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IGD - Fraunhofer Institute for Computer Graphics

Fraunhofer-IGD (Fraunhofer-Institut für Graphische Datenverarbeitung), headed by Prof. Dr. h.c. Dr.-Ing. José L. Encarnação, was founded in 1987, at first as a provisional working group with the support of the German State of Hessen and the Fraunhofer Society (FhG). In 1992, the working group became a full Fraunhofer Institute. The Fraunhofer-IGD is one of 48 research institutes of the Fraunhofer Society. The IGD is closely connected with the GRIS Group of the Technical University of Darmstadt and the Computer Graphics Center (ZGDV).

Specialized in:
Document imaging and industrial applications of prepress, printing, and publishing (Graphic Arts) are two major areas of research. From these areas bridges are built from computer graphics to applications in CAD/CAM/CIM, publishing, and electronic prepress.
Scientific visualization for technology, science, and medicine is another focus playing an important role in many different contexts of the realization. Visual communication fills the gap between imaging and telecommunication which, due to strong market growth, will play a leading role in the future. Of special interest here is the development of non-broadcast, high-definition applications.
Another expanding area is graphical information systems, with the focus on spatial and geographic information systems.

The Fraunhofer Institute for Computer Graphics (IGD) is the largest computer graphics institute in Europe and one of the largest and best equipped world wide.

The IGD does applied research with the aim of further developing the technology of computer graphics and of making the results of the new technology available for applications. This is done by relying on basic research and methods, by using the results of computer graphics in applications, by implementing new applications with a trend-setting or forwarding-looking character, and by realising prototypes (in software, firmware, and hardware), which serve as preliminary stages for products offered by resellers or used directly by end user organisations.

The broad range of applications in which the techniques of computer graphics are used is one of IGD's great advantages. For many clients, this variety allows synergies to be discovered and explored, taking advantage of inhouse contacts and co-operations. This synergy is illustrated by IGD's many demonstration centres, which exist to make the potential value of the showcased technology visible to the clients.

Fraunhofer-IGD is able to bring in major expertise in interactive real time applications, scientific visualization, multimodal interaction, haptic feedback, augmented reality, and high-quality rendering applications.

In 1993, the department "Visualization and Virtual Reality" at Fraunhofer-IGD started to develop the first VR aplications in the medical domain. The expertise is focused on the following areas in medicine:

  • anatomy education
  • surgical training
  • pre-operative planning
  • intra-operative support
  • proto-typing

The department of cognitive computing and medical imaging consists of 15 graduated staff members, several diploma (master) students and ca. 20 student workers on a part-time basis. The department holds expertise in three different areas of scientific focus: visual computing & multimedia interfaces.

Products, projects and services

    Through the transfer of knowledge from research to practical applications, the IGD contributes to the technological furtherance of European trade and industry. The IGD is involved in several CEC projects, such as DELTA, COMETT, ERASMUS, CTS2, RACE, ESPRIT, even as project co-ordinator in some, and has produced significant results in tese projects.

Contact information:
Fraunhofer Institute for Computer Graphics
Cognitive Computing and Medical Imaging Department
Dr. Wolfgang Müller
Rundeturmstrasse 6
D-64283 Darmstadt
Phone: +49-6151-155-153
Fax: +49-6151-155-499
Web site:

Last update:
Darmstadt, Tuesday 5th October 1999