Fraunhofer Society / Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Information Technology FIT
Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft zur Förderung der angewandten Forschung e.V. (Fraunhofer Society) is the coordinator of the project through its Web Compliance Center within its Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Information Technology FIT, and as such, the liaison to the European Commission and other third parties interested in our developments. Fraunhofer is supported by MAC in the coordination of the dissemination activities. Additionally, Fraunhofer plays a strong role in the development of the I2Web technologies and leads the development of the Accessibility Expert Viewer, which will make use of imergo® software framework.
Fraunhofer is a link between science and industry, that is between the research and the application of its results. It was founded in Munich in 1949 as a non-profit registered association. The organisation takes its name from Joseph von Fraunhofer (1787—1826), the successful Munich researcher, inventor and entrepreneur. The Fraunhofer Society is an autonomous organization with a decentralised organisational structure, which currently maintains 58 research institutes and a patent office in locations throughout Germany and other countries. Whilst the administrative headquarters are in Munich, the legally non-independent research institutes operate from different locations in 15 of the German State, where they carry out their respective work in close partnership with industry. A staff of approximately 13,000, the majority of whom are qualified scientists and engineers, work with an annual research budget of about one billion Euro. Today Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft is the leading organisation of institutes of applied research and development in Europe.
The Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Information Technology FIT investigates human-centred computing in a business or engineering process context. The usability, accessibility and usefulness of information and cooperation systems is optimised in their interplay between human work practice, organization and process. Systems designed and built in FIT support designers and engineers in real and virtual work environments, provide Internet-based platforms for social as well as task-related interaction of learning communities and virtual teams.
The Web Compliance Center offers its consultancy services to the public and private sector, while it continues its research and innovation efforts in the area of Web Compliance Engineering, usability, accessibility and quality assurance of information and communication technologies, multimodal interfaces, user modelling, cognitive training, therapeutic intervention systems and biofeedback sensors. The Center participated successfully in several IST projects in the 5th and 6th Framework Programmes like IRIS (Incorporating Requirements of People with Special Needs or Impairments to Internet-based Systems and Services, IST-2000-26211), IDCnet (Inclusive Design Curriculum Network, IST-2001-38786), D4ALL.net (Design for All Network of Excellence, IST-2001-38833), IPCA (Intelligent Physiological Navigation and Control of Web-based Applications, IST-2001-37370), BenToWeb (Benchmarking Tools and Methods for the Web, FP6-004275), HearCom (Hearing in the Communication Society, FP6—004171) and the DfA@eInclusion Coordination Action (FP6—033838). Running research and development projects include EU4ALL (European Unified Approach to Accessible Lifelong Learning, FP6—034778), VICON (Virtual User Concept for Inclusive Design of Consumer Products and User Interfaces, FP7—248294), I2Web (Inclusive Future-Internet Web Services, FP7—257623), WebDA (Webbasierte Dienste für ältere Menschen und Angehörige, BMBF) and the eAccess+ Thematic Network (CIP-ICT-PSP FP7—250568). WebCC shares the National Contact Center position of the EDeAN in Germany. Its staff is composed of an experienced multidisciplinary team that includes engineers, computer scientists, pedagogues and linguists. The Center is also known for its success in bringing research results to the market, as demonstrated with the imergo® set of tools, and received in 2004 the Design for All Award in the area of Employment and Professional Life granted by the European Commission.