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Together in Stuttgart for sustainable automobile manufacture and production for the future


Start of the research campus ARENA2036

The launch event of the flexible research factory ARENA2036 for the automobile of the future on 3rd June 2014 on the university campus Vaihingen was attended by 150 distinguished guests from academia, business and politics with the State President Winfried Kretschmann. 


Universität Stuttgart

Partners from academia and business will work together in the research building being built there with financial and political support from the German state and the State of Baden-Württemberg in order to achieve the goal of realising new, resourceful and competitive production models by 2036, which is also the 150th anniversary of the automobile.

Through the research factory for the car of the future with an investment volume of 30 million Euros, 160 new jobs for highly qualified academics will be created, where they will work on versatile production and functionally integrated fibre composite lightweight constructions in the series production of automobiles.

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With this future enterprise the ARENA2036 partners (Active Research Environment for the Next Generation of Automobiles) are starting a new era of research partnership. 

Foundation researchers as well as application-oriented academics from the university of Stuttgart and non-university research institutes and industries will collaborate in one factory building and together will work together strategically from research to the finished project. 

Professor Wolfram Ressel, the Rector of the University of Stuttgart and the chairperson of the steering committee of the ARENA2036 welcomed the guests in Vaihingen, thanked the patrons and underlined the model character of this cooperation between research and business.

“The cooperative research campus defines itself through its future-orientated research topics and the interdisciplinary and inter-institutional approach. This campus will contribute towards strengthening the research region Stuttgart and will create a perfect transfer of research knowledge into industrial innovation”, according to Wolfram Ressel.

Support from the German State and the State of Baden Württemberg
In his speech Winfried Kretschmann, President of the State of Baden-Württemberg, highlighted the importance of the research campus for the competitiveness of the State with a clear leading role in technology. “Innovation today is very rarely the work of just one man. It’s rather a result of crossover points between research, business and civil society”, according to Kretschmann. “Cooperation like ARENA2036 is therefore an ideal model to benefit the innovations and technology transfer. We as the State Government are more than happy to support this model so that future-orientated networks can emerge. A crucial part of our future is being developed here.”

The research campus ARENA2036 goes back to the competition of the State Research Ministry (BMBF) “Research Campus – public-private partnership for innovation“, where the proposal of the University of Stuttgart and the ARENA2036 partners was presented as the model project. In a time frame of 15 years the BMBF will annually provide subsidies of up to 2 million Euros. Hermann Riehl, assistant head of the State Research Ministry stated the following. “With ARENA2036 the close cooperation between research and business, the technological advances though the flexible production of lightweight components in Germany is secured and established.“

Since July 2013 ARENA2036 has already been working in an interim building on all start-up projects. The move into the new research factory with a size of 8000 square metres on the university campus Vaihingen including an office, a laboratory and a production space is planned for the end of 2016. All ARENA2036 projects will than be implemented in the new building. The investment costs will than be borne by the State of Baden-Württemberg and the University of Stuttgart. State Director Dr. Simone Schwanitz, administrative head of the Ministry of Education, Research and Art, highlighted the research partnering: “Scientific knowledge has the potential to revolutionise the key technology areas. At the same time, production brings up new questions which can only be solved by research: innovation means being able to combine this interaction between the two sides of the coin in a flexible and efficient way. This is possible in a research partnership.“

Involvement from business
Prof. Thomas Weber, member of the Executive Board of Daimler AG, Group Research and Mercedes-Benz Cars stated that “ARENA2036 is a crucial part in making Stuttgart the Silicon Valley of automobiles – a magnet that brings the very best internationally to the region.“

Partners from the beginning: ARENA2036 Partner
Along with the University of Stuttgart further partners include BASF, Bosch, Daimler, the German Centre for Aviation and Space Travel, the German Institute for Textile and Fibre Research Denkendorf (DITF) and the Frauenhofer Institute. New partners include the companies Bär Automation, Faro and Festo, who were introduced as new members of the new ARENA2036 association.
According to Dr Martin Jung, press spokesperson for BASF research in the automobile industry “The mobility of the future needs to be environmentally sustainable and for that leightweight concepts are needed. As part of ARENA2036 we would like to work together with our partners to develop material concepts, which can make fibre material more economical and can improve its functionality.“

Dr. Jürgen Kirschner, member of the management of the central area of research and future developement at Bosch added that “Developing future material systems, manufacturing processes and design principles gives the research and industrial location Germany fantastic opportunities. ARENA2036 assists this cause and we are more than happy to bring our knowlegde to the table.“

Klaus Hamacher, the assistant head of the executive board at DLR states “For the DLR lightweight construction is an important future technology, which can really define the air and space traffic sector like the automobile sector in the next few decades. Several DLR institutes are already intensively researching new concepts, construction methods and materials. The two DLR institutes for automobile concepts as well as construction methods and structural technology can bring their knowledge and know-how to the ARENA2036 research campus and can additionally benefit from the exchange between partners from business and research so that together innovation can emerge in this future driven sector.“

For Professor Götz T. Gresser, spokesperson of the Executive Board of DITF Denkendorf “The ARENA2036 research campus provides a big opportunity for DITF Denkendorf to share the decades worth of research and development that the company has done in fibre and fibre materials for functionally integrated lightweight constructions. DITF Denkendorf possesses all the required technology and skills to design and realise ideas for the automobiles of the future in this collaborative project.”

According to Professor Thomas Bauernhansl, the Head of the Fraunhofer Institute IPA “The Fraunhofer IPA drives the research of versatile production systems with longstanding experience and knowledge in the area of factory planning and development of innovative robotic systems and then implements this knowledge practically in the research factory.”

The ARENA203 pilot projects
The ARENA2036 partners are working on four pilot projects: intelligent lightweight constructions and integration of functions, digital production: new materials and processes, research factory: productions of the future as well as the interface project creativity, cooperation and competence transfer.

Further information:
Dr. Hans-Herwig Geyer, University of Stuttgart, Head of University Communication and Press Spokesperson, Tel: 0711-685-82555, email:

Andrea Mayer-Grenu | idw - Informationsdienst Wissenschaft
Further information:

Further reports about: BASF BMBF DLR academia construction manufacture materials

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