Fraunhofer ITWM vs. Corona

Projects, Activities and News of the Institute to Overcome the Corona Crisis


Berlin and Online / Hybrid Symposium / 22.04. – 23.04.2024

Symposium on Disaster Prevention

Together with our project partners, we are offering an online workshop as part of the conference. Marvin Schulte from the department »Transport Processes« will give a presentation entitled »The SEMSAI Research Project – Predicting the Development of Pandemics«.


Shortnews / 27.09.2023

Corona situation in Central Germany

With the beginning of autumn, COVID 19 infections are on the rise. The »Tagesschau« article takes a closer look at the current situation. In addition, our research is highlighted and our employee »Jan Mohring« is quoted.


Annual Report 2021/22 Has Been Published

An Article Concerning this Topic can be Found in Our Annual Report 2021/22; Download as PDF:


Shortnews / 28.3.2023

»Corona in RLP – A Wastewater Study«

With wastewater analyses on Corona and the scientific accompanying study »Observation and Early Warning System for SARS-CoV-2 Infections« (»SentiSurv«), scientists of our division »Optimization« and the department »Transport Processes« investigate the transition of the pandemic to endemicity in Rhineland-Palatinate (RLP).


Press Release / 20.7.2022

Pandemic Prevention With Statistics Software

The pandemic confronted Germany's public health departments with major challenges. Help also came from mathematics: Together with partners, we used statistical modeling to support the health offices in the multitude of decisions that had to be made on a daily basis. Now the »EsteR« project is coming to an end and we can present some exciting results and tools – tools that will also be relevant in the future.


Press Release / 29.6.2022

Rhineland-Palatinate Looks Ahead to Autumn

For a good two and a half years now, the Corona virus has been presenting our society with ever new challenges. What have we learned so far in dealing with the pandemic and what do we need to prepare for in the coming months? Minister President Malu Dreyer discussed these questions with the Corona team of experts, which includes our Division Director Prof. Dr. Karl-Heinz Küfer.


Interviews / 10.6.2022

Is a Corona Summer Wave Coming?

Is the Omikron BA.5 variant threatening another Corona wave this summer? This question was posed by the Redaktionsnetzwerk Deutschland (RND) to our institute director Prof. Dr. Anita Schöbel, among others. 

SWR also looked at the spread of the latest variant and interviewed our »Optimization« Division Manager Prof. Dr. Karl-Heinz Küfer on the subject.

[both only available in German]


Streuspanne Blog Entry / 20.5.2022

What Helps Mask That Are Barely Worn?

The Corona pandemic seems to be disappearing from our everyday lives and minds, and with it the masks from our faces. It feels like only half of the people still wear a mask in the supermarket. So today our blogging colleagues are asking the question: What good are masks that are hardly worn any more?


Article / 27.4.2022

Reporting Delay and Fewer Tests

Omicron appears to be pushing Corona statistics to their limits. The incidence is increasingly inaccurate, and the hospitalization rate lags behind. Experts therefore warn against being blinded by the current figures.

Our team around Dr. Jan Mohring supports with mathematics and simulation to approach the current dark figure in Germany. Read more in the Hessenschau article:


Streuspanne Blogpost / 20.4.2022

How (In)Dependent Are Multiple Antigen Tests at a Time?

[Only available in German]

Do several Corona rapid tests in a row increase the reliability of the result? In one of the last blog posts, we cautiously approached this question. Now we want to close this gap. Because tests are not really independent of each other, but show correlations. But how can such correlations play out?


Fraunhofer-Podcast / 14.3.2022

Podcast »Pandemic Modeling«

[only available in German] With the help of mathematical models, our researchers can look a few weeks into the future of the pandemic.

In this episode of the Fraunhofer Podcast, they not only explain how to use mathematics to build a pandemic glass sphere, but also answer the question of when the pandemic will finally be over.


Streuspanne Blog Entry / 3.3.2022

Are Multiple Antigen Tests in a Row More Reliable?

A reader's question brought us to the topic of this blog post: How much does the reliability of antigen tests increase if you test yourself more than once? Answers to this question are provided, as always, by our blogging statisticians Sascha Feth and Jochen Fiedler.


Article hessenschau / 20.1.2022

Corona Incidences: Is Now Only the Dark Figure Increasing?

[only available in German]

Omicron continues to spread. Nevertheless, the increase in incidence numbers may soon come to a halt: PCR testing capacity is approaching its limit – and so is the incidence that can theoretically be measured at all. Expert Dr. Jan Mohring deals with this dark figure and gives insights to hessenschau:


Radio Interview / 13.1.2022

Corona Incidence: High Numbers in the North?

Our institute director, Prof. Dr. Anita Schöbel, was heard live on SWR Aktuell radio as a Corona expert. Why are there so many new infections in northern Germany? And how should federal states like Schleswig-Holstein or Bremen proceed now? She also talks about current forecasts and the handling of Omikron in Rhineland-Palatinate. Missed the interview? No problem – you can listen to the recording online at SWR:


RND-Interview / 23.12.2021

RND-Interview on the Omikron Wave

[Only available in German]

No sooner have we almost made Delta than we are confronted with the Corona variant Omikron. Our institute director, Prof. Dr. Anita Schoebel, explains what this could mean in an interview with Editorial Network Germany (RND).


Smart App Supports Public Health

»EsteR« uses mathematics and AI to help health departments make decisions. The predecessor is the »CorASIV« project.


TV report / 1.12.2021

Expertise of the Fraunhofer ITWM on TV

With Mathematics against Covid19 – our researchers continue to use their expertise in the fight against the virus. In the TV program 3sat NANO ran a report on the topic »How big is the booster effect really?« with statements from our institute director Dr. Anita Schöbel and scientist Dr. Jochen Fiedler. You can watch it here: [only available in German]:


Interview Deutschlandfunk / 24.11.2021

High Incidences Among Students

What is the current situation in schools and daycare centers? Can the facilities stay open this winter? Our colleague Dr. Jan Mohring answered these and other questions yesterday in the »Forschung aktuell« on Deutschlandfunk radio. You can listen to and read the interview.


Article RND / 12.11.2021

Interview: Wie verhalten im Corona-Winter?

[only available in German]

Soziale Kontakte wieder reduzieren, das empfiehlt das RKI und darum bitten Intensivmediziner:innen. Was Expert:innen für zehn Alltagssituationen in diesem Corona-Winter raten, hat das RND RedaktionsNetzwerk Deutschland nachgefragt. Unsere Institutsleiterin Prof. Dr. Anita Schöbel hat geantwortet.


Zeit-Article / 11.11.2021

Fourth Corona Wave

[only available in German]

What awaits us all in winter? ZEIT Online has published an article on the current developments surrounding the fourth wave of the corona pandemic. Our institute director Prof. Dr. Anita Schöbel is one of the authors of the statement by leading scientists referred to in the article.


Press Release / 6.10.2021

Indoor Air: How to Eliminate Viruses Effectively?

This question is now becoming more important as fall approaches. Efficient indoor air purification is essential, especially in schools. Fraunhofer researchers are investigating and optimizing various filter and air purification techniques in the AVATOR project. We are in the project consortium.


Deutschandfunk Interview / 27.9.2021

Interview on Incidences and School Tests

Why have the incidences dropped so much recently? What effect do the comprehensive school tests have? Our colleague Dr. Jan Mohring provides answers via mathematical modelling and simulation in an interview with the German radio station Deutschlandfunk.


Press Release / 20.9.2021

Improve Infection Control Clothing

Nonwoven production received more attention than ever before from the general public in Corona times, because the technical textile is crucial for infection protection. The ultra-fine nonwoven products are manufactured in so-called meltblown processes. A cross-departmental team is optimizing the entire production chain in the »ProQuIV« project. 


Streuspanne Blogpost / 13.9.2021

Vaccine Effectiveness: An Update

In our podcast, we already talked about how vaccine effectiveness is calculated. Millions of people have now been vaccinated, and there is new data. Shouldn't we know better now how effective vaccination is?


Press Release / 26.7.2021

Tracking Down Aerosols

How do infectious aerosols spread in supermarkets, airplanes, and other indoor areas where large numbers of people congregate? Researchers from 15 Fraunhofer institutes are investigating this in the »AVATOR« project. We are on board and developing a multiscale simulator.


Press Release / 23.6.2021

Third Wave: Strong Effect of Rapid Testing in Schools

The third wave of the Corona pandemic is considered to be broken. Researchers at Fraunhofer ITWM have used the EpideMSE software to mathematically analyze the effects that different measures had in combating the pandemic. 


Blog / Streuspanne / 11.5.2021

Incidence Value Decreases While Mean Case Numbers Increase?

[Only available in German]

During the Corona pandemic, all sorts of statistical measures emerge to map the development. Sometimes the R-value is the measure of all things, then the 7-day incidence. It happens that measures that are supposed to mean the same thing show different trends. How can this be?


News / 5.5.2021

Optimizing Medical Care – Even More In Times Of Corona

Together with other scientific institutions, the Fraunhofer ITWM has investigated how medical care in rural areas can be ensured and improved, especially during the Corona pandemic. Mathematically based optimization and decision systems support the planning of ambulance transports, emergency pharmacy services and the establishment of vaccination centers. 


Podcast Streuspanne / 27.4.2021

How Reliable Are Corona Rapid Tests?

[Only available in German]

From gargle to spit to lollipop tests, in this episode our podcast »Streuspanne« is dedicated to numbers and statistics around the topic of Corona self-tests. How reliable are they? Are there any studies on the subject? How should they be interpreted?


Blog Entry/ Streuspanne / 1.4.2021

Do the Reporting Numbers Show Vaccination Success Yet?

[only available in German]

In all the back-and-forth around the lockdown, there is always a little positive news. Despite rising numbers, the death toll is falling. Do we only have to thank vaccination for that? Our experts Sascha Feth and Jochen Fiedler took a closer look at the numbers in our statistics blog »Streuspanne«:


Press Release / 29.3.2021

Using Rapid Testing to Get Out of Lockdown?

Are tests effective means to reduce the reproduction rate of Covid-19? Researchers at the Fraunhofer ITWM have modelled in a paper how mass rapid tests with tracking have as much leverage as contact restrictions to reduce the reproduction rate. In an interview, Dr Jan Mohring tells us more about the paper:


Podcast Streuspanne / 22.3.2021

»What Does Efficacy mean for Corona Vaccines?«

[Only available in German]

Corona Vaccination statistics – a huge topic everywhere! To bring light into the darkness, our blogging statisticians Sascha Feth and Jochen Fiedler discuss this topic with Esther Packullat in the first episode of the new podcast »Streuspanne – Statistik und ihre Kuriositäten«.


Podcast Datenaffaire / 18.3.2021

»Calculate the Dark Rate of Corona«

[Only available in German]

Our Streuspanne bloggers Sascha Feth and Jochen Fiedler are guests on Dr. Annika Bergbauer's podcast »Datenaffaire«. They talk about questions like: How do you calculate the corona dark figure? Are we at the beginning of the third wave? Mathematical answers can be found here: 



In the project "AVATOR" – Anti-Virus Aerosol: Testing, Operation, Reduction, we are collaborating with several Fraunhofer institutes to investigate ways of reducing the risk of infection by aerosol-borne viruses in enclosed rooms. 


Guest Article ZEIT / 17.2.2021

»A Perspective Without Ups and Downs«

How much lockdown will a society tolerate? Together with six other scientists, our institute director Antia Schöbel outlines a plan against pandemic and polarization.

[Only available in German]


Press Release DFKI / 4.2.2021

AI for Crisis Teams

How do measures affect pandemic response at the municipal level? – In the AScore project, an expert system is being developed that presents crisis teams and decision-makers with needed simulations and information on pandemic progression for the municipal level. The BMBF-funded project is carried out by researchers of the DFKI together with the ITWM.


Blog Entry / Streuspanne / 14.1.2021

»About Lottery Booths, Donald Duck and Mutated Corona Viruses«

What's the connection between lottery booths, mutant Corona viruses, and Donald (yes, we're actually talking about the duck these days)? More about this in the new blogpost of the Streuspanne. 


Project CODECT: Early Digital Detection of Covid 19 Transmissions / 18.12.2020

Laboratory Diagnostics for Covid-19

The Corona virus is mostly spread by infected persons who do not yet show any symptoms of the disease. Infections with the coronavirus can be diagnosed at an early stage with special laboratory tests. This is the topic we are dealing with in the CODECT project.


Blog Post / Streuspanne / 9.12.2020

Is There a Delay in Infection Between Different Age Groups?

Here in the blog we have recently dealt with the dark figure of corona infections and the statistical characteristics of the tests. This time we ask the question: If we take measures today, will they affect all age groups at the same time?


Press Release / 9.12.2020

Fraunhofer ITWM Optimizes Location Planning for Vaccination Centers

A vaccine against Covid-19 is expected soon. How many vaccine doses are available? Who should be vaccinated first? Where should people be vaccinated? How many doctors are needed for vaccination? Our researchers have examined the last questions together with the RKI and TUK.

Fraunhofer ITWM vs. Corona / 30.11.2020

New Paper about our EpideMSE-Tool

The new paper by Dr. Robert Feßler »EpideMSE: A General Integral Equation Model for Epidemics« formulates a general epidemic model based on an integral equation and identifies common SEIR and dSEIR models as special cases. Different properties of the general model, such as the initial development of the epidemic and the infestation, are described as functions of the integral kernel, and a formula for the reproduction number is given. On this basis, the SEIR and dSEIR models are then compared in two different ways and it is shown that the calculation of the reproduction rate depends on the epidemic model.


Project Website

Decision Support for Health Authorities

In the Fraunhofer project "CorASIV", everything revolves around the »support of health authorities in corona response through analysis, simulation and visualization«. We contribute our mathematical expertise especially to the development of an app.


Blog Post / Streuspanne / 19.8.2020

When Does the New Wave Begin?

Since the end of May, there has been speculation about when the second corona wave will arrive in Germany. Now it seems to be here. What makes a second wave? And what do the math and statistics say? Our statistics blog Streuspanne takes time for a small, sober look at the bare numbers. Afterwards, you'll be flashy-thinged. (only available in german)

Deep Learning Seminar / Kaiserslautern / 9.7.2020

Distance Care: Keeping Distance with Artificial Intelligence

As part of the Deep Learning Seminar, Kalun Ho (Fraunhofer ITWM) will give a lecture on July 9th on possibilities for safe re-opening with distance control in certain areas, such as schools and public access areas.

A special monitoring software is currently being developed for this purpose: it enables the screening of the minimum distances - indoors and outdoors. This will help to identify problematic situations and therefore reduce the risk of new infections to a minimum or even zero.


Research News / 1.7.2020

Cost-Effective Ways to Minimize Risks in the Supply Chain

The coronavirus pandemic has hit the economy hard. What lessons can be learned from this experience? And what’s the best way for companies to protect themselves against this kind of crisis in the future? Our new mathematical methods aim to calculate how the risks posed by supply shortages can be reduced significantly at very little extra cost.


Interview / 9.6.2020

Maintain or Ease Corona Actions?

In an interview, our researchers use first screencasts to present the new tool EpideMSE for decision support in questions concerning the spread of the corona epidemic and the effectiveness of measures.

Digital Seminar / Kaiserslautern / 5.6.2020

Seminar Series KL-Regelungstechnik with Lecture on Herd Immunity

Starting in June, the seminar series KL-Regelungstechnik of the department »System Analysis, Prognosis and Control« will continue digitally.

On 05 June 2020, Dr. Wolfgang Bock (TU Kaiserslautern) will present on the topic: »Mitigation and Herd Immunity for COVID-19 is Likely to Fail«.


Podcasts #WeKnowHow / 19.5.2020

»Fraunhofer heads against Corona«

In the new podcast series »Fraunhofer heads against Corona« Fraunhofer researchers report on their work and projects against the pandemic. Our institute director Anita Schöbel and our colleague Sascha Feth are involved and are among the interviewees. Of course with corona research and Mathematics.

»In order to better assess the overall situation in the corona crisis, we also need the boldness of applied mathematics.«


Blog Post / Streuspanne / 14.5.2020

Statistical Quality Control Rejects Conspiracy Theories

Recently, we looked at the extent to which incomplete infection figures in the Corona pandemic can be compared with warranty data for vehicle components. Today, we use statistical quality control to reject some conspiracy theories surrounding Covid-19:


Press Release / 12.5.2020

Recommended Wearing Time of Protection Masks

How long can you wear a protection mask? When will you have to change a soaked mask? Researchers of the Fraunhofer ITWM tackle these question using mathematical models and computer simulations. It is important to take into account not only the type of mask and the filter material, but also the physical stress level and personal features of the wearer.


Presse Release / 12.5.2020

Decision Support in the Corona Crisis

In order to support local decision makers (health authorities, hospitals and especially municipalities) in planning their actions, researchers of the Fraunhofer ITWM are working on the epidemiological modeling, simulation and decision support of Covid-19  within the framework of the Fraunhofer Society's Anti-Corona Program (project name EpiDeMSE).


Press Release / 30.4.2020

Putting People into Pigeonholes Is Not an Option

– Yes, It Is, for the Prediction of Covid-19 Spread!

Researchers at the Fraunhofer ITWM are developing a prediction model for the spread of Covid-19 which, in contrast to classical models, is better able to detect "sudden changes in infection rates after actions have been taken". In addition, the researchers are simulating several spatially or age-separated groups in a network.

Blog Entry / Streuspanne / 28.4.2020

Update to the Dark Figure Blog Post

In the last post we presented a simple approach that can be used to statistically estimate the dark figure of corona infections. We originally developed the approach to explain at least a large part of the  very different mortality rates between Italy and Germany (and less to estimate the number of unreported cases as precisely as possible). At the same time, the approach has aroused great interest among many readers and colleagues. We have therefore decided to develop the approach further so that it can estimate the dark figure even better.

After a brief repetition, we present further opportunities for improvement in this article. Of course we keep the expectations high. You will find the new figures at the end of the article.


Press Release / 22.4.2020

Meltblown Productive

Simulations by the Fraunhofer ITWM make processes in the manufacture of nonwovens more efficient. For example, Fraunhofer's anti-corona program is optimizing the production of infection protection.


Blog Entry / Streuspanne / 3.4.2020

How Can Statistics Determine the Dark Figure of Corona Infections?

On 2 April Germany reported 73,000 corona infections and 867 deaths. Italy counts 100,000 infections and 12,000 deaths. Based on these figures, the case mortality rate in Italy is more than 10 times higher than in Germany. This difference is an expression of unknown dark figures.


Short News / 1.4.2020


From 20 to 22 March 2020, the German government called for a hackathon under the heading #WirVsVirus. During one weekend, solutions were to be developed to help overcome the current challenges of the Corona crisis. Researchers from the Fraunhofer ITWM took part in the hackathon, in particular in three projects:

Press Release FhG / 29.4.2020

Statement of the Non-University Research Organisations

Strategies to contain the COVID-19 pandemic based on mathematical analyses of the data situation

Scientists from the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft, Helmholtz Association, Leibniz Association, Max Planck Society have compiled their results, written a joint analysis and presented possible coping strategies for the corona pandemic from the perspective of modelling. Our institute director Prof. Dr. Anita Schöbel, as representative of the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft, co-authored the statement.


Fraunhofer versus Corona

On the website "Fraunhofer vs. Corona" the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft presents the activities of all institutes.

Working in Times of the Corona Crisis: New Challenges



Interview with Anita Schöbel

Anita Schöbel talks in an interview about the developments at the ITWM with regard to the corona crisis, new projects and the current work at the institute:


Press Release / 2.4.2020

EU Doctoral Programme With Special Challenges

On April 1, 2020, Davide Manfredo should have started his doctoral studies at the Fraunhofer ITWM in Kaiserslautern as part of the EU program «THREAD». Instead of Kaiserslautern, Davide is now working from his parents’ home in Turin. Corona thwarted his travel plans, but not those of his career: