After the ground-breaking ceremony in December 2018, the project which is important for the innovative strength of Germany as a business location has reached its second milestone: After the laying of the foundation stone on July 25, 2019, on KIT Campus East, the Karlsruhe Research Factory - a development and demonstration center for the factory of the future - is on its way to completion. From the end of 2020 on, new production technologies can be planned, tested, and transferred to industry much faster than before. “The Karlsruhe Research Factory creates the unique opportunity to research the future topic of intelligent production on real processes in a practical way,” said KIT President Professor Holger Hanselka. Together, the partners KIT and Fraunhofer contribute their comprehensive expertise in the fields of artificial intelligence, mechanical engineering, process technology, sensor development, and sensor integration to create added value for strong, innovative companies.
Professor Alexander Kurz, Executive Board member of the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft for Human Resources, Legal Affairs, and Exploitation, praised the broad, cooperative approach: "With this joint project, KIT and the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft pool their research in Karlsruhe in the field of future, innovative production technologies and methods. The concept of involving industry as well as the further development of research and academic education is best implemented with the joint approach".
State Secretary Katrin Schütz from the Baden-Württemberg Ministry of Economic Affairs, Employment and Housing emphasised the benefits for the regional economy: “The Karlsruhe research factory will become a beacon for the innovation location Baden-Württemberg. In order to further consolidate our status as the number one innovation region in Europe, we must bring new technologies into operational application as quickly as possible. The research factory will considerably accelerate this process”.
“The Research Factory will break new ground in several aspects,” added Ulrich Steinbach, Head of Department at the Baden-Württemberg Ministry of Science, Research and the Arts. "It is an excellent example of the joint research of KIT and the Karlsruhe Fraunhofer Institutes. For example, research is being carried out there on how to achieve high-quality results at a very early stage - even when the manufacturing processes required for a new product have not yet been fully understood. In this way, we are laying another foundation stone for new technologies from Baden-Württemberg.