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In order to further promote application-oriented research on future-oriented issues from industry, Werk150 is a partner in numerous research initiatives and cooperations with leading national and international research institutions and partners. Through the targeted bundling of practice-oriented fields of research, intensive networking and interdisciplinary cooperation, we can research technological, organisational and social trends in the field of »Smart Factory 4.0«.

ESB Business School is a founding member of the "Intitiative on European Learning Factories" with Werk150, at that time still ESB Logistik-Lernfabrik. In 2017, the initiative was transformed into the "International Association of Learning Factories" (IALF). The IALF is strongly committed to conduct joint research projects for the development of innovative course offerings, which, for example, enable students from the participating institutes to complete their studies at other learning factories in the network. In addition, the partners are forming various consortia to research innovative methods and approaches in the field of smart factories in the context of digitisation and artificial intelligence. 

ESB Business School is represented in the IALF by Prof. Vera Hummel.


Das Reutlinger Zentrum Industrie 4.0, a cooperation of the Fraunhofer Institutes IPA and IAO and the faculty ESB Business School of Reutlingen University, forms a knowledge and transfer centre for medium-sized enterprises in Baden-Württemberg.


Research projects at Werk150

We work on research and development projects in close cooperation with industry, other colleges and universities. Due to the large number of student projects, research and teaching are closely interlinked.


In the 5G4KMU transfer centre, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) have the opportunity to further develop their products, applications and business models with the new 5G mobile phone standard.

In addition to the necessary 5G infrastructure, companies are provided with expert knowledge on 5G. 


 Together with the Albstadt-Sigmaringen University of Applied Sciences, the cities of Reutlingen, Albstadt and Sigmaringen, the administrative districts of Tübingen and Zollernalbkreis under the consortium leadership of the Reutlingen Chamber of Industry and Commerce, the plant 150 is part of the Digital Hub Neckar-Alb and Sigmaringen (DNS). The aim of this hub is to network digitisation players from different economic sectors, research and public administration. 


In this joint research project under the direction of Reutlingen University (ESB Business School), carried out jointly with the University of Ulm and the Ulm University of Applied Sciences, the requirements for the integration of systems of systems in intralogistics are being researched and validated in demonstration scenarios.


Das Verbundprojekt Exo4LogiProd soll das Innovationspotenzial von KMU im Bereich der ganzheitlichen Arbeitsgestaltung und Organisation von Arbeitsplätzen der Zukunft erhöhen. Durch den Einsatz von integrierten intelligenten Exoskeletten etwa im Lager, am Montageplatz oder bei der Kommissionierung können beim Werker Belastungsverletzungen vermieden und gleichzeitig seine Leistungsfähigkeit gesteigert werden. Das gilt besonders für Arbeitnehmer,

die bei Hebetätigkeiten oder Über-Kopf-Arbeiten häufig

bis an ihre Belastungsgrenze beansprucht werden, was in Zeiten einer immer älter werdenden Gesellschaft eine große Herausforderung darstellt.


In the accelerateKI research project, the universities of applied sciences in Aalen, Esslingen and Reutlingen are addressing the obstacles SMEs face when using artificial intelligence methods by researching and developing service-based and platform-independent AI configuration support. The project aims to significantly increase the applicability of AI algorithms and thus lower the inhibition threshold and development time for the use of AI in SMEs.


The German-Dutch Fieldlab AI4DT, a cooperation between Werk150 - the factory on the campus of the ESB Business School at Reutlingen University and the Brainport Industries Campus in Eindhoven, aims to provide low-threshold access for SMEs to solutions and knowledge in the areas of smart industries, digital twins, artificial intelligence and Industry 4.0 in both regions. 
Through joint b2b networking events, professional trainings, discussions, seminars and on-site visits from 2021 onwards, the aim is to identify digitalisation potentials in companies, to establish business partnerships and to promote the development of new technologies, initiate business partnerships and realise new solutions in implementation projects.

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