How could you do innovative work

Innovations for the production, service and work of tomorrow

The share of the service sector is growing in all highly developed industrial countries, including Germany. The manufacturing industry with a strong industrial base has proven to be particularly resistant to crises. The resource-efficient modernization of this sector, including the digital refinement of production technology, is an effective means of keeping value creation in the country and ensuring technical and social progress - including services.

Research on production, services and work has the claim and the task of providing needs-based equipment for production and process processes, knowledge for well-trained employees, suitable forms of organization for modern companies and the "factories of the future" as an independent key technology. With their help, products and services are developed in a humane, environmentally friendly and competitive manner and manufactured taking into account economic, ecological and social aspects. In order to create value from knowledge, people, technology and organization are considered holistically.

Production and service research create the prerequisites for leaps in innovation

With the program "Innovations for the production, services and work of tomorrow", the Federal Ministry of Research is consistently continuing the successful path of the program lines "Research for the production of tomorrow" and "Innovations with services". In parallel to technical developments, work organization and work processes are researched and implemented as social factors so that people can continue to do innovative and “good” work. Interdisciplinary networks and close cooperation between science and industry are promoted. Production and service research thus create the prerequisites for the necessary leaps in innovation that will also secure Germany's prosperity in the future.

The aim of the program is to find applicable solutions to maintain and expand added value and jobs in Germany, to make work economically and socially acceptable and to further develop production and service processes in an efficient and environmentally friendly manner. Companies and research institutions are invited to actively shape society with technical and social progress.

SMEs are a cornerstone of the German economy

Against the background of the current processes of change in the world of work, good production, service and working conditions for companies and employees are essential for the success of Germany as a business and work location. With the “Future of Work” funding program, the Federal Ministry of Research is therefore targeting research institutions and companies - especially small and medium-sized enterprises. Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) employ around 16 million people in Germany; and are therefore a mainstay of the German economy.

With the program, the Federal Ministry of Research specifically supports projects in which social innovations are researched. The aim is to develop new concepts and tools for the design and organization of work in and with practice and to transfer the results of research broadly into operational practice through pilot implementation. The following strategic instruments can be used:

Joint projects

Joint projects are pre-competitive, work-sharing collaborations between several independent partners from business and science who make independent contributions to solving a research and development task. Joint projects ensure that companies, organizations and research institutions work together in such a way that the results produce a high level of social and economic benefit.

SME funding

Germany's excellent achievements and results in both basic and applied research must be consistently implemented in industrial applications and products. A special position is held by SMEs, which, as an important driver of innovation, represent a crucial interface for the transfer of research results from science to industry. The funding program provides measures specifically geared towards SMEs.

Transfer of research results

The central aim of the project funding is the direct use of the results by the network partners as well as the transfer of technologies, knowledge and insights into the practice of companies and organizations outside the funding.

The BMBF framework program “Innovations for the production, services and work of tomorrow” makes an important contribution to sustainably strengthening Germany as a business location in global competition. A total of around one billion euros has been earmarked for the entire program with its three parts by 2020.