Participation in LABOR.A 2022

News | 21.11.2022

On September 21, the Future Work Lab was represented at the ideas market of the annual LABOR.A - a platform for exchange between company actors, science, think tanks, politics and trade unions. The topic was the demographic change in our working world. Our working lives are in a state of upheaval, driven by digitalization, climate change, artificial intelligence, globalization and international crises. How can this change be shaped so that we create secure work for everyone? This year's LABOR.A addressed these and many other questions.

You can find more about LABOR.A 2022 here


High-ranking visitor at the Innovation Lab for Work, People and Technology

News | 28.10.2022

In the course of her opportunity tour, the Federal Minister of Education and Research, Bettina Stark-Watzinger MdB, will also make a stop at the Future Work Lab of the two institutes Fraunhofer IAO and IPA in Stuttgart. There, all facets of industrial work of the future are already being demonstrated and made tangible. The Federal Minister personally put the latest demonstrator into operation on site.

You can find more about the visit of the Federal Minister here

© Fraunhofer | Foto: BMBF/Hans-Joachim Rickel
Bundesforschungsministerin am Demonstrator »Kameragesteuerte Montageassistenz«

Research cooperation with MIT expanded

News | 25.08.2022

© © Simon Schumacher, Fraunhofer IPA

In the summer of 2022, the Future Work Lab intensified its research collaboration with the renowned Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Simon Schumacher from Fraunhofer IPA continued a research stay interrupted in 2020 from May to August 2022 at the MIT Industrial Performance Center.

The collaboration on the Work of the Future in Manufacturing has already resulted in several joint publications and a joint study. In addition, MIT and Fraunhofer have won start-up funding from the MIT International Science & Technology Initiatives for joint work on the topic of "Humans in the Loop".

Find out more about the MIT Industrial Performance Center here

Find out more about the MIT Work of the Future here

Find out more about the Working Paper mit dem MIT Media Lab here



Study with MIT in Ohio

News | 20.08.2022

In August 2022, two Future Work Lab researchers were on a study tour with MIT in Ohio to interview small and medium-sized companies regarding their Industrie 4.0 technology adoption. With over 15 interviews at companies in the metalworking industry, multiple levels can be analyzed from decision making to the direct impact of new robotic welding technologies.

The interviews are part of an international comparative study between companies from the U.S. and Germany. Further interviews are planned in Germany in winter 2022. The results will be published in a scientific paper.

Find out more about the article in Automation Practice here 

Find out more about the paper with initial study results here

© © Component Repair Technologies Inc.

Visit of Fraunhofer IAO at MIT

News | 02.08.2022

Walter Ganz, former director of Fraunhofer IAO, visited the Massachusetts Institute of Technology on August 2, 2022. The focus was on the exchange on production work of the future with the director of the MIT Industrial Performance Center, Dr. Ben Armstrong, and the visit of the MIT Interactive Robotics Lab of Prof. Julie Shah (see picture).

Walter Ganz served as Session Chair and part of the Editorial Board on "The Human Side of Service Engineering" at the Applied Human Factors and Ergonomics Conference (AHFE) in New York the previous week.

Find out more about the AHFE report here


© © Simon Schumacher, Fraunhofer IPA

Assemblio starts as a spin-off from the Future Work Lab

News | 16.06.2022

As a very popular demo from the Future Work Lab, the "automated assembly planning with AR visualization" was spun off in the startup Assemblio in June 2022. The demo is a very good example for the steady development of a challenging idea via the detailed elaboration in a scientific PhD as well as the construction of first prototypes in the Future Work Lab up to a market-ready solution. You can still find the demo in the demonstrator world of the Future Work Lab, while the spin-off is taking further steps with well-known industrial companies under the name Assemblio. We wish the founders much success with Assemblio.

Find out more about the demonstrator here 

Find out more about Assemblio here

© © Fraunhofer IPA

Final event of the GPS 4.0 industry working group in the Future Work Lab

News | 14.06.2022

The industry working group "Holistic Production Systems 4.0" was rounded off with a closing event at the Fraunhofer Institute Center in Stuttgart on July 14, 2022. In addition to a presentation by IPA Institute Director Prof. Dr.-Ing. Thomas Bauernhansl, the agenda included a tour of the Future Work Lab with insights into new AI applications. In addition, the results of the working group were summarized and reflected upon. Another round of the working group is planned starting in winter 2022 with new partner companies.

Find out more about the format here


© © Fraunhofer IPA

Conference presentations in Canada and the USA

News | 23.05.2022

In collaboration with MIT, two conference papers have been presented and published in North America by Future Work Lab researchers in May 2022. At the Conference on Production Systems and Logistics (CPSL) in Vancouver, Canada, first insights into the study of the use of collaborative robots in welding at small and medium enterprises were presented. A paper was presented at the IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA) in Philadelphia, USA on the workshop Collaborative Robots and the Work of the Future. 

Find out more about the paper at CPSL here 

Find out more about the workshop at IEEE ICRA here


© © CPSL

Industry working group: Lean Production Systems 4.0 – Workshop-series started

News | 12.10.2021

In an interactive online format, the workshop series for the industry working group “Lean Production Systems 4.0" was launched on Oct. 12, 2021.

The working group consists of several workshops, expert presentations, and visits from partner companies. The goal is to further develop existing operational production systems and build a "Lean 4.0" toolbox together. The consortium comprises 13 manufacturing companies. The workshop series will conclude in the summer of 2022 at the Future Work Lab.

More about the study from the Future Work Lab 

More on the industry working group “Lean Production Systems 4.0


News | 19.10.2021

The entry of smart products and cyber-physical systems into production environments has already permanently changed production work. These systems are becoming increasingly extensive and complex, and with them the challenges of their planning and development are also growing. To meet these challenges, there is an opportunity to make targeted use of data generated in the different phases of the system's life.

To investigate the current state of companies in the DACH region in this area, the Future Work Lab together with the Center for Cyberphysical Systems is conducting a survey on the collection, analysis, management and use of product data:

The link to the survey here.

More info on the Center for Cyberphysical Systems.

More info on the Future Work Lab.

In return, the participating companies benefit from the processing and presentation of the results in a study. 


© Ludmilla Parsyak, Fraunhofer IAO

WearRAcon Europe

News | 05. - 07.10.2021

© WearRAcon Europe 2021

WearRAcon Europe 2021

From October 5th to October 7th the WearRAcon Europe has given companies, entrepreneurs and research institutions, in the field of wearable robotics, the opportunity to exchange ideas.


A forum is offered, which allows to collect knowledge and expertise and at the same time to get to know the status quo regarding technical possibilities.

Organized by Fraunhofer IPA, the University of Stuttgart and the Wearable Robotics Association, the digital, three-day event included two keynotes and many expert presentations, as well as subject-specific breakout rooms.

More about the event.

More about WearRAcon in general.

Kick-off event industry working group: Lean Production Systems 4.0

News | 14.09.2021

On September 14, 2021, the industry working group "Lean Production Systems 4.0" started with the guiding question: "How can lean and digital transformation be synergistically combined in the design of production systems?" Building on the study of the same name, the group is working together with manufacturing companies from Germany, Austria and Switzerland on a method and toolbox for Production Systems 4.0.

At the kick-off event, Prof. Bauernhansl, Institute Director of Fraunhofer IPA, gave a keynote speech on "The Factory of the Future - End-to-End Value Creation in Lean Production Systems 4.0". In addition, there was the opportunity to participate interactively in the working group and exchange initial content. In October 2021, the first workshop of the industry working group will follow with the topic "Framework for the design of digital methods and technologies". In summer 2022, the Future Work Lab workshop series will conclude.

More about the study from the Future Work Lab

More about the industry working group: Lean Production Systems 4.0

© Gorodenkoff Productions OU

Future Work Talks 2021

News | 22.07.2021

© Paul Schmidhäuser, Fraunhofer IPA

From May 21 to July 22, 2021, our three-part web seminar series "Future Work Talks" took place under the leadership of Fraunhofer IPA and Fraunhofer IAO.

We would like to thank all participants for their great interest and active participation. And of course to all external speakers from Voith , Peers Solutions, Siemens Energy, Festo, Bosch, Groninger and plus10.

During the three event days, under the motto: "Industrial Work of the Future", the topics "Qualification 4.0", "Innovating for and on the Shopfloor" and "Data-driven Optimization Strategies" were featured.

linc - the world's smallest seminar room awarded the delina innovation prize

News | 20.07.2021

The concept of a mobile learning world and the implementation of the smallest seminar room of the future in the FutureWorkLab were awarded the "delina" innovation prize for digital education at the LEARNTEC trade fair. linc is the smallest seminar room of the future and combines digital as well as analog interaction options for different types of knowledge transfer. We congratulate the Lernwelt team for the 3rd place in the category "Society and Lifelong Learning".

Learning Journey Industry 4.0

News | 19.05.2021

© Fraunhofer IPA
© macils. management-centrum gmbh

From 18th to 19th of Mai 2021 the Fraunhofer IPA hosted the closing event of the digital learning journey. Attendees were able to listen to presentations, experience the demonstrators and ask questions, all according to the motto: „research landscape and integration platform for the future-proof factory”. The Future Work Lab was present as well: Simon Schumacher presented the holistic production systems of the future.

We are very happy, about being a part of this learning journey. If you want to find out more about our work, these topics might be interesting:

The Future Work Talks continue into the next round

News | 30.04.21

The Future Work Talks are going into the next round! Together with partners from industry, the Future Work Lab will once again present the latest topics and use cases from industrial practice and research. Be there when the experts come to answer your questions. This time, the Future Work Lab welcomes representatives from Voith, Peers Solutions, Festo, Bosch, Groninger and plus10 as partners.

The first event of the three-part webinar series will take place on 21 May 2021 and will focus on "Qualification 4.0". This will be followed by the topics "Innovating for and on the shop floor" on 18 June 2021 and "Data-driven optimization strategies" on 22 July 2021. We look forward to welcoming you!

The talks will be held in German.

International Open Lab Day

News | 16.04.21

The Future Work Lab welcomed guests from all over the world to the first International Open Lab Day on 16 April 2021. On the last day of the Hannover Messe, the Future Work Lab team invited guests to a virtual live tour through the lab and to talks in English. New demonstrators were presented that illustrate the future of production work.We would like to thank our guests for their active participation and the great discussions.

We are very pleased with the positive feedback from our guests, as well as the announcement of further visits from our international participants.

The next Open Lab Day in German will take place on 23 July 2021. We look forward to welcoming you!

The Future Work Lab at the Hannover Messe

News | 15.04.21

At this year's virtual Hannover Messe, the Future Work Lab was represented with its own exhibit. At the virtual stand of the Fraunhofer IPA, the Future Work Lab provided information about the future of production work and presented impressions from the lab as well as a portfolio of a wide variety of offers for partners from industry. Guests were invited to take the virtual tour of the Future Work Lab to see our lab and demonstrators for themselves. As expected, the Hannover Messer convinced also in the virtual format with an impressively diverse overview of the current technological development.

We are pleased that we were allowed to be part of the exhibition. The exchange with guests from all over the world inspired us!

© Deutsche Messe

Presentation at the Technologie Forum Zug

News | 11.03.21

At the invitation of the Technologie Forum Zug, the Future Work Lab gave a presentation on human-machine interaction in the production and development environment on 11 March 2021. In this context, Henry Himmelstoß first provided an overview of the topic "Technologies for Human-Centred Production", then presented selected demonstrators from the Future Work Lab and the virtual tour of the lab.It was also shown how companies can unlock new potential with the help of Industrie 4.0 roadmapping and prepare for the digital transformation. We say thank you for the invitation.  We were very happy about the lively interest of the audience and the organisers!

© Technologie Forum Zug

MOBLIE LEARNING WORLD nominated for innovation award for digital education by delina

News | 25.02.2021

As Learning World, we applied for the innovation award for digital education by delina, with a MOBILE LEARING WORLD as the smallest seminar room of the future and were nominated as one of the three award-worthy projects in the category “Society and Lifelong Learning”. We are very happy about this! We will find out, which ranking our MOBILE LEARNING WORLD will achieve on June 23, 2021 at 2:15 p.m. at LEARNTEC.

About the delina award: The delina is awarded in close cooperation with BITKOM and the support of time4you GmbH and p-didakt GmbH. Each submitted project was reviewed by 23 jury members, which are experts in the field of digital education.

To the press release and more information:

to the smallest seminar room of the future. (only available in German)

Learning World is awarded as “learning place that inspires”

News | 27.11.2020

In order to show how diverse the landscape of learning among the partners of the Fraunhofer Academy is and how creatively learning sites can be designed to impact knowledge on a regular basis, the Fraunhofer Academy has launched the “Learning sites that inspire” campaign.

From the portfolio, 28 learning venues stood out as particularly inspiring, showing the unique environments in which the Fraunhofer Institutes impart knowledge. From learning labs and creative spaces to virtual or mobile learning sites, the whole range is visible.

Learn more about the learning spaces that inspire  (only available in German) and discover the Future Work Lab – Learning World on the learning space map . (only available in German)

Launch-Event Future Work Talks

News | 29.10.2020

On Friday, October 16, 2020, the three part online seminar series “Future Work Talks” from the “Future Work Lab”  started. In this series, experts from the industry and research answer the question: “What will industrial work look like in the future?” in expert presentations and a participant-based discussion. The content of the launch event focused on “Production work of the future”. In addition to experts from the research community, the Future Work Lab was pleased to welcome representatives from Südwestmetall of IG Metall. The topics discussed included the impact of trends and areas of tension on production work, the design of future production work and transformation, and the flexibilization of corporate organization.

In the second date of the webinar on 11.11.2020, the experts will deal with the main topic of digital transformation.

Report of the launch event: “Production work of the future”  (only available in German)

Participation in Beyondwork2020

News | 21 & 22.10.2020

In course of beyondwork2020 (the European Labor Research Conference), we discussed online the most important questions and topics of tomorrow’s world of work. Among the well over 1,500 participants were international experts from research, business, politics and the social partners.

A review of the event is available here:

Research Cooperation with the MIT

Simon Schumacher will work from February-June 2020 for a research stay at the renowned Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Simon Schumacher is project leader of the Future Work Lab at Fraunhofer IPA and will work in this capacity at the MIT Industrial Performance Center with the MIT Task Force Work of the Future. The bilateral cooperation was established last year through several meetings in Germany and will include activities with the MIT Computer Science & Artificial Intelligence Lab. The research stay is an important contribution to the development of a framework for cognitive production work at the Future Work Lab.

The goal of the stay is to consolidate the joint cooperation in the field of Future of Work and to enable the future exchange of scientists.



Network Meeting

On December 12, 2019, the network meeting "Artificial Intelligence in Production" of the Alliance Industry 4.0 Baden-Württemberg took place at Fraunhofer IPA. The network meeting was opened with over 40 multipliers by Ministerialdirigent Günther Leßnerkraus. The Future Work Lab participated with a lecture by AI Professor Marco Huber and a practice-oriented tour in the demo world.


Delegation trip to Silicon Valley

© Transatlatnic Sync

The Future Work Lab was part of a BMBF delegation to Silicon Valley from 26.10.-2.11.2019. The FutureWork360 project is a flagship initiative for research in Germany and the "Future of Work" campaign with the target countries USA, Japan and France. The delegation trip included a presentation at the Transatlantic Sync Conference organized by Stanford scientists as well as visits to the Universities of Stanford and Berkeley, the company NVIDIA and the German Honorary Consulate in San Francisco. In March 2020, the second delegation trip to an AI conference will take place in Tokyo, Japan.


Future Work Lab brings Work 4.0 to life

News | 2/2/2017

Kollaboration mit dem Großroboter
© Rainer Bez, Fraunhofer IPA
Demonstrator im Future Work Lab

Where is our work headed? How can we optimize the potential of new technologies in our work? As digitalization spreads from the production hall to encompass processes and services, we face an array of new questions. The Future Work Lab provides answers and innovative approaches to these and other questions; it was officially opened today by Prof. Dr. Johanna Wanka, German Federal Minister for Education and Research, the Fraunhofer Executive Board, the institute directors and some 150 high-profile guests from politics, research and business. The innovation laboratory for work, people and technology pools the expertise of Fraunhofer IAO and IPA as well as the University of Stuttgart’s IAT and IFF, providing a shared wealth of expertise in all aspects of Industrie 4.0.

The Future Work Lab at the Digitising European Industries Stakeholder Forum

News | 2/1/2017

© Thilo Zimmermann

The Future Work Lab was represented at the Digitising European Industries Stakeholder Forum in Essen and took part in the “Skills for the digital age” discussion panel workshop.

Future Work Lab presentation at LEARNTEC

News | 1/25/2017

On January 25, 2017, Thilo Zimmermann presented the first findings to come out of the work of the Future Work Lab.

Each year, the LEARNTEC trade fair and congress draws more than 7,250 HR decision makers and IT managers from all around the world to Karlsruhe, where they learn about the potential of digital learning and look for specific solutions to their problems in knowledge transfer and management.

Foreign delegations visit the Future Work Lab

News | Nov and Dez 2016

Chinese delegation from Jinan University
© aucobo GmbH
Chinese delegation from Jinan University

In addition to several German manufacturing companies, the Future Work Lab has also attracted the attention of colleagues abroad, with several delegations visiting the lab as it got up and running in the months of November and December.

Delegations from China (Jinan University), Singapore and the United Kingdom discussed the production work of the future with representatives of Fraunhofer IPA and Fraunhofer IAO, as well as broaching various Industrie 4.0 topics. 

Future Work Lab at the fourth Industrie 4.0 congress: Practice, practice, practice

Event | 11/30 - 12/1/2016

4. Fachkongress Industrie 4.0: Praxis, Praxis, Praxis
© SV Veranstaltungen

From November 30 to December 1, 2016, the Future Work Lab presented itself at the fourth Industrie 4.0 congress: Practice, practice, practice in Ulm. Prof. Dr. Thomas Bauernhansl, Director of Fraunhofer IPA, moderated the first day of the event.

Future Work Lab at the Arbeitswelt 4.0 conference

Event | 9/19/2016

© Ludmilla Parsyak, Fraunhofer IAO

On September 19, 2016, the Future Work Lab was in attendance at the “Zukunftsprojekt Arbeitswelt 4.0” specialist conference. The event took place at the Haus der Wirtschaft in Stuttgart. Visitors were able to see our Exo-Jacket in action.

Future Work Lab at the Swiss Industry 4.0 conference

Event | 8/30/2016

Logo Swiss Industry 4.0 Award

On August 30, 2016, the Future Work Lab attended the Swiss Industry 4.0 conference. The half-day event took place on the afternoon of August 30 in Trafo Baden (Aargau, Switzerland).

Future Work Lab brings the future to life

News | 6/2/2016

© Fraunhofer IAO

With the Future Work Lab, Fraunhofer IAO and IPA are providing a center that brings the future of production work to life. The lab offers live demonstrations, skills development and training services as well as a platform for scientific dialog. Last but not least, the Future Work Lab is geared towards industry, employee associations, politics and research – and, of course, the production employees of tomorrow.