openPR Logo
Press release

FutureWork360: Just how virtual can research be?

03-26-2020 04:43 PM CET | Science & Education

Press release from: Fraunhofer Institute for Industrial Engineering IAO

Fraunhofer research project uses a virtual environment to provide insights into the future of work

Even at the best of times, it can be difficult coordinating joint projects and research, especially if partners are spread across different countries - or unable to travel because of a major international crisis. FutureWork360, a joint project by the Fraunhofer Institute for Industrial Engineering IAO and the Fraunhofer Institute for Manufacturing Engineering and Automation IPA, shows how new and, most especially, virtual forms of communication and collaboration can help.

The current coronavirus pandemic illustrates just how susceptible our constantly evolving world of work can be to major disruption. We therefore need to develop new and virtual solutions that can substitute for classic face-to-face communication in the form of workshops, meetings or similar events. In times of crisis, this is the only way to ensure that research cooperation and other projects can continue to function as smoothly as possible and deliver creative solutions.

FutureWork360 is a project to facilitate the marketing of research. It aims to provide an international target audience with low-threshold access to research and innovation. For this purpose, it employs a digital twin. This enables communication with researchers irrespective of time and place, makes innovations known to a wider audience and advances international networking and research cooperation. In the light of the current coronavirus crisis, research institutions and commercial companies need to develop new approaches to networking. Virtual forms of communication have big potential here.

Together with Fraunhofer IPA, Fraunhofer IAO has developed an online platform that provides virtual access to a range of research laboratories for a target audience in France. The project aims to address the challenges faced by the 300 or more French companies that are members of Plastipolis, an industry and research cluster that promotes the French plastics industry.

The digital twin as a new solution for virtual knowledge transfer
In the course of a virtual lab tour, participants get to learn about coming challenges in the world of work as well as the solutions on offer and some practical examples to illustrate these methods. VR technology and forms of communication offering real-time connectivity are used to transform research into a hands-on experience and focus on innovation topics in a fun way. In cooperation with the engineering company Hemminger Ingenieurgesellschaft, the project team has used a 3D laser scanner to create digital twins of various laboratory environments, which participants can now explore via an online platform at

Communications for the project are provided by the "Deutschland - Land der Ideen" (Germany - Land of Ideas) initiative. In the future, users will also be able to contact scientists at Fraunhofer IAO and Fraunhofer IPA online. Via real-time web sessions, they can ask scientific or technological questions concerning the developments currently emerging from the two institutes or inquire about opportunities for collaboration. "It's the first time a digital twin has been used as an alternative form of communication," explains project manager Dr. Stephan Wilhelm from Fraunhofer IAO. "Right now, people are unable to travel and are being asked to avoid all direct contact. By using web sessions and a virtual tour, they can continue to work on a project as best as possible."

The FutureWork360 project is being funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) as part of its international research marketing campaign under the banner of "The Future of Work." Launched in June 2019, the campaign has provided ten leading research networks with a platform over a period of 18 months to showcase their innovative projects for the future of work to target audiences in France, Japan and the USA, thereby giving them an opportunity to attract the interest of international partners.

Yeama Bangali
Marketing and Communication
Fraunhofer IAO
Nobelstrasse 12
70569 Stuttgart
Phone +49 711 970-2124

Dr. Stephan Wilhelm
Team Leader Communications and high-value networking
Fraunhofer IAO
Nobelstrasse 12
70569 Stuttgart
Phone +49 711 970-2240

Digital technologies are transforming our working world with profound effects on business and society. Digitalization modernizes and revolutionizes long-established practices and processes in the blink of an eye. The Fraunhofer Institute for Industrial Engineering IAO works together with companies and public-sector bodies and institutions to develop strategies, business models and solutions for digital transformation.

This release was published on openPR.

Permanent link to this press release:

Please set a link in the press area of your homepage to this press release on openPR. openPR disclaims liability for any content contained in this release.

You can edit or delete your press release FutureWork360: Just how virtual can research be? here

News-ID: 1986304 • Views: 329

More Releases from Fraunhofer Institute for Industrial Engineering IAO

Artificial intelligence: shaping Europe’s digital future
Expert group publishes ethics guidelines for the implementation of human-centered and trustworthy artificial intelligence (AI) in Europe To further advance the outstanding and trustworthy use of artificial intelligence (AI) across Europe, the “High-Level Expert Group on Artificial Intelligence” clarified its findings from the past year in detail, developed them further and made them usable. As a member of the expert group, institute director Prof. Wilhelm Bauer brings Fraunhofer IAO’s experience in
“Future Museum”: innovation network for museums
Fraunhofer IAO and MUSEUM BOOSTER explore potential for implementing cutting-edge technologies Fraunhofer IAO and MUSEUM BOOSTER will launch an innovation network for museums in July 2019. The goal of the Future Museum project is to assist museums in applying cutting-edge know-how and to create a network of museum leaders, public authorities, donors and suppliers for the exchange of ideas and for collaboration. Today’s museum visitors are looking for an experience. Museums are
Corporate Innovation Labs: the place to pursue disruptive ideas?
Corporate Innovation Labs study probes exemplary innovation labs’ success factors What exactly is a corporate innovation lab? Why are so many companies so keen to set up a think-tank? And what sets this type of lab apart from conventional R&D units? Fraunhofer IAO has answered these and other key questions in a recently released explorative study entitled “Corporate Innovation Labs.” This report looks at case studies and offers recommendations on setting

All 4 Releases

More Releases for Work

Coronavirus' Remote Work Nightmare
Since being discovered in late 2019, COVID-19 has sadly killed thousands and disrupted much of the world economy. Northern Italy is in lockdown, SXSW and other major world events are cancelled, and a slew of large companies are increasingly telling their employees to "stay home". Yet as more workers operate remotely, Orange County cybersecurity startup, Active Cypher, sees IT departments struggling to ensure the same levels of cybersecurity as provided
Work exchange platform Work For Lodgings launched
Announcing the launch of Work For Lodgings (, a new platform that caters for the exchange of work for accommodation. Work For Lodgings is a new work exchange platform connecting hosts from all over the world with guest-workers who are happy to work in exchange for food and accommodation. Work For Lodgings is all about direct exchange, gaining new experiences, making new friends and enabling alternative ways of living. “I created Work
Temporary Work Permit
While recruiting, i.e. matchmaking between employer and employee, is not subject to restrictions, temporary work employers needs to apply for a permit (§1 I 1AÜG). Until your company has this permission, it is fully permissible to provide recruiting services. When operating prior to having received permission, be very sure that you are not engaging in temporary work. Authorities are very cautious about illegal temporary work and will often conduct spontaneous inspections
Work As A Bookkeeper
So, you’ve studied hard and passed all of the accountancy and bookkeeping qualifications that you can find. You may or may not have found work… and now, you want to take the next step … which is to live the dream and branch out on your own, and to work for yourself… but where do you start? Having recently attended a focus group for those who were self employed bookkeepers and
How Companies Work
Markus Reitzig puts theories of organisation to the test. In a research project funded by the Austrian Science Fund FWF the economist compares well-proven and novel organisational approaches and explores issues of authority and self-selection. The last twenty years have seen, alongside companies organised in the traditional manner, the emergence of new forms of organisation which are mainly driven by developments in information technology (IT). Examples include open-source projects such
Real work from home business
Hi, I'm Blaise Broderwick president and founder of Liberty Marketing Partners. I would like to invite you to take a look at our fantastic work from home business opportunity. This is as real as it gets. You do not have to sell products, recruit your friends or family, and no one has to spend a dime with you in order for you to get paid. Take a look here: