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NRW Forschungskolleg: Design of flexible working environments - human-centered use of Cyber-Physical Systems in industry 4.0

For production companies, the transition to Industry 4.0 opens up great opportunities for modernization and the associated increase in the efficiency of production processes. In addition to the still largely existing technical challenges involved in developing such systems, the role of employees throughout the entire value chain is undergoing considerable change. The seamlessly networked, dynamic and real-time-oriented processes fundamentally change work processes and require more flexible employment. The challenge lies in the development of new social infrastructures, which anticipate rapid technological development and see the human being as the focus of development throughout his entire working life. 

Therefore, the NRW Forschungskolleg will deal with the following topics:

(1) Transition to people-centered, flexible and adaptive work processes, taking into account their social embedding and organisational justice.

(2) Use of learning, intelligent assistance systems in the form of cyberphysical devices

(3) Development of a requirement oriented system engineering approach as a basis for interdisciplinary cooperation

(4) Investigation of the resulting changes in occupational requirements with consequences for initial and continuing training and learning at the workplace.

The NRW Forschungskolleg is run by scientists from the Universities of Paderborn and Bielefeld. The participating disciplines are psychology, sociology, pedagogy, electrical engineering, mathematics, mechanical engineering, economics and computer science. Research carried out as part of doctoral projects is embedded in an inter- and transdisciplinary environment. The research projects are accompanied by our partners in the inter- and transdisciplinary environment from the initiation to the final evaluation; these are the top cluster it's OWL, the technology advisory board of the DGB NRW e. V., the IG Metall NRW, the innovation network Energie Impuls OWL e. V. and The Association of German Engineers (VDI).

Interviews on the topic of "Work 4.0" (only in German)


Prof. Dr. Gregor Engels

NRW Forschungskolleg: Gestaltung von flexiblen Arbeitswelten (Arbeit 4.0)


Gregor Engels
+49 5251 60-6817

Prof. Dr. Eckhard Steffen

NRW Forschungskolleg: Gestaltung von flexiblen Arbeitswelten (Arbeit 4.0)

Managing Director

Eckhard Steffen
+49 5251 60-6681
+49 5251 60-6684

Supported by

In cooperation with

The University for the Information Society