Baden-Württemberg invests a lot in so-called cross-sectional technologies: Whether Industry 4.0 or lightweight technology, nanotechnology or photonics – the research and development at the Baden-Württemberg science and economic location concentrates on important future fields that have great growth potentials in the state.
Digitisation is changing our world – how we live, work and consume. Industrial production is likewise undergoing
changes; it is becoming more flexible, more individual and, at the same time, more efficient. Due to IT networking,
products and machines can exchange information autonomously and production can be controlled centrally and
variably. All of this is being made possible by Industry 4.0.
With its strengths in mechanical engineering, the automotive industry and companies supplying equipment for
industrial information and communications system, Baden-Württemberg‘s economy is in a very good position to exploit the potential of Industry 4.0 and develop innovative solutions.
As a leading location for industry and innovation, Baden-Württemberg is pressing ahead with Industry 4.0 intensively. The initiative „Allianz Industrie 4.0 Baden-Württemberg“, which was started and is being sponsored by the state, is intended to bundle the various forms of competence and, in particular, to demonstrate the potential of Industry 4.0 for small and medium-sized companies in the industry.
As a leading international location for lightweight technology, Baden-Württemberg accommodates the entire value-added chain needed for intelligent lightweight technology – from research and development to design and engineering as well as manufacturing and production. The links in this chain include material suppliers, semi-finished product manufacturers, component producers and final product manufacturers, to mention just a few.
Fifty percent of the companies in the lightweight technology network are small and medium sized enterprises
(SMEs). This strong array of SMEs stands out due to its special innovative capabilities, which are fostered by
numerous scientific institutions engaged in research in lightweight technology.
The development and use of innovative solutions for lightweight technology are important prerequisites for the competitiveness of industry in Germany‘s southwest. Against this background, the state of Baden-Württemberg has invested much more than 50 million euros since 2011 in order to enhance and strengthen the lightweight technology industry.
Micro system engineering and nanotechnologies are cross-sectional technologies which will have a key function for many products of the 21st century. They will have special effects on the automotive industry, the mechanical engineering, the optics industry, medical technology and biotechnologies – that is, industries in which the Baden-Württemberg economy has special strengths.
In Baden-Württemberg, the most important actors in this future field therefore joined to the cluster MicroTEC Südwest e.V.. It unites more than 350 companies, institutions, universities and research institutions with more than 1,200 scientists – and this way belongs to the greatest technology networks in Europe. The objective of the cluster actors is to build up the internationally leading position of Baden-Württemberg in the field of micro system engineering up to the world leader.
The state has a top position in research and development of micro system engineering and nanotechnologies in Germany. The institute for micro system engineering (IMTEK) at the Freiburg University that covers all relevant fields of the subject with 21 professorships is internationally just as renowned as the KIT Zentrum NanoMikro of the Karlsruhe Institute for technology (Karlsruher Institut für Technologie).
Exemplary industry institutions:
Optical technologies can be used as tool in many areas. Particularly in the display and light technology, in measuring and production engineering, in information and communication technology and in medicine and biophotonics, optical solutions are important key modules.Due to their cross-sectional character, photonics have a strong impulse effect for a wide range of production areas.
Baden-Württemberg has an excellent industrial infrastructure for the development and production of optical technologies. Here, the photonics industry is not just an employer for highly qualified specialists. It also takes a top position internationally within the industry with enterprises of repute such as Carl Zeiss, Sick and Karl Storz.
The research landscape of photonics in Baden-Württemberg is characterised by a high application orientation. Numerous on-campus and non-university research institutions have built up international reputation in the field. The Photonics BW e.V. network has a decisive role for the networking of the industry. Its objective is to support the research and development of optical technologies and to strengthen the dialog between business, science and politics.
Exemplary industry institutions: