On December 4 and 5, the Science Year 2018 will culminate with the 2018 Work Research Conference at the Haus der Wirtschaft in Stuttgart. The Fraunhofer Institute for Industrial Engineering IAO is staging the event.
A framework engagement agreement (The Agreement), signed today by the Innovative Manufacturing CRC (IMCRC) and Germany’s Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft, is set to significantly increase awareness and uptake of Industry 4.0 within the Australian manufacturing industry.
Fraunhofer IAO has expanded its management team to include Prof. Oliver Riedel. Focusing on research into digital product development, he brings 25 years of research and industry experience in digital product creation and product lifecycle management to the existing leadership trio of Prof. Wilhelm Bauer, Prof. Dieter Spath and Prof. Anette Weisbecker.
As part of a survey involving 2500 motorists in five major markets, management consultants Horváth & Partners worked together with the Fraunhofer IAO to determine respondents’ willingness to pay and desired interior configurations for self-driving vehicles. The results are summarized in the “Enabling the Value of Time” study.
Electrification of vehicle powertrains is set to significantly reduce personnel requirements, with suppliers expected to take the hardest hit. The transition to electromobility can succeed if the right overall conditions are established. Government and companies now need to develop strategies to tackle this challenge.
Germany derives long-term benefits from innovative ideas developed in research organizations. But many of these promising ideas and research findings are simply filed away, their potential left unexploited. Fraunhofer IAO presents strategies for promoting the exploitation of research results in the research and education system in a dedicated results brochure.
Many Germans are open to the idea of 3D printed organs, permanent body scans and cell repairing nanorobots as part of healthcare in the future, says an international survey conducted by BR, ARTE and Fraunhofer IAO as part of the “Homo Digitalis” project. In all, more than 22,000 respondents from Germany and France took part in the online quiz, which tested their acceptance levels for new technologies.
Where will future office and knowledge work take place and how should the individual working environments be designed? In its Office Analytics study, conducted as part of the Office 21® joint research project, Fraunhofer IAO addresses these questions – which are becoming increasingly pertinent for companies.
A survey conducted by Fraunhofer IAO shows that modernization of work organization is usually too slow. More than 1000 office and work environment experts from a variety of companies participated in the survey conducted on behalf of designfunktion Group. The “multispace” office is set to become the leading future office setup. A range of different working spaces offers numerous benefits, e.g. it has positive impacts on employer attractiveness, collaboration and personal autonomy.
Due to mechanization and automation the amount of physical load work has been progressively reduced. Yet for those working in intralogistics, the manual handling of material is still very much part of the job. Partners in the “SensHand” project, funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), have developed a prototype glove designed to help pickers.
What kinds of frameworks are in place to promote equality in the various EU member states? What indicators can be used to assess the effect of equality measures? The EU Project EFFORTI publishes reports by country and frameworks for evaluating gender inequality in research and development. Fraunhofer IAO is a member of the project’s consortium.
In March 2018, Ströer SE & Co. KGaA – a leading provider of outdoor and online advertising in Germany – became the latest partner to join the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft’s Morgenstadt City Insights innovation network. Over the next two years, the Morgenstadt experts will support Ströer in defining projects, bringing innovative products to market and gaining a foothold in the smart city sector.
From Los Angeles to Reutlingen: in 2018, the premier international conference on virtual reality and 3D user interfaces will be held in Germany for the second time in the conference’s 25-year history. Over 500 academic and industry experts from more than 20 countries are expected to attend the 25th IEEE VR 2018 conference in Reutlingen from March 18 to 22, 2018.
The increase of digitalization has brought new challenges and responsibilities for employees and managers working in research and development (R&D). The Fraunhofer IAO is conducting an expert survey of R&D departments at manufacturing companies in order to determine current trends, key success factors and objectives in this field.
In crisis situations, how can intermediary agencies provide an interface between the emergency and rescue services, on the one hand, and the civil population, on the other? KOKOS, a research project currently under way at the Institute of Human Factors and Technology Management IAT of the University of Stuttgart, is investigating this question. Results of this research are now available in the form of guidelines covering conceptual, legal and organizational issues.
With events, projects, interactive experiences and a series of blog posts, Fraunhofer IAO will offer a diverse range of information, hands-on activities and support services relating to “Working Life of the Future,” the motto of Science Year 2018. Representatives of business and politics and the general public are invited to participate. The program will kick off with the Future Forum at the Im Wizemann concert hall in Stuttgart on February 1-2, 2018.
How do companies utilize coworking? Which types of corporate coworking offer the best opportunities for companies? Does corporate coworking truly drive innovation? Fraunhofer IAO has published “Coworking - Driver of Innovation for Companies,” a study that identifies nine coworking models and evaluates the opportunities and risks posed by each model.
The world’s first online platform for digital accessibility has been launched. As part of the EU’s “Prosperity4All” project, DeveloperSpace is where interested parties, developers, companies, and the scientific community come together. The aim is to develop simple, cost-effective and efficient solutions for assistive technologies.
Fraunhofer IAO and its partner Institute for Human Factors and Technology Management IAT at the University of Stuttgart have been awarded the TOTAL E-QUALITY equal opportunity accolade for the sixth time. The honor was bestowed at a ceremony in Gelsenkirchen on October 27, 2017, and accepted by equal opportunities representative Jasmin Link.
Fun, effective and easy to understand: new digital visualization technologies offer an excellent opportunity to improve communication with citizens on large building projects. Titled “Visualizing Building Projects,” the practical guidelines give planners, architects and public agencies advice on how to use virtual reality and similar innovations. The guidelines were developed jointly by Fraunhofer IAO and the University of Hohenheim in Stuttgart as part of the VisB+ research project.
Founded by big tech companies such as Apple, IBM and Microsoft, the Partnership on AI promotes collaboration and exchange on the important topic of artificial intelligence. Through its membership, Fraunhofer IAO is playing an active part in developing AI best practices and technologies to benefit businesses and society.
To identify the most promising trends in the lead markets “water”, “air” and “circular economy” on behalf of the German State of Baden-Württemberg, Fraunhofer IAO has developed a roadmap for the environmental technology sector in collaboration with the State Agency for Environmental Technologies and Resource Efficiency (UTBW) and the Institute for Industrial Ecology (INEC) at Pforzheim University.
What impact will future technologies such as artificial intelligence, chips in the brain and virtual lovers have on our lives? Now you can find answers at www.homodigitalis.tv. In addition to the Homo Digitalis web series, BR, ARTE and the ORF TV networks have joined forces with Fraunhofer IAO to develop a chat bot that playfully interacts with the user and gives them individual feedback about their possible future.
The digital transformation of communal life calls for cross-sectoral thinking and solutions. The second edition of the Morgenstadt Workshop, which is to be held in Stuttgart in November 2017 and is organized by Fraunhofer IAO and Baden-Württemberg’s Ministry of the Interior, Digitisation and Migration, offers a platform with many creative formats that will enable all stakeholders involved in urban and regional development to contribute their own questions and solutions to the discussion and develop them further.
Accidents, terror attacks and catastrophic events present big challenges for civil defense disaster relief forces. In a new publication, Fraunhofer IAO, the German Red Cross and the Bavarian Red Cross unveil concepts for full-scale drills responding to a mass-casualty incident.
Can you really use Outlook to make sure your office floor gets vacuumed? Absolutely! Fraunhofer IAO is currently developing an intelligent cleaning concept for smart offices. A robot vacuum cleaner automatically takes care of upcoming cleaning jobs that have been scheduled in Outlook.
What is the key to effectively managing urban parking garages? In a collaborative project dubbed Park_up, Fraunhofer IAO is working with partners to develop long-term solutions. As part of the project, the partners are exploring digital utilization concepts aimed at improving urban traffic and logistics flows as a way to relieve strain on people and the environment.
In the EMOIO project, funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), scientists from Fraunhofer IAO are developing an emotionally responsive, neuro-adaptive brain-computer interface. The first live demonstration took place at the BMBF future congress “Bringing technology to people,” held in Bonn June 26-27.
Understanding the complex effects of new technologies is critical for the success of entire economies. Structural changes through technological developments must therefore be recognized and understood at an early stage in order to actively shape the long-term economic, social, political and cultural impact on society and the economy. With the new Fraunhofer Group for Innovation Research, the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft aims to strengthen its future role in research, technology and innovation policy dialogue with industry, politics and society, thus further cementing its position as a leading player in the German innovation arena.
What trends and disruptive innovations will photonic technologies enable in the coming years? With its “PHOTONIC TOWER” technology shelf, Fraunhofer IAO invites makers, companies, researchers and students to find answers to this question.
What are the technology and market trends that will transform the Malaysian economy in the coming years? Together with its research partner SIRIM and the software provider ITONICS, Fraunhofer IAO has developed an IT-based trend radar for small and medium-sized enterprises.
How can we create better conditions for innovation when it comes to the smart factory? The University of Stuttgart’s IAT, a close cooperation partner of Fraunhofer IAO, is researching this very question. The Smart Factory Hub project gets under way with a survey of medium-sized enterprises.
What will urban spaces of the future look like? Smart cities represent a major challenge for public sector employees. With its “Urban Space” pilot course, Fraunhofer IAO has developed an innovative theoretical and practical training concept offering representatives from industry and administration ideal preparation for the cities of the future.
The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research has selected the city of Ludwigsburg as one of 20 communities for the second phase of the City of the Future competition. Under the slogan “Digitalization, participation and the city,” Ludwigsburg’s sustainable urban development department and Living Lab business unit is joining with Fraunhofer IAO to proactively promote digitalization and make it an urban reality.
A joint study by the BBSR, PwC and Fraunhofer IAO clearly shows: municipalities must make digitisation a strategic task to remain independent and empowered. They must address changes in the economy to be able to offer companies an attractive, networked environment. And they must have all population groups on board on the way to a Smart City – even those that are already unable to cope with today’s digital world. The results are being fed into the Smart City Charta for Germany.
Many innovative companies still focus primarily on the premium sector. Yet attractive market opportunities for entry-level solutions abound in emerging and industrialized economies alike. With practical methodology training and a quick online check, Fraunhofer IAO is helping companies build up frugal skills and expertise.
Cloud computing applications offer small and medium-sized enterprises many options for cutting costs and unburdening their IT systems. Yet when it comes to storing company data off premises, security concerns frequently outweigh the benefits. Fraunhofer IAO and its partners are demonstrating successful real-life examples and flexible solutions via the “Cloud Mall Baden-Württemberg,” which launched in Stuttgart on March 30, 2017.
On March 28, 2017, the SME 4.0 Center of Excellence Stuttgart premiered with a kickoff event held at the Fraunhofer Institute Center. Funded by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi), the new facility aims to establish the transfer of practical expertise to help get SMEs in southwest Germany in shape for the digital transformation.
Under the banner of “d!conomy - no limits,” CeBIT 2017 will focus not only on the digital transformation of industry, administration and society, but also on the markets and opportunities this transformation opens up. From March 20 to 24, Fraunhofer IAO will be at the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi) joint booth (Hall 6, Booth C40) to present the ENTOURAGE joint research project.
The overburdening of city transport systems is becoming an increasing challenge. But before cities can take concrete action, they need to gather precise traffic data. This is often very time consuming and expensive. A study by the Fraunhofer Institute for Industrial Engineering IAO in cooperation with Telefónica NEXT and the data analysis specialist Teralytics found that mobile network data can make a positive contribution to transport planning. To clarify, analyses were carried out for the city of Stuttgart with the help of anonymised and aggregated mobile network data, which provide detailed insights into the actual travel behaviour of Stuttgart residents. This gives an idea of the data’s potential.
Innovations generally arise at the interfaces between different perspectives and disciplines. In the “knowledge triangle” project, Fraunhofer IAO is working with teams behind high-tech start-ups to test how combining the three disciplines of science and technology, business, and design can aid the development of viable and sustainable business models.
As of February 8, 2017, Professor Dieter Spath – director of both the Fraunhofer Institute for Industrial Engineering IAO and the Institute for Human Factors and Technology Management (IAT) at the University of Stuttgart – is also president of the German Academy of Science and Engineering (acatech e.V.). At a ceremony in Berlin attended by some 150 people, Reinhard F. Hüttl handed over the reins to his successor after two terms as acatech president.
What direction are developments in the building industry taking? What will global megatrends in planning, constructing and operating buildings require in terms of technologies and processes, and what consequences will they have? At BAU, the world’s leading trade fair for architecture, materials and systems, Fraunhofer IAO will be presenting building information modeling (BIM). The trade fair will take place in Munich from January 16 to 21, 2017.
What is work becoming? In what directions is it developing? How can we best harness the potential of new technologies for our work? As digitalization transforms processes and services as well as factory floors, many new questions arise. The Future Work Lab, which was officially opened today, offers answers and innovative approaches to these issues. Attending the opening were Prof. Johanna Wanka, German Federal Minister of Education and Research, the Fraunhofer Executive Board, the institute directors and some 150 distinguished guests from the worlds of politics, research and business. In the innovation laboratory for work, people and technology, the Fraunhofer Institutes IAO and IPA and the University of Stuttgart Institutes IAT and IFF pool their expertise in the area of Industrie 4.0.
Digitalization is making openness in the linking of IT solutions increasingly important. The Code of PLM Openness (CPO), developed by the ProSTEP iViP Association, supplies a concrete approach for achieving precisely that. Fraunhofer IAO has now developed an effective certification for companies, which helps them comply with the CPO criteria.
The digital revolution is bringing new challenges and sweeping changes for such organizations as law enforcement agencies that have traditionally been responsible for security and stability. As part of the EU project MEDI@4SEC, Fraunhofer IAO is developing solutions and recommended strategies for enhancing people’s understanding of how social media can be used in the realm of public security.
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.
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.
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.
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.
“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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Technological and social change is transforming the way that events are run. As part of the “Future Meeting Space” joint research project, Fraunhofer IAO has studied the latest innovations to which event planners, organizers and venue providers are having to adapt. A catalogue containing the highlights of around 120 innovations has now been published.
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.
As part of the Fraunhofer “Urban Futures” conference, ten selected young entrepreneurs and start-ups took to the stage to dazzle the jury and the audience with their innovative ideas. The finalists presented their concepts for the city of the future at an “idea pitch” event on November 25, 2015 to about 250 prominent representatives from municipalities, politics, business and research. The top three received a membership in Fraunhofer’s Morgenstadt innovation network, each of which is worth 25,000 euros.
Fraunhofer’s Urban Futures Conference, which takes place in Berlin on November 25 and 26, 2015, will offer participants a glimpse of the urban future. Scientists, engineers, politicians and economists will present new concepts for intelligent and sustainable urban innovation. The aim is to help transform our cities into clean and vibrant places to live and work.
Fraunhofer IAO has been supporting SIRIM, a Malaysian research organization, with the development and implementation of measures for increasing the innovative capabilities and productivity of Malaysian SMEs since March 2015. Now the joint project is entering the final phase, which includes conducting innovation workshops and establishing industrial centers of innovation.
Established companies are still not fully addressing the sharing economy, as demonstrated by “BW Share,” a study by Fraunhofer IAO. In this study, researchers investigated how established companies currently view the sharing economy and provide initial recommendations for politics, business and research.
During the lifecycle of a product – from inception, through engineering design and manufacture, to service and recycling – a large amount of information is stored in a wide range of IT systems. As part of the EU’s amePLM project, Fraunhofer IAO has created a platform that helps small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) to control these complex processes.
Fraunhofer IAO service researcher Dr. Mike Freitag was presented with the Burbidge Award for best scientific paper at the international Advances for Production Management Systems (APMS) conference. In cooperation with two fellow researchers, he developed a method that allows interactions between product and service development to be factored in during the development phase.
With the opening of its NeuroLab, Fraunhofer IAO now has a test environment for researching neuro- ergonomical topics. It is a place where researchers are applying neuroscientific knowledge to issues of ergonomic workplace design. The focus is on assistance systems in vehicles, in human-robot collaboration, and in knowledge work. The laboratory opened on October 27, 2015, with a symposium.
The partners in the UR:BAN research initiative set out to make driving in tomorrow’s cities safer and more efficient. At the initiative’s upcoming final presentation, demonstration vehicles will show how intelligent and cooperative systems could help make driving in the city even safer, more economical and environmentally more sustainable.
Where is the field of master data management currently headed? How can companies find the right products to meet their needs? In a recent market study, Fraunhofer IAO compared the master data management systems of 14 providers, with a primary focus placed on the features of the various systems.
At the RESER conference in Copenhagen, Fraunhofer IAO premiered a service engineering reference model for the e-mobility applications sector before members of the service research community. In the future, this model will assist companies in systematically developing and bringing to market new services and business models.
The 23rd International Conference for Production Research ICPR, which took place from August 2-5, 2015 in Manila, was a runaway success for Fraunhofer IAO and the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft. Both keynote speakers, Professor Wilhelm Bauer (IAO institute director) and Professor Hans-Jörg Bullinger, received a Certificate of Appreciation, and each was part of a team that scooped an Outstanding Paper Award 2015. In Professor Bauer’s case, this was for his work with Dr. Stefan Gerlach and his team on KapaflexCy; Professor Bullinger received the honor alongside Thomas Meiren and Rainer Nägele for their publication on the future of smart services.
Banks and the banking business are on the edge of profound change. This is the primary finding of the newly released “Bank & Zukunft 2015” trend survey. Only a fifth of the executives and managers surveyed still anticipate business to take a positive direction in the next four years. Despite this, banks continue to drag their feet when it comes to implementing innovative business models in order to tap new areas of revenue.
ENTOURAGE, an interdisciplinary project involving Fraunhofer IAO, has succeeded in attracting funding from the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi) through its Smart Service World technology competition. ENTOURAGE is one of 16 successful projects selected from among 130 entries. Over the next three years it will seek to build a bridge connecting the Internet of Things with smart assistance systems.
Clearer and more customer-friendly: the new Fraunhofer IAO website went live today. The aim of the relaunch is to maintain the existing design but present the institute’s various research projects and services more vividly and help visitors reach their destination more quickly.
To get a handle on crisis situations you need volunteers from the general population. The KOKOS project investigates how volunteers’ help can be incorporated into the crisis management efforts of public bodies. Research is focusing on IT supported and systematic integration of existing structures such as associations, companies and citizens’ initiatives.
More and more technologies offer companies opportunities for developing new products, speeding up processes or creating innovations. In the book “Technologien frühzeitig erkennen, Nutzenpotenziale systematisch bewerten”, Fraunhofer IAO presents methods, models and semantic tools for recognizing technological developments at an early stage and systematically assessing any benefits they may offer.
What does the city of the future look like? Start-ups, cities and students will present their best ideas to prominent representatives from communities, politics, industry and research at the Fraunhofer Urban Futures Conference in Berlin on November 25 and 26, 2015. An “idea-pitch” event will determine the top three innovators.
Fraunhofer IAO has analyzed patents registered in China over the last three years for industry 4.0 technologies. The first study to be published on the topic shows that Chinese researchers have patented important inventions in the fields of wireless sensor networks, embedded systems, low-cost robots and big data, indicating that China will be leading the pack when it comes to production data in the future.
Production workers often lift up to 10 metric tons of material a day. According to the Work Foundation Alliance (Lancaster, UK), 44 million workers in the EU suffer from work-related musculoskeletal disorders. Now researchers in the EU’s Robo-Mate project have developed an exoskeleton that makes loads up to ten times lighter to lift or carry. The project partners presented the first prototype at Fraunhofer IAO in Stuttgart on 12 June.
In 2012, 40 researchers, technicians and operators from 17 European institutions joined forces in the EU’s CRISMA project to develop simulation and modeling solutions that help public authorities and rescue teams prepare for crisis situations. Now to conclude the project, the consortium will present its concepts for modeling and simulation.
How do technological developments change the way humans and technology interact in industry? And how can companies make use of these changes? As part of the HMI 4.0 joint research project, Fraunhofer IAO is working with industrial partners to develop scenarios and solutions to address these issues.
In the EMOIO project launched at the beginning of the year, Fraunhofer IAO is working with partners from research and industry to study how they might record and classify the emotional experiences that take place when a human being interacts with a technical product. The goal is to develop emotion-sensitive assistance systems that adapt to the mood and personal needs of users.
How can smart services help to create connected city systems for the city of the future? The Smart Urban Services pilot project “Data-based service platform for tomorrow’s urban value-added networks” aims to identify the areas of most potential and develop a platform that profitably connects the various subsystems of a city.
Which trends and challenges will research and development (R&D) managers face in the years to come? Which approaches are successful in practice? In its current “R&D Fit for Future” study, Fraunhofer IAO uses survey results, case studies and example projects to present a variety of ideas for how to design R&D to be future-ready.
Fraunhofer IAO and SIRIM, a research institution in Malaysia, will work together to support small and medium-sized enterprises with their expertise in innovation and technology management in the future. In December 2014, the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft and SIRIM signed a declaration of intent for the cooperation. The first joint project with Fraunhofer IAO kicked off in March.
Part of Fraunhofer IAO’s China TechWatch research project involves analyzing developments in Chinese technology. The project’s first white paper reveals that China is way out in front when it comes to patents for the basic technologies needed for industry 4.0. Purely in terms of the number of patents filed, China has now far outstripped the United States and Germany.
Infrastructure operators are already pushing the boundaries of what conventional energy management systems can cope with. This led Fraunhofer IAO and partners from the research and industrial communities to join forces as part of the SmartEnergyHub project to develop a smart data platform that reduces energy consumption by optimizing operational processes.
Science Year 2015 is devoted to the city of the future. On February 19, Fraunhofer IAO joined representatives of communities, science, industry and the general public in Berlin to present recommendations for how we can sustainably develop our cities and equip them for the future. As part of a campaign tackling the major questions around the city of the future, Fraunhofer IAO is also informing city authorities, companies and individuals and helping them find the answers.
Is the sharing economy just media hype or is it in fact a development we should be taking seriously? What risks and opportunities does this growing economic system hold for conventional businesses? Fraunhofer IAO is examining these questions in an online survey.
On March 1, 2015, the LOGWERT competence center in Heilbronn will be ready to start its work. The center brings together Fraunhofer IAO’s expertise in mobility and urban systems engineering with Heilbronn University’s specialist knowledge of logistics. Initiated by Heilbronn-Franken’s Chamber of Industry and Commerce, the project is receiving funding of one million euros from the Ministry of Finance and Economics Baden-Württemberg.
On March 5, Thomas Meiren, service researcher and head of department at Fraunhofer IAO, was awarded the 2015 CFSMI Award in recognition of his success in researching and promoting new services. The Confederation for Services Management International made the presentation as part of the 87th AFSMI Chapter Meeting, which carried the title “Transformation of Organizations for Successful Solution Business”.
For the eighth year in a row, Fraunhofer IAO and Management Circle have recognized companies that have demonstrated excellence in the field of commercial property rights. Winners Elmos Semiconductor AG, Nemak and Rogers Germany GmbH impressed the jury with their sustainable practices for implementing new IP management structures. The award ceremony took place as part of the “Patente 2015” congress on March 3.
What suits me better? An electric car, an e-bike, or maybe a pedelec? There are many ways to be electrically mobile – and new products are coming out all the time. Elektr-O-Mat is an online game that helps people get a better overview and find out which option is best for them and their individual transportation needs.
More and more manufacturing companies are looking to build on their success by expanding their core business to include services. Particularly promising are smart services, which provide intelligent ways of connecting people, things and data. As part of an EU-funded project entitled Manufacturing Service Ecosystem (MSEE), a total of 19 partners had a hand in designing a cloud-based software platform that helps companies develop smart services.
As companies strive to identify the new technologies with the most potential, they are bombarded with a growing torrent of information. New smart software solutions can pick out these technologies and provide innovative methods of evaluating and implementing them into working processes. Now companies can tap the relevant information and feed it efficiently into the decision-making process.
On May 7-8, 2015, Fraunhofer IAO is hosting the Gender and diversity management in research conference as part of the EU-funded project STAGES (Structural Transformation to Achieve Gender Equality in Science). The conference focuses on equal opportunity in the workplace, specifically in the research environment.
Research collaborations and related networks are becoming increasingly important in developing new technologies, particularly since more and more of these activities are interdisciplinary. Fraunhofer IAO’s new “ResearchLandscaping” method makes it easier to find suitable partners.
Just a little over a year has passed since BBC News ranked the Robo-Mate exoskeleton at No. 2,right after the announcement of the new iPhone, and major technical progress has been made on several fronts.
The building sector accounts for 40 percent of primary energy consumption in Europe. Home owners seeking for energy efficiency are faced with confusing and sometimes contradictory information. Now, Fraunhofer IAO has developed a smartphone app in the EU project ENBUS! that helps home owners calculate the tangible benefits of energy efficiency measures before investing.
Prof. Dr. Dieter Spath, long-standing director of Fraunhofer IAO and of the IAT at the University of Stuttgart, will become chairman of the Management Board for the WITTENSTEIN Group on October 1, 2013. Prof. Dr. Wilhelm Bauer, previously deputy director, will take over as acting director of both institutes. Apl. Prof. Dr. Anette Weisbecker will assume the role of deputy director.
For more and more people, work extends beyond the office – whether it’s on the move, at home or in the co-working space just around the corner. Now, Fraunhofer IAO has launched a new survey to investigate the impact these different work arrangements have on our wellbeing, motivation and performance, and to identify the technologies that will help us work efficiently alongside our customers and colleagues in the future.
More than 460 banking experts took part in Fraunhofer IAO’s Banks & Future 2013 trend survey. According to the respondents, the biggest challenge stems from the current politically induced, historically low interest rates and their impact on banks and financial service providers. The survey also reveals the measures being implemented by banks to counter this volatile market situation.
The SPM (“service platform machine”) innovation network consists of a group of companies in the machine tools and plant engineering sector who are working together on future service concepts. They will start on the second phase of their research, focusing on support for sales teams and service technicians, at the end of October 2013.
The Garwood Center for Corporate Innovation at the University of California, Berkeley, and the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft have conducted the first large-sample survey of open innovation adoption among large companies. Their study of European and U.S. companies gives an extensive overview of the ways that companies are now practicing open innovation, along with the trends that can be discerned.
When the “Zentrum für Virtuelles Engineering” ZVE opened in Stuttgart just over a year ago, we saw how Fraunhofer IAO had combined laboratory and office areas to create an architectural eye-catcher. A new publication provides insight into the innovative story of how this research building came about and features striking pictures that acknowledge its remarkable architecture and sustainability.
Fewer and fewer people are committing themselves to dedicated volunteering organizations, with many preferring to support causes on an ad hoc basis. Many companies also encourage their staff to support non-profit projects. Fraunhofer IAO is using an online survey to study the importance companies attach to employees’ voluntary work.
Munich trade fair MAINTAIN is to team up with Fraunhofer IAO for a second time to showcase manufacturing services. Europe’s leading trade fair for industrial maintenance will be opening its doors from June 3-6, 2014, giving trade visitors the opportunity to learn about service trends and service innovations in mechanical and plant engineering from a pavilion dedicated to the topic.
As part of the “elektromobilisiert.de” project, the Fraunhofer Institute for Industrial Engineering IAO and the Institute for Human Factors and Technology Management IAT at the University of Stuttgart are examining the effects of integrating electric vehicles into Garmisch-Partenkirchen’s existing fleet. The project complements the e-GAP activities of Garmisch-Partenkirchen in its role as an electromobility model community.
Fraunhofer IAO has looked into the effects that developments in the field of manufacturing will have on the interface between humans and technology. The study highlights the potential for future-proof human-machine interfaces (HMIs) and discusses the challenges that will have to be overcome in designing tomorrow’s HMIs and HMI engineering tools.
Fraunhofer IAO is laying the foundations for building the 4th industrial revolution. In its study entitled “Manufacturing Activities of the Future – Industry 4.0”, some 600 production managers and over 20 top-class experts sketch out a vision of work in tomorrow’s factories. You can download the study for free from June 2013. An Industry 4.0 innovation network is scheduled to be launched on July 2.
Fraunhofer IAO and McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario are pooling their expertise in the field of technology and innovation management. In future, the partners will collaborate on both research and teaching in order to boost the transfer of research findings and innovative solutions into business practice.
Together with its partners in the FutureHotel joint research project, Fraunhofer IAO is busy building a hotel of the future. The new Hotel Schani in Vienna is scheduled to open its doors in fall 2014 and will serve as a practical field lab, testing the suitability of the latest offers and services
Imagine a number of different companies sharing a single fleet of electric vehicles... Fraunhofer IAO and eight project partners are busy working out just how to make this vision a reality. Funded by the German Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology, the Shared E-Fleet research project aims not only to work up suitable IT solutions, but also to design the smart energy management and profitable business models that are called for.
Fraunhofer IAO and software company Dassault Systèmes will now be pooling their digital factory know-how. By combining a knowledge of scientific techniques with software expertise, they aim to communicate and build on the potential offered when integrating product and production development.
Without research, progress and innovation would grind to a halt. But how research findings are put into practice is a subject that must be investigated in detail in its own right. This was the focus of work carried out by Fraunhofer IAO, together with Fraunhofer ISI, the Heinz Nixdorf Institute at the University of Paderborn and the company Research and Innovation VFI, belonging to the German Engineering Federation VDMA.
According to a recently published study carried out by Fraunhofer IAO and Drees & Sommer Process Consulting GmbH, manufacturing companies could dramatically improve their development and design processes by considering them from a services point of view.
The Technical University of Cluj-Napoca (UTC-N), Romania’s second largest technical university, has conferred an honorary doctorate upon Professor Dr. Dieter Spath, institute director of the Fraunhofer Institute for Industrial Engineering IAO. Spath was awarded the honor in recognition of his outstanding scientific achievements and his long standing commitment to teaching at UTC-N. Dr. Carmen Constantinescu, scientist at Fraunhofer IAO and lecturer at UTC-N, was awarded an honorary professorship.
With the right services, companies can improve their performance and be more competitive. But is there a reliable way to measure how productive the services offered really are? The Productivity of Services Strategic Partnership has now published recommendations and guidelines.
Stuttgart, Germany, November 14-16: The EC-funded three-year project, FutureID, commenced work with a kick-off meeting hosted by its coordinator, Fraunhofer Gesellschaft. It addresses the challenges of bringing secure identities to the Internet.