Fraunhofer IIS and Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg extend their partnership | ©Fraunhofer IIS/Kurt Fuchs

International Audio Laboratories Erlangen: Fraunhofer IIS and Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg extend their partnership

Erlangen, September 29, 2015: Fraunhofer Institute for Integrated Circuits IIS and Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg (FAU) continue their dynamic partnership within the joint collaboration of International Audio Laboratories Erlangen (AudioLabs). In this unique educational and research institution, audio and multimedia technologies have been researched and developed very successfully since 2010. While the collaboration was planned to last for at least ten years, the early extension of the contract adds five more years to the partnership. This underlines the importance of this exceptional collaboration, creates planning security, and strengthens the partnership. Now, the work will continue through 2025.

Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft and Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg (FAU) signed a partnership agreement to continue the AudioLabs research activities for the next five years. Together the partners have created the basis for the development of new ideas and technologies for the digital processing of multimedia content through 2025.

The collaboration between renowned researchers from around the world and employees of Fraunhofer IIS has proven highly successful in recent years and led to numerous milestones. Major contributions were made by both partners, including the development of two new important technologies to build on the success of mp3 and AAC.

The new mobile communication codec “Enhanced Voice Services” (EVS) delivers an unprecedented level of speech and audio quality that will lead mobile phone calls into a new era. EVS enables mobile phone calls in the best possible Hi-Fi quality and as a result, future mobile phone conversations over “Voice over LTE” (VoLTE) or “Voice over WiFi” (VoWifi) will be significantly more comfortable.

Similar to the introduction of Ultra High Definition TV (UHDTV) and 4K, the new audio format MPEG-H audio was created to deliver impressive sound to TV audiences, further adding to their audio experience. As a core contributor, Fraunhofer IIS played a major role in the co-development of the new MPEG-H audio standard which will give TV viewers the ability to tailor the sound mix to their personal preferences, e.g. to switch between different languages and audio tracks or to adjust the audio balance of television presenters and dialogues. Consumers will also benefit from immersive sound with an unparalleled audio experience that brings the live atmosphere of a stadium, concert hall or a rock music stage to the living room.

“This collaboration joined two strong partners and their professional expertise: Our progress over the last five years would not have been possible without Fraunhofers long-standing experience in the field of audio coding and the scientific know-how of international and interdisciplinary researchers. The close cooperation between Fraunhofer IIS and University of Erlangen-Nürnberg has led to the pioneering technology mp3, its global standardization and worldwide success. We have now laid the foundation to continue this success story with new technologies, for the mobile telephony or TV audio experiences of the future. We look forward to the continued trustful collaboration and we are pleased to extend our research topics in the coming years”, explains Dr. Bernhard Grill, Deputy Director of Fraunhofer IIS.

In addition to future-orientated research and the implementation in new audio and multimedia systems, education plays a key role at the AudioLabs. “Education and the training of young scientists ensure the high quality of our research and strengthen the innovative power as well as the scientific progress. The contract extension sets the course for the future and ensures the training of tomorrow’s scientists and the breakthrough of new media technologies”, explains Prof. Dr. Jürgen Herre, Chair holder for Perceptual Audio Coding at Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg (FAU).

“The combination of profound theory, basic research, scientific excellence and engineering skill attracts students from all over the world to Erlangen, which is an enormous benefit for the international reputation of our university,” explains Prof. Dr. Joachim Hornegger, president of the Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg (FAU).

Dr. Florian Janik, Mayor of Erlangen, who acted as patron of the contract signing, adds: “The development of successful audio formats has a long tradition in Erlangen, and is closely linked to the location. I am pleased that we are continuing this tradition with the AudioLabs, which strengthens the awareness of Erlangen as a technology and research location at home and abroad.”

About the International Audio Laboratories Erlangen (AudioLabs):

The International Audio Laboratories Erlangen (AudioLabs) is shaping the future of audio and multimedia technologies through a joint collaboration between the Fraunhofer Institute for Integrated Circuits IIS and Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg (FAU). Through a team of globally renowned scientists, AudioLabs brings a unique mission and international approach to drive innovation in research areas such as speech and audio coding, audio signal analysis, audio signal processing and semantic audio processing. The close cooperation between Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg (FAU) and Fraunhofer IIS results in a world-class organization with competencies ranging from fundamental research and teaching to technology implementation in innovative multimedia systems. The AudioLabs benefits from Fraunhofer IIS extensive history and expertise in the field of audio and multimedia technologies. With education as the basis of research, and an essential part of the AudioLabs, Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg (FAU) contributes with six professorship positions and guarantees the scientific integration into the academic landscape. The commitment to high-class education is put into action by the AudioLabs team through numerous lectures, seminars and workshops.

Header image © Fraunhofer IIS/Kurt Fuchs

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