InnoBOSK – Innovation forum for networking between organizations with security tasks and SMEs for innovative solutions and improved civil security research

One of the key problems in civil security research and the innovation activities of authorities and organizations with security tasks (BOS) is the lack of communication and idea exchange between BOS, as the end user, and the solution providers (especially small and medium-sized enterprises – SMEs). Until now, there was no specific cluster in Germany that worked as an umbrella for the different civil security services and united both risk prevention by the police and the non-police activities.

This lack of exchange was not least due to the fact that BOS are very diversely organized due to the federal structure in Germany and strongly differ regarding their research affinity and capability for needs assessments. This makes it extremely difficult for SMEs to have a basic overview of the actual needs of BOS regarding research and technology, which hinders any needs-oriented approach to developing new solutions.

In 2021, the project “InnoBOSK”, funded by the funding initiative “Innovation forum for Medium-Sized Firms” of the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) and led by German Federal Institute for Materials Research, created for the first time a system for close and direct networking between SMEs and end-users/BOS in civil security research in Germany. The project included various workshops and an innovation forum in which a needs assessment was carried out, based on a Fraunhofer INT methodology, surveying the research and innovation needs of BOS. The results were consolidated, prioritized and shared with the SMEs involved.  Fraunhofer INT also carried out a trend-scouting activity for BOS regarding currently relevant technologies within the topics “Drives and Energy Forms”, “Techniques and Methodologies for Education” and “Networked Resources and Management Tools” and provided the results in the form of technology profiles.

At the same time, by designing and operating a platform for (long-term) cooperation, “InnoBOSK” also enabled direct exchange and knowledge transfer between the stakeholders. This should lead to close networking of end users and solution providers in the long term and therefore help avoid undesirable developments and investments in “Solutions without problems”, or even the remit of further developments. Finally, active exchange between the stakeholders can also culminate in activities such as forming research consortia and development projects. For those SMEs which took part, being provided with this exclusive information on the research needs of BOS in a structured format also means improved competitiveness and market opportunities in the German, European and global markets.

The “InnoBOSK network” and the digital platform can be joined at any time, providing access to the detailed project results. To receive the access data, please email: