Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Programme funding

EUR 60 million
Active shaping of the technical, social and economic change with the objective for the production industry to offer products and services with high customer value so that a technology and market leadership can be gained. This can be realized by the quick development and application of the newest technologies, innovative organisation and a well qualified workforce.


There is hardly an investment into the future with a higher payoff than the funds we spend on research. In the past already, prosperity and employment in Germany were determined to a large extent by the success in exporting the products developed from the latest research findings. If we look into the future from today's vantage point, this applies even more to our economy under the impact of increasingly tougher global competition. This affects all players, primarily industry, but also science, and the government as a catalyst, mediator, and funding source.

Potentially, many scientific findings would be convertible into marketable products by applied research and development. At this juncture, at this interface between basic research and the world market, the German Federal Ministry for Education and Research (BMBF) wants to establish its framework concept, "Research for Tomorrow's Production," which was presented to the public by Minister Edelgard Bulmahn in 1999. The yearly funding budget is about about 60M euros.

The project management organisation responsible for further program and project design, for project management as well as for technology transfer activities is the Karlsruhe Research Center with its more than 3 decades of research management experience.


Areas of action are:
1) Market orientation and strategic product planning.
2) Technologies and production equipment.
3) New forms of cooperation among producing companies.
4) People and companies capable of change.
In order to explore these areas of action before the launch of the program proper, in-depth studies in so-called "priority actions" (PA) were started in early 1999; the total number of these projects was 20.


The announcement and the launch of this new program were preceded by an intense exchange of opinions among scientists from various disciplines and experts from very different companies, trade associations, and industries. These discussions were coordinated by he Machine Tool Laboratory of Aachen Technical University (RWTH). It was the recipient of the results of ten working groups, each one with a specific scope like automotive, logistics or product and process development. These results were published, once as a scientific report and once as a kind of executive summary for managers in manufacturing companies. On the basis of the findings referred to above, the following model was developed for producing companies, which also constitutes the basis of the framework concept:

Industries can become technological leaders or market leaders, and succeed on a long-term basis, by actively shaping technological, social, and ecological change so as to offer products and services of great benefit to customers.

This model can be brought to life only by networked thinking, planning and acting. The objectives of the program reflect this idea:
- Most recent developments in research areas such as information technology, surface and coating technologies, laser technology, or high-performance materials are used for industrial production.
- Holistic solutions are approached which take into account economic, ecological, and social aspects.
- Training and in-career training of skilled industrial personnel is brought up to date, and new and attractive jobs are created.
- Efforts to achieve quick dissemination of results are made an integral part of research projects.
- The contents of the "Research for Tomorrow's Production" framework concept deliberately have been kept open so that topics can be included as they come up. The research topics to be addressed at the launching date of the program are arranged in areas of action. An evaluation is foreseen for 2003/2004 in special technological areas.


New Production Processes
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