Fraunhofer Office India


Director Fraunhofer Office India Core Group Member G20 Empower, Chair, G20 Empower Working Group on STEM Chairperson Women in Science and Entrepreneurship Council (WISE) FICCI Member, Indo German Bilateral Expert Group on Digitalization.

Anandi Iyer is the Director & Head of the Fraunhofer Gesellschaft, India Office. She was for several years also Special Advisor to the Federal Ministry of Education and Research Govt. of Germany (BMBF). She has repeatedly broken through several glass ceilings, working as she does in a male dominated, multinational field of R&D and Innovation. She has been working in the field of collaborative Technology and Innovation in the Indo-European corridor for the last more than 20 years. She is a member of the Indo German Expert Group on Digitalization set up by the two Heads of Government. She is Chairperson of the Women in Science and Entrepreneurship Council (WISE) of the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI), and the Co-Chair of the Science, Innovation and Technology Committee. Ms. Iyer has won awards on leadership and excellence, including the Outstanding Woman Achiever Award 2013 by ISBR School of Management and Public Relations Council of India. and the 51 Most Innovative Smart Cities Global Leaders by the World CSR Congress Cities Global Leaders by the World CSR Congress in January 2019.

She has been nominated by the Government of India, as the Core Member of the G20 Empower, and Chair for G20 Empower Working Group on STEM. She has recently been distinguished as one of the top 75 women in STEAM by the Indian Govt and the British High Commission to mark the 75 years of Indian Independence. She is also a Board member on a leading automotive company in India and also, a member of the Expert Group on Technology for the Department of Science and Technology, Govt of India. She has written several research papers on Innovation and Technology.


Leading the establishment of Fraunhofer’s presence in India, she has prepared the Strategy of Fraunhofer entry to India, acquired projects of over 50 million Euros in contract research in little over 10 years and established a strong network of research partners and industry clients who are of the top 50 of the Indian Industry, as well as Government. While most other research organizations struggle to establish a profitable relationship with Industry in R&D, Mrs. Iyer led from the front to collaborate with Industry and Government alike; busting the myth that Indian Industry will not pay for research. In the last 3 years significant and large-scale projects which have been innovative and path-breaking in the Indian landscape of Industry- academia cooperation has been curated by Fraunhofer in India, under the leadership of Mrs. Iyer. These include the cooperation with Department of Heavy Industries, Government of India to help Indian Industry upgrade its innovation capability, the establishment of Center of Excellence with Indian Institute of Technology Chennai on Advanced Automotive Technologies, and the initiation of a strategic partnership with the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR). Additionally, through the India operations, collaborations with Indian companies based in other geographies such as Africa and USA have been initiated.

The establishment of the country’s first Water:

The establishment of the country’s first Water Innovation Lab in Coimbatore, has also been an excellent achievement, reinforcing the German Government’s support to the Smart City Mission of the Indian Government. Mrs. Iyer has been invited on the Indo German Expert Committee on Urban Infrastructure and has coordinated the efforts to establish the Smart City labs in Coimbatore, followed by Kochi, and is deeply involved in the multi-stakeholder management process.

Fraunhofer is also an MoU partner with the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy, and supports the renewables sector in Wind, Solar and Electromobility. Ms. Iyer is Member of the National Council on Solar, Confederation of Indian Industry, and has contributed significantly to the production of policy recommendations, including developing a seminal document on the “manufacturing for PV in India”. Recognizing her efforts, Fraunhofer has been asked to become a technology partner for the International Solar Alliance.

As Representative of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research, Govt. of Germany for more than 5 years, she has coordinated strategic initiatives such as the German Research Marketing Campaign 2009- 2011 and the Science and Technology participation in the Initiative: Germany and India Infinite Opportunities- 20112013. From 2009 – 2014. Ms. Iyer supported and advised the BMBF on strategic issues related to the Indo-German Science and Technology initiatives, participated in the Jury for project evaluation and supported contact management to Indian authorities. She was also a member of the Indo German Expert Group on Green and Inclusive Economy, set up by the Federal Ministry of Environment, Govt. of Germany.

As Deputy Head of the German Agency for Technology Cooperation (1995- 2002), Ms. Iyer broke through the glass ceiling being the first Indian to assume this post, one which has since not been filled again with an Indian national. She was responsible for the strategic partnership with Institutions, managing a budget of nearly Euros 50 million annually for deployment in India.

Educational Background:

Ms. Iyer is presently pursuing her PhD in “Evolution of Innovation Ecosystems in Emerging Markets” from University of Leipzig Germany. Ms. Iyer is an Honors graduate from New Delhi and an MBA from Strathclyde Graduate Business School, UK (First Class Degree) specializing in Strategy and Business Communication and has an advanced qualification in German Language from the Goethe Institute New Delhi. She is trained in intercultural moderation techniques and change management. She writes in the national and international media on subjects of business interest.

She is a music lover, trekking and car rallying enthusiast and a committed community service volunteer, working for empowerment of Women and marginalized sections of the Society. Ms. Iyer possesses excellent communications skills, is an excellent orator and speaks many Indian languages as well as English and German fluently. She is also part of several non-profit organizations and works for social causes. She is invited regularly to brief incoming high-level Delegations from Germany and Europe on Science and Technology issues relating to the two countries.

Honorary Activities:

Mrs. Iyer has been involved in several honorary activities and accorded expert status on a number of Industry and Government bodies in view of her expertise in Indo European relations. She was the Founder Member of the European Business Group and was the Chairperson for the Bangalore Chapter for 9 years. She has been an active member of the German Business Group as well as Ambassador of GINSEP (German Indian StartUp Network).

Ms. Iyer is on the following National and International Councils of Business and Research:

Honorary Positions:

  • 2022 – present: Advisory Board Member of the School of Innovation and Management (SoIM)
  • 2021 – present: Chairperson Women in Science and Entrepreneurship (WISE) Council, FICCI
  • 2019 – present: Member of the Indo German Expert Group on Digitalization.
  • 2016 – present: Co-Chair of the Science and Technology Committee of the Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry in India Chambers of Commerce and Industry in India (FICCI)
  • Invitee on the Special Task Force for 5Gapplications, Government of India
  • Member of the Technical Committee on Standards for the Solar Industry, International Solar Alliance
  • Member on the National Council for Smart Cities, Confederation of Indian Industry (CII)
  • GINSEP Ambassador (German Indian Start Up Network, Government of the Federal Republic ofGermany)
  • Board Member, German House for Innovation and Research (DWIH)
  • 2016 to present: Member of the National Council on Solar of the Confederation of Indian Industry
  • 2009 – 2018 Chairperson of the European Business Group Karnataka and Member of the National Council.
  • 2015: Member of the Indo German Working Group on Urban Infrastructure, Government of the Federal Republic of Germany.
  • 2012 to 2016: Member of the Indo German Working Group on Green & Inclusive Economy, Government of Federal Republic of Germany