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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.

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From our Articles
Tax incentives for research: How does the instrument work?

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

New digital trend radar platform Peacoq is online

All contents of the VDMA Future Business Trend Radar are now digital – and thus more easily accessible for research, presentation and individualization, including new features. Test now!

IGF: the research network in mechanical engineering

The Industrial Collective Research (IGF) represents a unique innovation platform for small and medium-sized enterprises. As an open-topic and industry-driven program, IGF is an important component in pre-competitive research for mechanical and plant engineering.

Success factor AI - machine builders and startups find each other

42 percent of AI startups for mechanical engineering come from Europe. Process optimization, visual quality control and predictive maintenance as key innovation fields. Financing is lacking in Europe.

Focus on the future

Research creates value and jobs in Germany and Europe. Policymakers must create innovation-friendly framework conditions. Openness to technology is essential.

Using lifts safely even in a pandemic

Millions of people use elevators every day - but how safe is it in times of a pandemic? The latest episode of the VDMA's industry podcast is about infection-free use of lifts during the Corona pandemic. Even simple measures can make elevators safer for people.

Opportunities of digitalization and automation

International study on digitalisation and automation in manufacturing companies, Fraunhofer IML/TU Dortmund

First projects of the VDMA working group 'Wireless Communication' started

The VDMA working group Wireless Communication for Machines (WCM), founded in March, started its technical work on June 1.

VDMA: Register of cabins for crop protection technology open to the public

In close cooperation with the German Federal Office of Consumer Protection and Food Safety (BVL), the VDMA has created an informative cab register.

On the death of Prof. Dr.-Ing Bernd Stoffel

It is with great regret that we had to take note of the death of Prof. Dr. Bernd Stoffel.

Committees and working groups

Here you will find an overview of our committees and working groups for the areas of markets and economic activity as well as technology.

Innovative manufacturing strategies in tool, model and mould making

Information for your manufacturing from the machine to tool clamping and machining tools to manufacturing strategies for the future.

Working groups: Everything you need to know at a glance

The VDMA East working groups provide important impulses for your daily work. They show best practice examples, provide valuable suggestions and promote contacts among members - currently also in web meetings.

Research funding for the future of value creation

The BMBF supports innovations in production, services and work that focus on people through various funding measures.

BMWi "Investments in the Future for Vehicle Manufacturers and the Supplier Industry

The automotive industry is currently experiencing enormous upheavals. This requires investments in new concepts and processes, new products, qualification and production facilities.

BMWi funding for small and medium-sized enterprises: "ZIM

The Central Innovation Programme for SMEs (ZIM) is a nationwide funding programme that is open to all technologies and sectors.

Startup solutions for mechanical engineering

Bringing startups and mechanical engineering together - with a focus on problems and topics. This is the objective of the web seminar series "Startup solutions for mechanical engineering" by ProduktionNRW and Startup-Machine.

Digital Innovation Tour to the Startup Nation Israel

Discover startup culture and technology trends in Israel: We make this possible in the BMWi's Innovation Tour. Be part of it and meet startups that have been selected just for you.

Study: New competence requirements due to digital transformation

Your support is needed: On behalf of the VDMA, the Kienbaum Institute @ ISM is conducting a study aimed at identifying the new competence requirements resulting from the digital transformation in our member companies.

Project HM-Tool 3D

Minimization of residual microstructural defects in the additive manufacturing of cutting tools made of hard composite materials by powder bed based laser beam melting

Project AddKoSt started

The aim of the AiF project is the qualification of carbon martensitic hardening tool steels for the additive manufacturing of tool holders, base bodies and clamping devices with new or improved functionality.

The structure of the WCM working group

Overview of the structure and the units of the Working Group Wireless Communications for Machines

Unmanned Aircraft Systems in the indoor area

Legal and technical introduction to the use of drones in indoor areas

Digitalization in production

The virtual event of the series "Startup Solutions for Mechanical Engineering" on March 23, 2021 was dedicated to the topic "Digitalization in Production".

Quantum leaps in mechanical engineering

Quantum computing has the potential to literally turn our world upside down.

Paris Agreement changes economy and society

The Paris Agreement changes the framework conditions for oil-producing countries. They are reacting by expanding alternative energies and entering into hydrogen production.

Focus: Anti-Counterfeiting And Brand Protection

On May 20, 2021, the Industrial Printing Working Group met virtually to discuss "Anti-Counterfeiting, Brand Protection - Solutions for Packaging and Label Printing".

New R&D survey

In April, the "Stifterverband für die Deutsche Wissenschaft" started its new survey on research and development (R&D) in the industry in 2020. The results are highly significant.

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.

Combustion engines: fit for the future

Internal combustion engines can already be operated in a completely climate-neutral manner today, opening up considerable potential for rapidly reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

Good News For Hard Chrome Plated Components In Printing And Paper Machinery


Open source entry into the VDA 5050

The VDA 5050 communication interface has a special role to play in the "Flow-Pro" research project: as part of a transaction platform, it is intended to help the ground- and air-bound transport units of the logistics network organize themselves.

Digital policy needs more weight in parliament and government

Cooperation within Europe on digital policy must improve. The industry needs efficient political structures and competent contacts. And it needs a common, interoperable cloud and data infrastructure.

Focus On Circular Economy And Sustainable Packaging

On 11 May 2021, the spring meeting of the VDMA Forum Packmittel on the topic of circular economy and sustainable packaging took place as part of a web meeting.

Process Industry- ACHEMA PULSE live on 15 June - 16 June 2021

ACHEMA PULSE will open its digital doors live for two days on 15 June 2021. With ACHEMA postponed to 4 - 8 April 2022 due to a pandemic, the digital platform will provide insights into process industry trends.

Standards and draft standards relevant to valves

The trade association continuously reports on new standards or draft standards that may be of importance to valve manufacturers.

Ways to a crisis-proof industry

WGP develops assistance for more resilient production. The term resilience has been on everyone's lips since the pandemic at the latest - especially with regard to the future design of industry.

Future for the combustion engine?

The current study "Drivetrain in Transition" examines the future of mobility. It predicts that the combustion engine will lose much of its importance, but also considers an alternative scenario.

Quantum Leaps in Mechanical Engineering: Focus on Quantum Computing

Exclusively for VDMA members, on the morning of May 19, 2021, the VDMA will host the first web info day in the series "Quantum Leaps in Mechanical Engineering" with a focus on quantum computing. The organizers are the Photonics Forum, the Baden-Württemberg State Association and the Competence Center Future Business.

Hydrogen map is in the making

In order to be able to exploit the enormous possibilities offered by hydrogen, the Federal Government has developed the national hydrogen strategy. It is flanked by research projects supported by for example the Federal Ministry of Education and Research. Under the direction of Prof. Dr.-Ing. Michael Sterner of the East Bavarian Technical University Regensburg, the Hydrogen Atlas of Germany is being developed in cooperation with the VDMA.

Discussion of latest results of the 12th edition of the International Technology Roadmap for Photovoltaic (ITRPV)

In an online seminar on April 29, 2021 VDMA presented the new edition of the International Technology Roadmap for Photovoltaic.

Transformation of mobility in full swing

By 2040, around 45 percent of vehicles worldwide will be powered purely by electricity or fuel cells. For the mechanical engineering industry, this means opportunities and challenges, which are examined in the third edition of the study "Drivetrain in Transition".

Research and development remain strong pillars in mechanical and plant engineering

The machinery and plant engineering sector spent a record amount on research and development in 2019. And even during the Corona pandemic, companies continue to focus on innovation

#btw21: Tax policy for more investments

As a globally networked industry, the mechanical and plant engineering sector has been hit hard by the effects of the Corona crisis. After securing liquidity through tax measures, among other things, the task now is to flank the recovery and strengthen growth.

Research & development remain strong pillars in mechanical engineering

Mechanical engineering in Germany spent a total of €8.2 billion on research and development in 2019.

Seminar - Practical Workshop 5G: Basics and Use Cases

The Mechanical Engineering Institute of the VDMA offers a seminar on 5G technology, use cases and basic information on requirements, performance indicators and system aspects on 8 June 2021.

16th MiningForum: new Date 2022

Join us and present your expertise on 19 and 20 May 2022 in Berlin.

Call for projects launched for the Rhenish mining area

Projects wanted: the Rhenish mining area is to become an international pioneer in climate protection by 2038 and demonstrate how sustainable jobs and new added value can be created.

German Pavilion at the EXPO MONGOLIA, October 5 to 7

Expo Mongolia will be held in Ulan Bator from 5 to 7 October 2021. The Federal Republic of Germany will again be present with a German Pavilion. Deadline for registration is 19 July 2021.

OPC UA - Tackle and implement

OPC UA plays an important role in the implementation of Industry 4.0: This requires uniform standards for the cross-manufacturer and cross-hierarchical networking of sensors, components, machines and controllers from different manufacturers.

To the point

To the point

Auf den Punkt Zitat - Themenfeld Research, Innovation, Technology

"Following Industry 4.0 and artificial intelligence, it's possible that biointelligence will be the next "big thing" for our industry."

Dr. Eric Maiser, VDMA Head of Future Business

Auf den Punkt Zahl - Themenfeld Forschung, Innovation, Technologie


research projects

with a total volume of 58 million euros in 2020 demonstrate that the VDMA/FKM joint research association covers a broad spectrum.

Source: FKM

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

VDMA Focus-Topic

VDMA Focus-Topic

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Other VDMA Services
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.
Series of Research events
We hold various events on the topic of research.
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.
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.
VDMA Startup-Machine
Startups are a fountain of youth for mechanical engineering: With VDMA Startup-Machine, we offer a platform that brings both together and supports them in their collaboration. This is how you can profit from it.


Research, Innovation & Technology Committee
Forschung und Innovation
The focus is on innovation policy, engineering and skilled worker training, and technology trends. At the same time, this VDMA top committee acts as a link in politics and science.


Stefan Rinck

Singulus Technologies AG


Rauen, Hartmut

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Partners of the VDMA

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

Around 3,300 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 mechanical and plant engineering 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.