How will people live and work in the future? Asking this and similar questions, researchers at Fraunhofer Institute for Industrial Engineering IAO apply their findings in practice to achieve concrete results. Our experts shape the interaction between humans, technology and organization with a view to the whole, keeping each customer’s specific needs in mind. We help companies and institutions recognize the potential of new technologies, harness them for profit, and open up attractive future markets. Employ our knowledge advantage to make your business a success! more

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Nov 30, 2016
ChargeLounge: E-charging station for IKEA customersChargeLounge: E-charging station for IKEA customers
IKEA shoppers in Ludwigsburg can now use a special electric charging station. Werner Spec (Ludwigsburg’s mayor), Prof. Wilhelm Bauer (Fraunhofer IAO director), Ulf Wenzig (IKEA Germany sustainability manager), and Anja Heinle (IKEA Ludwigsburg manager) opened Germany’s first “ChargeLounge”. It features an integrated and speedy e-charging station in the parking lot of IKEA Ludwigsburg.
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Nov 17, 2016
Local grid solution for global energy transitionLocal grid solution for global energy transition
What will intelligent, decentralized energy management look like in the future? Using its own Micro Smart Grid and control systems developed in-house, the Fraunhofer Institute for Industrial Engineering IAO is exploring how to efficiently coordinate energy producers, storage systems, and consumers as well as how to test the innovative technologies required. The research parking garage houses 30 charging spots for electric vehicles, Europe’s fastest high-speed charging station, as well as Europe’s first hydrogen storage system based on LOHC technology.
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Nov 16, 2016
Wilhelm Bauer named as new technology commissioner Wilhelm Bauer named as new technology commissioner
Prof. Wilhelm Bauer, director of Fraunhofer IAO, has been appointed technology commissioner for the state of Baden-Württemberg. His appointment was announced by Baden-Württemberg Prime Minister Winfried Kretschmann and Minister of Economic Affairs Dr. Nicole Hoffmeister-Kraut at today’s state press conference in Stuttgart. Bauer’s role will be to help Baden-Württemberg master the future challenges it will face as a center for technology and innovation.
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Nov 14, 2016
20 years of office research at Fraunhofer IAO 20 years of office research at Fraunhofer IAO
Since 1996, Fraunhofer IAO has been working with numerous partners from the business world to shape the future of office and information work in the joint Office21® research initiative. At ORGATEC 2016, these office researchers take stock and will showcase two of their latest workplace prototypes.
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Nov 14, 2016
The desks of tomorrowThe desks of tomorrow
“New visions of work” is this year’s motto for ORGATEC, the leading trade fair in modern workplace concepts. Together with partners from the Office21® innovation campaign and other companies, Fraunhofer will be premiering two entirely new workplace prototypes.
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Nov 14, 2016
Efficient safeguarding of modern value chainsEfficient safeguarding of modern value chains
In a study entitled “Identity management in modern value chains,” the Fraunhofer Institute for Industrial Engineering IAO offers an insight into the efficient administration of access rights and authentication, taking Europe’s automotive industry as its example. The study is based both on a quantitative survey of 85 companies and qualitative interviews with specialists.
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Nov 8, 2016
LIGHTest - globale Vertrauensinfrastruktur LIGHTest - building global trust
On September 1, the EU-funded project “LIGHTest” was launched with the goal of establishing a global, cross-domain trust infrastructure. Scheduled to run for three years, LIGHTest aims to provide a simple and transparent way of verifying electronic transactions.
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Nov 3, 2016
Six scenarios for the meeting space of the future Six scenarios for the meeting space of the future
Germany is Europe’s top location for conferences and congresses. To ensure Germany stays on top, Fraunhofer IAO is collaborating with numerous business and tourism partners on the Future Meeting Space research project to analyze developments in the event industry and develop innovative event formats.
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Oct 27, 2016
How do companies deal with disruption?How do companies deal with disruption?
Often viewed as the specter of the business world, “disruption” became the Business Word of the Year in 2015 in Germany. Even so, experts are unable to agree on what the word actually means. The Fraunhofer Institute for Industrial Engineering IAO is working on how companies can best be equipped to deal with disruption. In an ongoing study, it is investigating how companies handle potentially disruptive technologies.
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Oct 14, 2016
Celebrating 10 years service research at ServLab Celebrating 10 years service research at ServLab
For the last ten years, Fraunhofer IAO has offered companies the possibility of testing out and optimizing services in ServLab, which was developed in-house, before they are put into operation. On the occasion of ServLab’s 10th anniversary, service engineering experts will present selected use cases for smart services in the newly renovated lab, accompanied by a speech from Kathrin Schütz, Baden-Württemberg’s state secretary for economic affairs.
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Oct 6, 2016
The Science fiction hotel of the year 2052 The Science fiction hotel of the year 2052
Robots, drones, reactive environments: in its current “FutureHotel Building 2052” study, Fraunhofer IAO looks at trends and technologies that are changing the hotel industry and the design of hotel buildings. What may sound unbelievable today could well be reality in 35 years.
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Oct 4, 2016
New leadership trio at Fraunhofer IAO New leadership trio at Fraunhofer IAO
After three years as CEO of WITTENSTEIN AG, Prof. Dieter Spath, a former long-serving director of Fraunhofer IAO, is returning to Stuttgart. From October 1, he will join Prof. Wilhelm Bauer (executive director) and Prof. Anette Weisbacker (deputy director) in forming a new management team. This means Spath will also be returning to his director’s post at the IAT, the University of Stuttgart institute with which Fraunhofer IAO cooperates.
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Sep 15, 2016
Work and the digital revolutionWork and the digital revolution
Digital technologies are revolutionizing the way we work. They are having a broad impact on employment, labor markets, occupational health & safety, and the way businesses are structured. The project “Transwork - The Transformation of Work through Digitalization” aims to develop approaches and solutions for working in the digital world and make these solutions accessible.
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Sep 12, 2016
Lightweight robots in manual assembly Lightweight robots in manual assembly
What is the current state of cage-free robot technology in German industry? This was the question Fraunhofer IAO investigated in the study “Lightweight robots in manual assembly.” Based on case studies in factories already using lightweight robots for manufacturing, the study looked at their experiences with implementing the robots, gaining acceptance from human coworkers, and improving operational efficiency.
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Sep 6, 2016
Smart Senior Care ServicesAward for "Smart Senior Care Services" project
At the international conference “The Human Side of Service Engineering,” which took place as part of the “International Conference on Applied Human Factors and Ergonomics” (AHFE), a paper produced by the research collaboration between the Stuttgart-based Fraunhofer IAO and the Chinese research center BRCUSE on the subject of Smart Senior Care Services received the Best Paper Award.
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Aug 18, 2016
Combating traffic congestion with advanced data analytics Discovering electric mobility in a playful way
How can services help encourage the spread of electric mobility, and how can they be systematically developed? Using four case studies from Finland, Estonia, Denmark and Norway, Fraunhofer IAO presents various approaches to developing e-mobility projects. One of the key research findings was that using game-like methods to involve customers in the development of e-mobility projects helps those business ventures become accepted.
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Aug 17, 2016
Combating traffic congestion with advanced data analytics Combating traffic congestion with advanced data analytics
Researchers at Fraunhofer IAO are carrying out a study to determine whether data from cell phone networks could offer a reliable source of information for traffic planning and an improvement over current data collection methods. Telefónica Deutschland is supporting the research project by providing anonymized cell phone data.
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Jul 5, 2016
Usability in civil protectionGearing up for the future: Digital Business Innovation
On Thursday, June 30, 2016, Fraunhofer IAO launched the Business Innovation Engineering Center (BIEC). This initiative is designed as a platform where business and science can advance their innovation capabilities in the digitalization age. Companies are invited to take part in the network and help shape the initiative.
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Jun 30, 2016
Usability in civil protectionGerman-Chinese cooperation gets underway
Fraunhofer IAO and the Chinese State Key Lab for Intelligent Manufacturing Systems Technology will be working together in the future on key topics including virtual product development and smart factories. The two research institutes signed a cooperation agreement at the 8th Chinese-German Forum for Economic and Technological Cooperation.
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Jun 27, 2016
Usability in civil protectionUsability in civil protection
Interactive systems can support the safety authorities and organizations in their day-to-day work. Fraunhofer IAO has developed a set of guidelines that is tailored to the authorities and organizations responsible for ensuring public safety. The guidelines also present the idea of usability and aim to raise future system usability within this highly specialized work environment.
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Jun 6, 2016
Morgenstadt-WerkstattMorgenstadt-Werkstatt
With the “Morgenstadt-Werkstatt”, Fraunhofer IAO and Landesmesse Stuttgart are initiating a so-called “makerspace” that brings citizens, students, start-ups, established companies, and municipal governments into dialog about the city of the future. The event provides a variety of formats and spaces for exploring interdisciplinary issues relating to mobility, energy, and adaptive construction in the context of digitalization.
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Jun 2, 2016
Future Work Lab makes the future tangibleFuture Work Lab makes the future tangible
With the Future Work Lab, the Fraunhofer Institutes IAO and IPA are opening a center that will let visitors experience the future of manufacturing. The center will offer tangible demonstrators, expertise development and training programs as well as a platform for scientific exchange, and targets industry, employee associations, politics, science – and future production workers.
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May 24, 2016
Collaboration and open innovation in SMEsCollaboration and open innovation in SMEs
Large companies are already using the concept of open innovation to great success. But what is the collaboration situation in smaller companies? Fraunhofer IAO is examining this question as part of a study entitled “Collaboration in the Area of Research and Development in Small and Medium-sized Enterprises.”
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May 19, 2016
Autonomous driving: emergence of new billion euro marketAutonomous driving: emergence of new billion euro market
Autonomous driving is expected to generate annual sales worth several billion euros in value-added services over the next decade. In collaboration with management consultants Horváth & Partners, the Fraunhofer IAO surveyed 1500 motorists as part of the "Value of Time" study regarding their willingness to pay for in-car value-added services.
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May 19, 2016
Malaysian SMEs on the way forwardMalaysian SMEs on the way forward
Fraunhofer IAO and Malaysian research organization SIRIM have implemented a series of measures for increasing the innovative capabilities and productivity of Malaysian SMEs. On the long run, Fraunhofer Institute-style innovation centers will be built up in the Asian country.
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May 13, 2016
Honorary professorship for Wilhelm Bauer Honorary professorship for Wilhelm Bauer
On May 6, 2016, the Technical University of Cluj-Napoca (UTC-N) in Romania conferred an honorary professorship on Prof. Wilhelm Bauer, director of Fraunhofer IAO. Romania’s second-largest technical university awarded the honor in recognition of Bauer’s outstanding scientific achievements and his commitment to the collaboration with UTC-N.
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May 12, 2016
Finding digital business models simplyFinding digital business models simply
In cooperation with TIM Consulting, Digital Scout is a new instrument that Fraunhofer IAO has developed for monitoring digital business models emerging across the globe. To date, experts have identified 15,000 digital business model approaches. Most of these come from the United States and China, with Germany ranking in sixth place. Companies can use this method to develop a digital innovation strategy.
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Apr 12, 2016
A roadmap to success for companies A roadmap to success for companies
In cooperation with TIM Consulting, Fraunhofer IAO conducted an online survey from July to September 2015 on the use, challenges and success factors of roadmaps in everyday company operations. An excerpt of its key findings is given in a publicly available infographic.
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Apr 4, 2016
Networking help for seniors Networking help for seniors
Fraunhofer IAO’s SONIA project already investigated how well communication-supporting technology can improve quality of life for the elderly. Building on that great success, the follow-up project SONIAnetz has been specially tailored for people in need and their relatives.
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Mar 8, 2016
"FutureHotel" enters a new research phase
What will the hotel guest bathroom of the future look like? What are the expectations and needs of the future traveler? The “FutureHotel” innovation network is putting these questions at the center of its research, which is now entering its fifth project phase. By using different research methods – including online surveys, expert interviews and creative workshops – project partners are creating intelligent solutions for guest bathroom design that not only meet the needs of guests but are also economically feasible in their implementation.
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Feb 22, 2016
Buenos Aires is new Morgenstadt partnerBuenos Aires is new Morgenstadt partner
This year, Buenos Aires became a partner in the Morgenstadt: City Insights innovation network. In collaboration with the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft, the city will be conducting projects focusing on resource and energy efficiency, climate protection, and sustainable mobility. The Argentinian metropolis is the first South American city to join the innovation network.
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Feb 18, 2016
How taking part helps e-mobility take offHow taking part helps e-mobility take off
For just over a year now, people have had the chance to play the Elektr-O-Mat online game to find out what type of electromobility would work best for them. An initial analysis of the data gathered indicates this playful approach serves as a good introduction to electromobility for many people. Such an approach could also be transferred to other topics.
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Feb 15, 2016
IP award for patent championsIP award for patent champions
For the ninth year in a row, Fraunhofer IAO will recognize three companies that have implemented successful strategies and organizational structures for managing patents. This year, the institute will also unveil a new tool that uses patent data to rate how far companies have progressed along the digitalization path. Both the award ceremony and the presentation will take place at the Patente 2016 conference in Munich on March 1.
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Feb 3, 2016
Inclusion through roboticsInclusion through robotics
Robots are already becoming widely established in German factories. But how can companies be sure to split the work between people and robots such that human workers don’t lose out on the desirable tasks? An event marking the start of the AQUIAS project showcased approaches to guaranteeing quality of work for manufacturing employees, including those with severe disabilities.
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Feb 2, 2016
Simulation even SMEs can affordSimulation even SMEs can afford
The sheer complexity of today’s production systems makes “going with your gut” decision making a questionable approach at best. So as part of the EU-funded project DREAM, a simulation-based support system was developed to help decision makers in planning and managing production. And thanks to the project’s pragmatic approach, the solution can be easily implemented – even by small businesses.
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Jan 12, 2016
“Future Meeting Space” innovations catalogue“Future Meeting Space” innovations catalogue
Highly automated driving will have achieved technical maturity before 2020. That is the result of a study carried out by Fraunhofer IAO and other partners on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy. The authors also anticipate value creation in Germany amounting to 8.8 billion euros for the year 2025. Creating the legal framework and developing infrastructure represent major challenges.
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