About us

The National Research Center for Applied Cybersecurity CRISP is an institution of the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft for its two Darmstadt-based institutes SIT and IGD, in cooperation with Technische Universität Darmstadt and Darmstadt University of Applied Sciences. This unique and innovative collaboration model of university and non-university research combines the Fraunhofer competencies and strengths with the competencies and strengths of the universities. It also facilitates cutting-edge research to the benefit of society, business and government, and despite its main focus on computer science and technology it also includes interdisciplinary issues from such fields as legal and business or psychology and ethics sciences. The highly application-oriented profile of CRISP includes technological transfers and startups as well.

CRISP is offering optimal working conditions to the more than 500 researchers, allowing them to benefit from an inter­national environment and close contacts to the industry and business sectors. CRISP addresses the big challenges of cybersecurity in long-term application-oriented missions. For example, CRISP explores how to reliably protect Germany’s critical infrastructures (energy, traffic, etc.), and how to safeguard IT systems in the long run, even when faced with new technologies such as quantum computing. CRISP identifies the essential application-oriented questions of cybersecurity and privacy in a continuous, extensive and proactive manner. The organizational and funding structures facilitate designing and carrying out research projects flexibly and efficiently.

The research center is located in Darmstadt, the City of Science. Darmstadt won BITKOM’s Germany-wide “Digital City“ competition. According to IW Consult of the German Economic Institute in Cologne, it is also the city with the best future prospects of all of Germany’s cities.

CRISP is being funded by the Federal Ministry for Education and Research (Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung (BMBF)) and the Hessian Ministry for Science and Art (Hessisches Ministerium für Wissenschaft und Kunst (HMWK)).

Facts about CRISP


lectures held at inter­national conferences


conferences organized  by our researchers


Distinguished Lectures in Cybersecurity 


national and inter­national awards for our researchers


researchers in CRISP partner institutes are working on cybersecurity topics


supporting institutions at one location



The German Data Center, Deutsches Rechenzentrum (DRZ), is founded in Darmstadt. In the seventies this emerged into the Institute for Teleprocessing, and later on into the Fraunhofer Institute for Secure Information Technology, SIT.


Prof. Dr.-Ing. Jose Luis Encarnacao establishes the Fraunhofer Institute for Computer Graphics Research IGD. The institute was one of the first research institutes with its own website, doing research on internet technologies.


Darmstadt’s universities and research institutions, Technische Universität Darmstadt, Fraunhofer IGD, GMD-SIT (now Fraunhofer SIT), GMD-IPSI, University of Applied Sciences and several industrial representatives founded the Competence Center for Applied Security (CAST).


With the support of the Horst Görtz Foundation, Prof. Claudia Eckert becomes the first professor for IT security in Information Technology at the Technische Universität in Darmstadt.


The Darmstadt Center for IT-Security (DZI) is founded. Until 2008 it bundled the diverse IT-Security activities of the Technische Universität Darmstadt.


DZI becomes part of the LOEWE-ZENTRUM, the Center for Advanced Security Research Darmstadt (CASED). LOEWE stands for Landesoffensive für wissenschaftlich- ökonomische Exzellenz, the State Offensive for Scientific and Economic Excellence. It is an initiative in which the Hessian Ministry for Science and Art successfully supports the regional focus and networking of science, non-university research and economy. Technische Universität Darmstadt, the University of Applied Sciences and the Fraunhofer Institute SIT are bundling their competences in the field of IT-Security in CASED.


With the beginning of the winter semester 2010/11 Technische Universität Darmstadt is offering specialized master studies M. Sc. in IT-Security. The University for Applied Sciences in Darmstadt is offering advanced studies in IT-Security as well.


The Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) supports the European Center for Security and Privacy by Design (EC SPRIDE), as it is one of the three competence centers for IT security. The main goal of EC SPRIDE was to develop optimally secure IT systems and software already during the design phase and throughout their whole life cycle by applying new scientific findings, procedures and tools.


During the winter semester 2014/15  the University of Applied Sciences in Darmstadt establishes the course cooperative IT security, KITS.


The until then government and state funded research centers for IT security, EC SPRIDE and CASED respectively, bundle their resources to form CRISP (Center for Research in Security and Privacy). Members of CRISP are Technische Universität Darmstadt, with its IT research profile area CYSEC, the University of Applied Sciences in Darmstadt, the Fraunhofer Institute for Secure Information Technology (Fraunhofer SIT) and the Fraunhofer Institute for Computer Graphics Research (Fraunhofer IGD), both located in Darmstadt as well. Europe-wide CRISP is the biggest alliance of research facilities in the field of cyber security.


The center of excellence "Sicherheit und Datenschutz in der Digitalen Welt" opens, in which the Fraunhofer Institutes SIT und IGD cooperate to facilitate the rapid transfer of research results into practice. The founding of the excellence center further strengthens Darmstadt’s inter­national cybersecurity leadership.


Within the “Digital Hub Initiative” the Federal Ministry of Finance in April made the Frankfurt-Darmstadt region a pre-eminent hub for the digital transformation of the economy. Darmstadt takes on the role of "Digital Hub in Cyber Security", thus complementing the "Digital Hub for Fin Tech" that was already announced in Frankfurt in 2016.

In June Darmstadt wins the BITKOM competition "Digital City (Digitale Stadt)". In the next few years Darmstadt will be developed into Germany’s only digital model city. The main focus of digitalisation will be on traffic, energy supply, schools and healthcare.

On December 1, 2018 the startupstart-up incubator "StartUpSecure" started was launchedat CRISP. The incubator ist sponsored by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) and aims to promote young companies in the field of IT-Security field.


CRISP is being upgraded to a "National Research Center for Applied Cybersecurity". Since January 1st, CRISP has been a research center of the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft for its two Darmstadt-based institutes SIT and IGD, in cooperation with Technische Universität Darmstadt and Darmstadt University of Applied Sciences.