French - German Institute for « Industry of the Future »

Karlsruhe Institute of Technology and Arts et Métiers are key leaders of education, research, and innovation in engineering at the heart of Europe. To pursue their mission of being the reference institutes supporting ground‐breaking innovation and to accompany manufacturing paradigm  revolution, KIT and Arts et Métiers have now joint their strengths to create the French‐German  institute for “Industry of the future”.


Based on a collaboration in the education of mechanical engineers for more than twenty years now, the newly established institute focuses on digitize, advanced manufacturing processes, and human beings as a central part of the factory and prepares European engineers for the industry of the future. Furthermore, the French-German institute will synergetically foster strengths in research and innovation in the field of production in both countries. The institute addresses the priorities of the High-Tech Strategy of the German government and the ‘Nouvelle France Industrielle’ map of the French government. The collaboration will ensure long-term prosperity of France and Germany in a strong Europe.

Ivan Iordanoff
Ivan Iordanoff
Dean for Research & Innovation at Arts et Métiers
Thomas Hirth
Thomas Hirth
Vice-President for Innovation and International at KIT

Research axes

Advanced Manufacturing Processes

Advanced and sustainable manufacturing processes adapted to new and lightweight materials are a key issue for the Industry of the Future. The joint activities deal with processes like additive manufacturing, forming, machining, and heat treatment and look for efficiency, robustness, and performance in process chains for complex parts. The focal interest of the institute is the optimization of the mechanical, metallurgical, and topological states of the surface and near-surface layers (also referred to as surface engineering) for an improved functional performance and life of components.

Production Systems

Production systems will undergo a significant change in the future. The industry of the future will be shaped significantly by the opportunities associated with digitization of products, processes, and resources. Future production systems will be characterized by high complexity, agility, and they will be highly performing, environmentally friendly, and socially sustainable. This working group mainly focuses on agile value networks, excellence in manufacturing, and the human factor. We combine theoretical and lab work and feedback from case studies in industry, in France, Germany, and globally.

Virtual & Augmented Reality

Fast and targeted innovation processes are at the core of Industry of the Future to produce high-end products. Virtual and augmented reality is a key element for modern working environments. Our joint activities support the “view of the whole at any moment” by connecting product lifecycle management with human-centered design and validation. Our unique facilities in Europe (CAVE systems, head-mounted displays, and many more) enable the development of digital twins, virtual-factory, interaction in virtual reality environments and presence and immersion in driving simulation.


Flexible robot-based production concepts will be a key factor for the competitiveness of the European manufacturing industry. The ”Robotics” research axis focuses on the development and promotion of new robot technologies for industrial applications, including a stronger inter-connectivity between components, heavy data-driven approaches to the development of (semi-) autonomous robot systems as well as flexible and intuitive human-robot interaction concepts. Key element in these new production scenarios will be the safety of the human operator in the close proximity of the robot.

20 years cooperation KIT and Arts et Métiers

650 double degree students

55 scientists


  • Philippe Darmayan
    Philippe Darmayan
    President of “Alliance Industrie du Futur”

    Building the factories of the future is one of the main objectives of the French industrial policies. In particular, the French SMEs are to be digitized. For the first time in history, the digital era opens up a new horizon of opportunities regarding business models, industrial ecosystems, and complementary technologies. In this international environment, the French initiative “Industrie du Futur” gives priority to collaborations with Germany, focusing on three main objectives: Sharing knowledge and prioritizing French-German projects; Developing innovative training programs to be prepared for the challenges of the new industry; Sharing French and German policy-making strategies. The Institute for “Industry of the Future” of KIT and Arts et Métiers will significantly contribute to this holistic vision.

  • Henning Banthien
    Henning Banthien
    Secretary General of Plattform Industrie 4.0

    Plattform Industrie 4.0 is the central network to advance digital transformation towards Industrie 4.0 in Germany. In close cooperation with politics, industry, science, associations and trade unions, it develops and coordinates information and networking services to make Industrie 4.0 solutions better known among companies and to deploy them on site.
    Plattform Industrie 4.0 actively drives forward cooperation at a European and international level. Therefore, it welcomes the teams of Arts et Métiers and KIT in their rollout of the French-German Institute of Industry of the future. Its major topics fit those of Plattform Industrie 4.0. Initiatives like the French-German Institute will strengthen the French and German


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