Date: October 12, 2015, No. 75

Festive laying of the foundation stone for research factory ARENA2036

Together in Stuttgart for sustainable car manufacturing and production world of the future

On 8 th October 2015 over 200 high-ranking visitors from science, business and politics took part in the festive laying of the foundation stone for the new research building ARENA2036 at the University of Stuttgart for the car of the future on the university campus in Vaihingen. In their ceremonial addresses on the laying of the foundation stone Dr. Nils Schmid MdL, Deputy State Premier and Minister of Finance and Economy Baden-Württemberg, and Theresia Bauer, Minister of Science, Research and Art Baden-Württemberg described the cooperation between science and business as a “Lighthouse project for the country“ and an “excellent model for effective technology transfer“ .


Up to 160 workplaces will be created in the research building for the most highly qualified scientists who will be dealing with versatile production and function-integrated fibre composite lightweight constructions for the serial production of vehicles. In future partners from science and business will be working together under one roof with the financial and political support of the Federal Government and the State of Baden-Württemberg. The aim by the year 2036 – the 150-year anniversary of the automobile - is to realise innovative, resource-efficient and competitive production models and systems. The investment volume for the research factory amounts to approx. 27 million Euros and will be borne by the University of Stuttgart and the State of Baden-Württemberg.

The Director of the State Office of Property and Construction Baden-Württemberg, Ms Annette Ipach-Öhmann, welcomed the guests from politics, science and business and declared the laying of the foundation stone as the official start of the construction work for the “Factory of the Future”. She went on to say, “The new hall building with workshop, laboratory and office space with around 6,500 square metres effective space will facilitate the direct cooperation between science and business under one roof and underline with its innovative structurally technical concept the lighthouse function of the research project. The future of the automobile is to be designed on the research campus ARENA2036 through basic and applied research and the innovativeness and competitiveness of the industry is to be secured in Baden-Württemberg.“  

Support by the State of Baden-Württemberg

In his speech in front of the guests, the Deputy State Premier and Minister for Economic AffairsNils Schmid said, “The new building of the research factory will bring together university research and industrial practical knowledge of the future under one roof. ARENA2036 will not only create another important cooperation between science and business in the state but also a Baden-Württemberg lighthouse project for the pioneering automobile construction. The focus will be on the innovative fields of “Industrie 4.0” and lightweight constructions. With this the research campus ARENA2036 is offering lucrative potentials for the University of Stuttgart, but also for the region and the State of Baden-Württemberg.“

Research Minister Theresia Bauer emphasised in her speech: “ARENA2036 shows how science and business can come together in times of the digitalisation of production. Flexible interaction between man and machine will replace the conveyor belt - with ARENA2036 Baden-Württemberg will be positioning itself further at the top of the most innovative regions in Europe.“

Panel discussion

The laying of the foundation stone was followed by a panel discussion on the topic of “ Revolutionising the key industrial sectors of automobile and mechanical engineering with ARENA2036?“ . Along with Minister Nils Schmid and Minister Theresia Bauer, the following took part in the discussion: Professor Wolfram Ressel (Rector of the University of Stuttgart), Andreas Friedrich, (Head of the Technology Factory Mercedes-Benz Cars, Daimler AG), Klaus Hamacher (Deputy Chairman of the Board of Directors at German Aerospace Centre), Sven Hamann (Head of the Central Division of Research and Advance Development, Production Technology, Bosch GmbH) and Peter Fröschle (Chairman of the Board of Directors of ARENA2036), who chaired the panel.

In his introductory welcoming address Peter Fröschle emphasised that the ARENA2036 partners are venturing on a new epoch in research partnerships with this future company: “Basic researchers as well as application-oriented scientists from the University of Stuttgart, extramural research institutes and industry are putting their heads together in a factory building and are together taking a strategic road from research to the finished product.”

The basic message of the discussion was that the development of a sustainable “Industrie 4.0” will enable an individual mobility with low energy consumption. The future of automobile construction will be achieved through versatile intelligent forms of production as well as through function-integrated, multi-material lightweight constructions. In so doing the ambitious research program of ARENA2036 will be making an important contribution towards the competitiveness of the automobile State of Baden-Württemberg.

Professor Wolfram Ressel underlined the model character of the cooperation between science and business and explained: “The cooperative research campus is characterised by its future-oriented research topics and the interdisciplinary and inter-institutional approach. The joint project work will contribute towards strengthening the science region of Stuttgart and creating an optimum transfer of research findings to industrial innovations.”

Andreas Friedrich said: “Our current research vehicles provide a glimpse of what could distinguish a car in the year 2036: individuality, intelligence, lightweight construction, sustainability, safety and comfort. We will only be able to solve the partially competing requirements resulting from this if we take a holistic and interdisciplinary approach. In addition the individualisation of the vehicles will continue to advance and the volatility of the markets will increase. We therefore need production concepts that are modular and flexible to a high degree. Enough topics to intensively and jointly research and test under one roof in ARENA2036 together with universities, research institutes and other manufacturers as well as suppliers in the pre-competitive environment.“

Klaus Hamacher explained: ”The DLR is a founding member of ARENA2036 and introduces competences in the fields of vehicle design, vehicle lightweight construction, crash simulation and tests with the institutes for vehicle concepts as well as for construction methods and structure technology. With its new building the research campus offers DLR the opportunity to research actively together the next generation of the automobile in one building with reputable partners – from automobile manufacturers to suppliers up to other research institutes.“

Sven Hamann said: “Many have not yet recognised the opportunities of networking. At Bosch we link our own experience with our competence as providers of industrial solutions. Bosch is a key user and key supplier of “Industrie 4.0”. ARENA 2036 offers a good platform to continue to work on the networked production together with partners from industry and science.“

ARENA2036 start projects

Since July 2013 ARENA2036 (Active Research Environment for the Next Generation of Automobiles) has already been working in an interim building with all four start projects: intelligent lightweight constructions and function integration, digital production: new materials and processes, research factory: production of the future as well as the interface project creativity, cooperation, transfer of know-how.

ARENA2036 founding members

Involved alongside the University of Stuttgart from the very beginning are BASF, Bosch, Daimler, German Aerospace Centre (DLR), German Institute for Textile and Fibre Research Denkendorf (DITF) and Fraunhofer-Institute. Other top-level firms have in the meantime joined the association.

ARENA2036 - Financing

The research campus ARENA2036 was initiated at the competition of the Federal Research Ministry (BMBF) “Research Campus – public-private partnership for innovations“ whereby the application by the University of Stuttgart and the ARENA2036 partners were selected as exemplary. In a period of a maximum of 15 years the BMBF is making funds of annually up to two million Euros available (

The financing of the new research building was performed using funds from the University of Stuttgart as well as funds from the EFRE programme “Innovation and Energy Transition in Baden-Württemberg 2014-2020“ (

Further information:

Dr. Hans-Herwig Geyer, University of Stuttgart, Head of University Communication and Press Spokesperson, Tel. 0711/685-82555
Email: hans-herwig.geyer (at)