Future Work Lab

Fraunhofer Institute for Manufacturing Engineering and Automation IPA

Source: Fraunhofer IAO, Photo: Ludmilla Parsyak

Innovation lab for work, people and technology

With the Future Work Lab, the Fraunhofer Institutes IAO and IPA opened a center that lets visitors experience the future of manufacturing. The center offers tangible demonstrators, expertise development and training programs as well as a platform for scientific exchange, and targets industry, employee associations, politics, science – and future production workers.

Companies can utilize the Future Work Lab in three ways:

  • At the Demonstration Center, three circuits illustrating the future of work show technologies and applications that are already available today, along with possible scenarios of the future division of labor between people and technology. The initiators’ aim is to demonstrate tomorrow’s industrial work from different angles. “On these three circuits, companies can directly experience and identify what industrial work will look like in the future,” says Dr. Moritz Hämmerle from Fraunhofer IAO, who is director of the Future Work Lab. At the same time, they have the possibility to establish direct contact with potential partners and to benefit from their experience.
  • Future work will demand totally different skills from today. The “Fit for Future Work” expertise development and consulting center therefore offers seminars, workshops and training options for employees of manufacturing companies. Collaborating with corporate partners, the center’s experts also develop special individual training concepts for industry 4.0.
  • The “Work in progress” ideas center for work research is a central platform for promoting scientific dialog and further research into production work. By setting it up directly in the Future Work Lab, the project partners want to guarantee rapid transfer from academia into practice. “The goal of the ideas center is to strengthen networking relations with the national and international research community. In this context, the Future Work Lab serves on the one hand as a point of contact for external partners and research centers, while on the other providing a basis for completely new research projects,” explains Thilo Zimmermann, who will coordinate the project for Fraunhofer IPA.

The project is being funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF).