilmenau Technical University.

October 20, 2000

From left: Dipl.-Ing. Harald Popp, Professor Karlheinz Brandenburg, Federal President Johannes Rau, Professor Bernhard Grill

The German Future Prize 2000 for the development of the mp3 audio coding process goes to the head of the Fraunhofer AEMT working group in Ilmenau, Professor Karlheinz Brandenburg, and his research colleagues from Fraunhofer IIS, Professor Bernhard Grill, and Harald Popp.


January 1, 2004

The director of the Fraunhofer IDMT, Professor Karlheinz Brandenburg, at the opening ceremony on April 27, 2004 in the Ilmenau Festhalle.

After a successful evaluation, the Fraunhofer working group became an independent Fraunhofer Institute for Digital Media Technology IDMT at the beginning of 2004. This was celebrated on April 27th, 2004 at an opening ceremony with numerous representatives from science, industry, and politics.

February 10, 2004

The winners of the research prize: Prof. Thomas Sporer, Diemer de Vries, Dr. Sandra Brix and Prof. Karlheinz Brandenburg.
The winners of the Thuringian Research Prize for Applied Research 2003 (from left): Professor Thomas Sporer, the Dutch laudator Professor Diemer de Vries, Dr.-Ing. Sandra Brix and Professor Karlheinz Brandenburg.

The Fraunhofer IDMT receives the Thuringian Research Prize 2003 for the development of Wave Field Synthesis technology. This technology forms the scientific basis of our 3D sound technology SpatialSound Wave.

More information about SpatialSound Wave 3D sound technology

Oktober 20, 2004

© Fraunhofer
From left: Eric Allamanche, Jürgen Herre and Markus Cremer receive the 2004 Joseph von Fraunhofer Prize for AudioID.

The Joseph von Fraunhofer Research Award for the music recognition technology AudioID goes to Marcus Cremer from Fraunhofer IDMT and his research colleagues from Fraunhofer IIS, Eric Allamanche and Jürgen Herre. Even today, we at Fraunhofer IDMT are still working on issues relating to intelligent music analysis.

More information on the research topic of automatic music analysis


March 30, 2006

© Event Elevator
Since 2006, Fraunhofer IDMT's 3D sound technology has been providing impressive listening experiences on the world's largest lake stage in Bregenz.

The German "Opus" award for the innovative "Bregenz Open Acoustics (BOA)" sound system goes to the Bregenz Festival in the category "Sound Design". The Fraunhofer IDMT played a decisive role in the development of BOA.

September 2006

The construction of our new Ilmenau institute building on the TU Ilmenau campus begins. Here you can see the construction of the building in a short time-lapse video.

December 18, 2006

With this award, the state of Thuringia recognizes the outstanding scientific achievements of Professor Brandenburg.

Institute Director Professor Karlheinz Brandenburg receives the Cross of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany. The high decoration of the Federal Republic of Germany is presented by the Thuringian Minister for Federal and European Affairs, Gerold Wucherpfenning.


August 1, 2008

From left: The head of the Oldenburg branch of the institute, Professor Birger Kollmeier, the Lower Saxony Minister for Science and Culture, Lutz Stratmann, the acting president of the University of Oldenburg, Heide Ahrens, and the director of the Fraunhofer IDMT, Professor Karlheinz Brandenburg.

The Fraunhofer IDMT Project Group Hearing, Speech and Audio Technology HSA is founded at the Oldenburg site under the leadership of Professor Birger Kollmeier and Jens-E. Appell. Today, the employees at the Oldenburg branch of the institute work on the topics of speech and event recognition, sound quality and speech intelligibility as well as mobile neurotechnology and systems for networked healthcare.

More information about the Oldenburg branch Hearing, Speech and Audio Technology HSA

November 11, 2008

Ceremonial handover of the keys by the architect to the institute's director, Professor Karlheinz Brandenburg.

The new institute building in Ilmenau is officially opened with a symbolic key handover.


October 23, 2009

The first Talent School of the Fraunhofer IDMT takes place. 


September 14, 2010

Federal President Wulff and other guests are welcomed to the IDMT by a robot.
Federal President Christian Wullf (center) and his accompanying guests are charmingly welcomed to the institute building by a service robot in 2010.

Federal President Christian Wulff visits the Fraunhofer IDMT in Ilmenau together with the diplomatic corps.

September 28, 2010

Group photo of the award winners with flat loudspeaker in hand
From left: Dr.-Ing. Sandra Brix, Dr.-Ing. Daniel Beer and Lutz Ehrig accept the award in Erfurt on behalf of the entire research team.

For the development of flat-panel loudspeaker technology, the Fraunhofer IDMT receives one of the most highly endowed innovation prizes in the German federal states, the Thuringia Innovation Prize.Today, our institute continues to work on optimizing the sound quality of loudspeaker reproduction systems.

More information on the research topic Sound Field Control


November 28, 2012

© bildschoen
From left: Dr.-Ing. Torsten Niederdränk, Prof. Dr. rer. nat. Dr. med. Birger Kollmeier, Federal President Joachim Gauck, Prof. Dr. rer. nat. Volker Hohmann.

Professor Birger Kollmeier, Oldenburg hearing researcher and head of the Fraunhofer IDMT project group Hearing, Speech and Audio Technology HSA, together with Dr. Volker Hohmann (University of Oldenburg) and Dr. Torsten Niederdränk (Siemens AG), is awarded the German Future Prize for Technology and Innovation by the Federal President Joachim Gauck.


Spring 2018

Dual leadership for the Fraunhofer IDMT: Professor Udo Bechtloff (right) will support the institute's management from spring 2018.

Since spring 2018, Professor Udo Bechloff has been the second acting institute director at the Fraunhofer IDMT. Thus, the institute is preparing for Professor Brandenburg's upcoming retirement in June 2019.


April 2, 2019

© Fraunhofer
Prof. Reimund Neugebauer (2nd from right), President of the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft, and Björn Thümler (2nd from left), Minister for Science and Culture of Lower Saxony, sign a Memorandum of Understanding at the Hannover Messe.

Together with the Lower Saxony Ministry of Science and Culture (MWK), the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft has developed an expansion plan for the Oldenburg Branch for Hearing, Speech and Audio Technology HSA to transform it into an autonomous Fraunhofer Institute.

June 2019

Professor Karlheinz Brandenburg is retiring as Director of the Fraunhofer IDMT. Since 2000, he has built up the institute, initially as a working group and from 2004 as an independent Fraunhofer Institute for Digital Media Technology IDMT. For this, he deserves our fullest thanks.


Karlheinz Brandenburg is now a senior professor at the TU Ilmenau and Managing Director of Brandenburg Labs.

More information on the farewell of Professor Brandenburg

October 1, 2019

Professor Joachim Bös has headed the Fraunhofer IDMT since October 1, 2019.

Professor Joachim Bös becomes the new Managing Director of the Fraunhofer IDMT. He takes over from Professor Bechtloff. At the same time, Joachim Bös accepted the professorship for "Industrial Applications of Media Technologies" at the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering at Ilmenau University of Technology.

More information on the inauguration of the new Institute Director Joachim Bös

December 2, 2019

The people involved in the founding of ORCH at a glance: (from left): Sara Werner, Holger Großmann (both Fraunhofer IDMT), Philipp Maurer (Fraunhofer IAIS), Professor Ralf Sommer (IMMS gGmbH), Professor Joachim Bös (Fraunhofer IDMT), Jörg Triebel (Thuringian Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport), Jenny Gramsch (Student Research Center, TU Ilmenau), Franziska Buchwald (IMMS gGmbH).

We are founding the first Open Roberta Coding Hub (ORCH) in Central Germany at the Ilmenau site. The ORCH was initiated together with the Student Research Center at TU Ilmenau and IMMS GmbH to teach students programming in a fun way in workshops.


June 29, 2022

Zur Eröffnungsveranstaltung entstand dieser glänzende Schnappschuss: (v.l): Olaf Mollenhauer (ELMUG eG, Kompass GmbH), Ralf Pieterwas (IHK Südthüringen), Professor Raoul Klingner (Fraunhofer-Direktor Forschung), Katja Böhler (Thüringer Staatssekretärin für Forschung, Innovation und Wirtschaftsförderung), Professor Joachim Bös (Sprecher Leistungszentrum InSignA), Daniel Schultheiß (Oberbürgermeister Stadt Ilmenau), Professor Kai-Uwe Sattler (Präsident TU Ilmenau).

We are celebrating the official opening of the High Performance Center "InSignA - Intelligent Signal Analysis and Assistance Systems" together with the four Thuringian Fraunhofer institutes IKTS, IIS, IOSB-AST and IZFP, the TU Ilmenau and the IMMS Institut für Mikroelektronik- und Mechatronik-Systeme gemeinnützige GmbH.

More information about the performance center InSignA - Intelligent Signal Analysis and Assistance Systems

September 9, 2022

© Copyright: Fraunhofer IDMT/Leona Hofmann
Björn Thümler ( in the middle), Lower Saxony's Minister for Science and Culture, emphasized at the meeting with Professor Birger Kollmeier (left) and Jens-E. Appell (right) that the strategic course had been set for the foundation of an autonomous institute.

The Oldenburg branch of the institute receives a significant financial contribution from the "Fraunhofer Initiative Lower Saxony" as a source of reliable expansion prospects. The funding from the Lower Saxony Ministry of Science and Culture (MWK) and the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft (FhG) is being awarded to the Oldenburg branch of the institute for outstanding achievements in health research. According to Minister Thümler, this strategic agreement could be used to start planning for the institute's own building.


© unsplash/Catherine Merlin

Open your eyes and ears! In addition to a review of 20 years of the institute's history, an anniversary also includes a look ahead to what is coming. Find out about our current research topics and news on our website.

More information on the research topics