Vaccine Technologies

Pipettieren in 96-Well-Platte
© Fraunhofer IZI

The unit develops diagnostic assays and prevention strategies for infectious diseases, in human and veterinary medicine. A strong focus is on zoonoses and (re-)emerging viral infections. All state-of-the-art methods in virology, microbiology, molecular biology and immunology are well established, and the unit includes a BSL-3 laboratory with animal facility. Pathogens worked on in the lab include, among others, flaviviruses (West Nile virus, dengue virus, Zika virus), Influenza, PRRSV, and spore-forming bacteria. In addition, methods for the control of ectoparasites are being developed.

In order to inactivate pathogens for vaccines or other applications, we are developing a novel irradiation technology, together with three other Fraunhofer Institutes. Project partners include pharmaceutical and diagnostic companies as well as funding organizations such as the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

Fraunhofer Prize for “Human- and Environment-Centered Technology” 2021 for a vaccine production process

A team of researchers from the Fraunhofer IZI, the Fraunhofer Institute for Organic Electronics, Electron Beam and Plasma Technology FEP and the Fraunhofer Institute for Manufacturing Engineering and Automation IPA has developed a more efficient, faster and environmentally friendly way of producing vaccines than conventional methods - and has been awarded the Fraunhofer Prize for "Technology for People and the Environment". The award ceremony took place during the annual conference of the Fraunhofer Gesellschaft on May 5, 2021.

Areas of Operation

Here you can find out more about our areas of operation.


We work closely with partners from science and industry. Find out more here.


Here we show you a selection of current projects.


Here you will find an overview of all publications that have emerged from the research work of our unit.


Press release / 5.5.2021

Fraunhofer Prize for “Human- and Environment-Centered Technology” 2021

The prize has been awarded for a vaccine production process that is faster, more efficient and more environmentally friendly.


Press release / 3.1.2019

Producing vaccines without the use of chemicals

An innovative new technology developed by Fraunhofer researchers – the first solution of its kind – will use electron beams to produce inactivated vaccines quickly, reproducibly and without the use of chemicals.

Press release / 3.11.2016

New procedure for manufacturing safe and effective vaccines

Fertey J, Bayer L, Grunwald T, Pohl A, Beckmann J, Gotzmann G, Casado JP, Schönfelder J, Rögner FH, Wetzel C, Thoma M, Bailer SM, Hiller E, Rupp S, Ulbert S. Pathogens Inactivated by Low-Energy-Electron Irradiation Maintain Antigenic Properties and Induce Protective Immune Responses. Viruses 2016, 8(11), 319; DOI:


West Nile Virus on the rise in Europe

The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control has been recording the rising spread of the virus in Europe and its neighboring countries for many years now.

In Germany, the virus was first detected in birds and horses in Saxony, Brandenburg, Mecklenburg-West Pomerania and Bavaria in 2018.

From 2011–2014 the unit was coordinating the EU (FP7) research consortium "WINGS: West Nile Integrated Shield Project: Epidemiology, Diagnosis and Prevention of West Nile Virus in Europe"


Fraunhofer lighthouse project

Automated production technologies for mRNA-based drugs