Header Forschung Innovation Technologie

Research, Innovation & Technology
Dynamic changes in technologies and markets are opening up a wide range of new business opportunities for mechanical and plant engineering. Our analyses and, in particular, our activities in joint research help to identify relevant developments and trends at an early stage, build innovation networks and exploit existing opportunities through rapid knowledge transfer of current research findings.

Themenfeldgrafik Forschung, Innovation und Technologie

Aus unseren Inhalten

Aus unseren Inhalten
Biologicalization of Industry 2035

From bionics to biointelligence – Advances in biology and its fusion with technology and IT are opening up a whole new dimension for machine makers to solve the current challenges of our time. The Scenario Study shows how this can be achieved.

Tax-based research funding: How does the instrument work?

The Research Subsidy Act came into force on January 1, 2020. Find out here who benefits from the new tax subsidy, what you need to consider and how the VDMA supports you with this form of funding.

New startup search platform | explore now!

Discover startup contacts and trends for mechanical engineering worldwide?! The new digital startup search platform helps to find suitable partners.

Sustainable battery recycling: Market potential in Europe

What prospects does the topic of battery recycling offer for mechanical and plant engineering? A study by Fraunhofer ISI, commissioned by the IMPULS Foundation of the VDMA, sees good market potential for Europe.

Let's talk about EMO Startup-Area 2023

The startup remberg from Munich made a conscious decision to participate in the EMO Startup Area. In an interview, CEO David Hahn explains why startups are indispensable in production technology and how participation in the Startup Area is worthwhile for aspiring companies.

This was the Startup Area at the world's leading trade fair for the construction machinery industry

Startup innovations for the construction equipment industry: there were 46 innovative startups to discover at bauma 2022, shaping the future of the industry with fresh innovations.

Current developments of tax-related topics

The event offered participants the opportunity to learn about and exchange information on current developments in tax law.

LIGNA.FutureSquare brings together established and emerging companies

From May 15-19, 2023, the Woodworking Machinery Association and Startup Machine organized the LIGNA.FutureSquare at LIGNA 2023, creating a place full of inspiration and innovation.

DNA Event - Lead Generation in the Digital Age

How can the lead generation process be digitally based and efficient? This question was the topic of the last event of the Fittings Digitalization Network on 05.05.2023.

Research building ZESS of the Ruhr-Uni Bochum opens laboratories

ZESS is an inter- and transdisciplinary research facility of the Ruhr-University Bochum that transforms smart product-service systems into suitable methods, technologies and systems for industrial applications.

Mechanical engineering increases research spending

Companies in the mechanical and plant engineering sector increased their spending on research and development again in 2021. However, the pre-Corona level has not yet been reached - an expansion of the tax research allowance is needed.

International Technology Roadmap for Photovoltaic (ITRPV): Publication of the 14th Edition

In 2022, the solar photovoltaic market saw growth to a record 295 GW of shipment capacity.  There is a further reduction in average module prices.  PERC technology remains dominant, and tandem silicon cells expected to enter the market after 2026.

IPCEI-Cloud: New funding guideline on use cases

Key issues paper published for a complementary funding guideline in the area of cloud and edge infrastructure and services under the IPCEI-CIS.

Start-ups for the future of the wood and furniture industry

From 15 to 19 May 2023, visitors were able to discover groundbreaking innovations from start-ups in the Startup Area at Ligna.FutureSquare. Emerging companies brought fresh ideas and innovations that had the potential to shape the future of the industry.

VDMA Future Business and Startup-Machine: One Team - One Vision

When it comes to future topics, we at Future Business and the Startup-Machine are exactly the right people to talk to.

"Hello innovators of tomorrow's manufacturing": the Startup Area at EMO 2023

The VDW and VDMA Services GmbH are jointly designing the EMO Startup Area powered by VDMA Startup-Machine.

ITMA 2023: Trademark and Intellectual Property Service Regulation

At ITMA 2023, there will be an arbitration panel to arbitrate IPR infringements. Prior to the show, a consultation service will be available to member companies of associations belonging to CEMATEX to help them prepare.

Research for a climate-neutral construction site

Joint research with the goal of more sustainability on the construction site - three new projects are at the start on the topics of temperature control, hydrogen and energy management.

Radiance through future technologies

For the biologization of technology, we as an industry need to break ground now to set the course for a waste-free future.

1.VDMA Trend Radar for Electronics Machinery and Plant Engineering

With trend topics in the time horizon from under 5 to over 10 years

Still too few female engineers in mechanical and plant engineering

Change is needed in various areas of education and working life to attract more women to technical professions. The latest study by the VDMA's Impuls Foundation investigates exactly what is needed. For the first time, the study focuses on the link between studies, career entry and the first years of employment for female engineers.

AI use in mechanical engineering products

Strategic considerations, experiences and success factors in the application of AI in mechanical engineering were the focus of the VDMA event on March 1, 2023, attended by experts from the textile machinery and printing and paper technology sectors.

What toast has to do with innovation

Collaborations with startups, but also the right methodology for developing new solutions, can be useful approaches to innovation. The de.hub Journey Intralogistics offered participants impulses on both in Hamburg on February 23-24, 2023.

Updated BMF letter on research allowance

In the fall of 2021, the BMF had commented for the first time on details of the research allowance. Now an update of the administrative instruction has been published.

Global competition does not think in terms of election periods

The future is closer than we think. That is why the German government's strategy for the future cannot be delayed. Well-conceived missions and instruments must be implemented quickly if the strategy is to be a success. Technology openness as a declared guiding principle is of decisive importance in this context.

Research Infrastructures.NRW

The funding call is intended to support the transformation process towards the "Green Economy". It is about increasing the implementation-oriented research and innovation potential in six innovation fields.

Innovation Award NRW

The NRW Ministry of Economic Affairs, Industry, Climate Protection and Energy is offering the North Rhine-Westphalia Innovation Award for 2023, which will be awarded in various categories.

"OPC UA for Fibre & Yarn Testing Devices" Release Candidate published

The trade association started the development of Companion Specifications in the field of textile machinery in 2019. As the first project, the Compainon Specfication "OPC UA for Fibre & Yarn Testing Devices" has now been published as a Release Candidate.

Research allowance gains momentum: Mechanical engineering is strongest user

The VDMA has called for tax-based research funding with great commitment, and it was introduced in 2020. The research allowance has developed successfully so far, with mechanical engineering being the strongest user. At the same time, there is a need for optimization in order to make the research allowance even better known and to expand its success.


The innovation competitions of the ERDF/JTF Program NRW 2021-2027 are primarily aimed at collaborative projects of SMEs that implement innovations together with partners.

Der VDMA-Hochschulpreis – Eine Erfolgsbilanz

Wertschätzung für die Lehre, Unterstützung guter Lehrvorhaben und Rückenwind für innovative Konzepte – darum geht es beim höchstdotierten Lehrpreis in den Ingenieurwissenschaften auf Bundesebene, dem VDMA-Hochschulpreis „Bestes Maschinenhaus“.

More attention with ITRPV sponsoring

The 14th edition of ITRPV will be published in April 2022. Use the world-renowned roadmap to promote your company.

Machinery and plant engineering remains on course in heavy seas

The machinery and plant engineering sector has remained on course in the unexpectedly heavy seas of 2022. A real production increase of 1 percent is still in sight. A slight minus of 2 percent is expected for 2023. This is a far cry from the setbacks of earlier years.

New FKT research reports

VDMA Textile Machinery provides results of joint industrial research of the Forschungskuratorium Textil (The Research Council of Textiles, FKT).

Photovoltaic production: Publication of ITRPV roadmap including readiness level

Discussion of the maturity level of different technologies in ITRPV implemented. Tendency to reduce poly-Si consumption in grams/Watt by reducing wafer thickness and kerf losses independent from the wafer sizes used. Reduction of silver consumption is on track and realistic by further reducing finger widths and having multibusbar/busbarless metallization designs. Increase of machine throughput values is projected with a faster increase for chemical and diffusion processes. Input ITRPV questionnaire possible.

Innovation Tour 2023 to the Startup Nation Israel

Israel is a source of innovation and startup hotbed for mechanical engineering. This was confirmed by the Innovation Tour Israel 2022 with VDMA members. Reason enough to continue the project in 2023.

Technology Transfer Program Lightweight Construction

The event held on November 24, 2022, showed which support options are offered at the federal level and by the VDMA in the field of lightweight construction.

New Questionnaire Online - Input possible until December 21, 2022

The questionnaire for the 14th edition of the ITRPV is online. We look forward to your input until December 21, 2022, to realize our publication date middle of March 2023.

The VDMA at bauma 2022

The world's leading industry event for construction machinery, building materials machinery, mining machinery, construction vehicles and construction equipment was held at the Munich Exhibition Center from October 24 to 30, 2022.

Innovation funding for drone projects

In the northernmost tip of Germany, the UAM-InnoRegion-SH is emerging, dedicated to the use and development of unmanned aerial systems and propulsion technologies. This is intended to contribute to structural change in the region.

Industrial VISION Days 2022 - presentations on demand

If you could not see all the lectures at the Industrial VISION Days 2022, missed VISION 2022 altogether or would like to recapture a bit of the VISION feeling: VISION is once again offering all the lectures "on demand". Benefit from the bundled know-how of the machine vision industry. At any time. From anywhere in the world.

Startup solutions for zero emissions in the construction machinery sector

At bauma 2022, discover startups that are steering the construction equipment industry toward a greener future with their groundbreaking technological solutions. Here's an overview of our exhibitors.

Startups for the mining of the future

Discover startups that bring sustainability, efficiency and safety to the mining industry at bauma 2022. Here's an overview of our exhibitors.

Startups as enablers of the autonomous machine

Discover startups that deliver automation concepts for the construction machinery industry at bauma 2022. Here's an overview of our exhibitors.

Startups for new construction methods and materials of tomorrow

Discover startups at bauma 2022 that are presenting the construction processes and materials of tomorrow through their innovative deep-tech solutions. Here's an overview of our exhibitors.

Securing the future with research funding

The mechanical and plant engineering sector is constantly working on technical answers to the pressing questions of our time. These include digitally networked production and the mobility of the future, as well as climate protection and global nutrition. For this, companies need a framework that promotes innovation. This includes research funding that is open to a wide range of topics, strengthens German competitiveness and thus helps secure jobs in Germany.

Start-up Transfer.NRW" funding program

The Start-up Transfer.NRW program gives start-ups from educational and research institutions the opportunity to bring their innovative ideas, which have a high application potential and a convincing business concept, to market maturity.

Innovation made in NRW - Circular economy

"Innovations made in NRW" presents best practices from various branches of mechanical and plant engineering and shows how a Circular Economy can be implemented.

Storytelling at the Mechanical Engineering Summit: This is what "Future Services" in mechanical engineering look like

The VDMA future study "Future Services 2025" was also presented at the Mechanical Engineering Summit 2022. 3 speakers told their respective service stories.

Startups for the digital construction site

Discover startups at bauma 2022 that are making the vision of a digitalized, networked and automated construction site a lived reality. Here's an overview of our exhibitors.

Our expert and focus topics

Our expert and focus topics
Go For Green Tech!
Mechanical and plant engineering is an enabler for climate protection and resource efficiency. Only with green technologies and innovative strength can climate targets be achieved and transformation shaped.
Engineering education for the mechanical engineering sector
For many employees, working in a home office is a completely new situation that has caught them very unprepared due to the pandemic. This raises a host of practical and legal issues.
Artificial Intelligence
Everyone is talking about artificial intelligence and machine learning. At VDMA, there are already many organizational units that are examining the topic more closely. Here, you can gain some insight into all the activities that the VDMA is conducting on the topic of Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence.
Quantum Technologies and Photonics
The Quantum Technologies and Photonics Forum was founded with the vision of showing members the potential of quantum technologies and photonics, paving the way for applications and thus improving the future and competitiveness of mechanical engineering.
Battery Production
Electromobility and battery production are gaining ground worldwide, and this is just the beginning. To make the right decisions early and be competitive, it is essential to have your finger on the pulse of innovative production solutions.
International Technology Roadmap for Photovoltaic (ITRPV)
The International Technology Roadmap for Photovoltaic (ITRPV) is developed by the PV industry for the PV industry. Twice a year, data is collected from the contributors and processed anonymously as well as evaluated by the VDMA. Participation is free of charge.
Modern intralogistics systems enable reliable and flexible production supply and efficient processes in the warehouse. Through increasing automation and digitalization, the systems are becoming more intelligent and will be able to optimize themselves in the future.
Commercial drone applications are also gaining importance in mechanical and plant engineering as well as adjacent B2B customer industries.
Wind Energy
Wind energy plays an important role in security of supply and will be crucial to achieve climate neutrality in the energy system. It ensures value creation and employment as well as energy independence. In addition, the availability of renewable energies is a decisive location factor for economic regions.
Fuel cell
Fuel cells play a central role in CO2-neutral energy supply and are part of national hydrogen strategies.
Fuel cell innovation cluster
The innovation cluster for large-scale production of fuel cell stacks (GO-Start BZ) is to support the potentials of an industrialization of stack production in Germany.
Forum Glass Technology
It is impossible to imagine modern life without glass, a more than 5,000 years old material. Every day, new technological and market-specific challenges confront the machine and plant manufacturers in glass production, processing, and finishing.
Industry 4.0 needs easily available, secure and consistent data networking. Manufacturing-X is designed to make this possible. The goal is to establish a data ecosystem that enables trustworthy data exchange between companies based on open standards and offers companies digital sovereignty.
Technological Sovereignty
Technological sovereignty as a goal is gaining importance regarding the changed geopolitical situation. International division of labor and global trade are our drivers of prosperity and are existential, especially for the mechanical engineering sector.
Digitization alone cannot solve key challenges such as climate protection and resource scarcity. The biologization of industry offers another dimension to Industry 4.0 and a perspective on the future of production. Mechanical engineering plays a key role in this and offers a huge toolbox for biological processes and mechanisms. VDMA focus topic deals with technological solutions for transferring and integrating biology into the world of industrial application.

Level 1 Themenwolke


To the point

To the point

Auf den Punkt Zitat - Themenfeld Research, Innovation, Technology

"As a high-tech company, we not only have to pick up on the developments of the day, but ideally anticipate them. Close cooperation with startups is an important building block for this."

Dr. Niklas Hering, Trumpf Venture GmbH

Auf den Punkt Zahl - Themenfeld Forschung, Innovation, Technologie



of the German economy's expenditure on research and development comes from the mechanical engineering sector, according to the Stifterverband. In a European comparison, it is the most innovative: three out of four of its companies, according to the ZEW, are innovators. And every fifth patent application at the European Patent Office in the field of mechanical engineering comes from Germany.

Source: Stifterverband für die Deutsche Wissenschaft / ZEW

Auf den Punkt Zusammenfassung - Themenfeld Forschung, Innovation, Technologie

Future Business: The key pillars for innovation
  • Trendscouting - We provide beacons that guide you through the seemingly endless ocean of trends.
  • Corporate Foresight - Thinking in Alternative Futures strengthens the resilience of your company
  • Startup-Machine - Learning from each other: We bring mechanical engineers and startups together



Tue. 06.06.23 Wed. 07.06.23


  • Corporate Foresight
  • Competence Center Future Business

Foresight in the corporate environment means actively addressing the comprehensive and far-reaching challenges of our time and thinking strategically ahead. Find out how this can be achieved at our VDMA Corporate Foresight Conference "Complexity Management", which we are holding this time in Friedrichshafen at the kind invitation of Rolls Royce Power Systems.

Places available

Unsere Leistungen

Unsere Leistungen
Series of Research events
We organize various events on the topic of research.
Knowledge transfer: Future studies, Future Business Summits
Complex topics, well-structured, easy to use: Scenario deep dives convey orientation knowledge to the point, key factors and recommendations for action, presented in top-class summits.
Facts and figures: Research and innovation in mechanical engineering
In our theme publication you will find facts and figures on research and development, innovations and patents in mechanical engineering.
Collection of I4.0 research at German research institutes
The collection provides an overview of the German research landscape around Industry 4.0. In the new edition 2019, around 40 universities and institutes present their current projects.
Online Library Digitalization & Industry 4.0
The VDMA accompanies and supports its members on their path to Industry 4.0. Here you will find an overview of the latest publications on this topic.
Working Group Research Industry 4.0 and Artificial Intelligence
The "Research I40 and AI" working group aims to initiate pre-competitive and cross-industry research projects in the field of Industry 4.0 and AI. VDMA members who are interested are very welcome to join.
MBI Events
The Mechanical Engineering Institute is offering a variety of continuing education courses in the field of digitalization and innovation. Learn more about our offer now and get in shape for the digital revolution!
VDMA Trendscouting: The Peacoq Foresight Support Platform
Trends and disruptions relevant for mechanical engineering compiled in our online tool. Use longlist, trend cards and radar graphic for research, presentation and individualization according to your needs.
Startup Radar Dashboard - Find startups for mechanical engineering online
Discover startup contacts and trends for mechanical engineering worldwide?! The new digital startup search platform helps to find suitable partners.
Startup Events
As a platform for mechanical engineering and startups, we bring both parties together: We create spaces to meet, establish networks and initiate partnerships.



Asset Publisher

VDMA partners

Industrielle Gemeinschaftsforschung, AiF Forschungsnetzwerk Mittelstand
Forschungskuratorium Maschinenbau e.V.
Fraunhofer-Institut für System- und Innovationsforschung ISI

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Benefits for you as a member

Largest industry network in Europe

3,600 primarily medium-sized member companies in the capital goods industry make the VDMA the largest industrial association in Europe and the most important network organization in the industry.

Strong representation of interests

The VDMA is the most important voice of the machinery and equipment manufacturing industry. It represents the common economic, technical and scientific interests of the industry in Germany and around the world.

A wide range of services

More than 500 VDMA employees worldwide support you with practical services to make the right decisions in your company - along the entire value chain.