French-German Cooperation CLFA

Short Profile

At the CLFA in Paris, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT has been cooperating since 1997 with leading French research organizations, including ARMINES, the École Nationale Supérieure des Mines de Paris ENSMP, the Institut de Soudure, the Institut Universitaire de Technologie du Creusot, the École Nationale Supérieure de Mécanique et des Microtechniques ENSMM in Besançon and other major laser application centers in France (such as IPALA in Bordeaux). Multidisciplinary teams of specialists from Germany and France work together on the transfer of laser assisted manufacturing processes to European industry. The Coopération Laser Franco-Allemande is a member of the Club Laser et Procédés, the French association of laser manufacturers and users.

The on-going goals of the CLFA are:

  • Integration into scientific and industrial development in France
  • Growth in know-how by faster recognition of trends in the fields of European laser and production technology
  • Strengthening the position in the market
  • Assembly of a European competence center for laser technology
  • Increase of mobility and qualification level of employees

The CLFA is actively participating in the realization of European research and is a result of increasing link of application oriented research and development in the field of laser technology in Europe. The cooperation of the Fraunhofer ILT with the French partners contributes to the improvement of the presence of the Fraunhofer Gesellschaft in Europe with the advantages for the French and German sides equally taken into consideration. On an international scale this cooperation further strengthens the leading position of European industry in the laser supported manufacturing process.

The French partners’ interests concentrate on:

  • Using the competence of the Fraunhofer ILT for French companies
  • Using the experience of the Fraunhofer ILT in the introduction of new technologies
  • Providing the connection between industry and university with practical training for students and graduate students


The CLFA offers services in the field of laser material processing. This covers the entire spectrum from application oriented fundamental research and training, feasibility studies and process development to pre-series development and system integration. Small and midsized companies have the opportunity here to get to know and test laser technology in an independent system. The open development platform allows the French customers to test and qualify new laser supported manufacturing processes.


At the CLFA employees from France and Germany work together. A mutual exchange of personnel occurs between Aachen and Paris for joint projects. The employees therefore have the opportunity to improve their competence especially with regard to mobility and international project management.


In addition to the technical resources available at the Fraunhofer ILT in Germany, the CLFA possesses its own infrastructure at the Centre des Matériaux Pierre-Marie Fourt, an outstation of the Ecole des Mines de Paris based in Evry, south of Paris. Facilities include access to the center’s material analysis laboratories. The technical infrastructure of other French partners can also be shared on a project- or customer-specific basis.