Ten Years of research campus ARENA2036

June 14, 2024

Big celebration at the University of Stuttgart: The ARENA2036 research campus is marking the start of its third funding phase by celebrating a decade of diverse projects, partnerships, and successes. The campus will open its doors to interested parties, showcasing the technologies of the future.
[Picture: Johannes Kirchherr / ARENA2036]

The ARENA2036 was built on the University of Stuttgart's Campus Vaihingen in 2016 and has become an integral part of the campus. Even more impressive is what happens and is created under its roof: Individuals from science, business, and industry collaborate in a network, with short communication paths and constant exchange of ideas. This setup accelerates the application of research results and brings any issues with practical application back to the research environment.

“ARENA2036 exemplifies Stuttgart's unique approach to cross-disciplinary cooperation,” emphasized Prof. Wolfram Ressel, Rector at the University of Stuttgart, during the celebratory event on June 13, 2024, as he congratulated the initiative on its tenth anniversary. He also expressed his pride that the University of Stuttgart both houses and is part of such an internationally recognized flagship initiative.

Rector Prof. Wolfram Ressel speaks to the audience from the podium.
During the opening event Prof. Wolfram Ressel, Rector of the University of Stuttgart, compliments ARENA2036 as an international flagship.

Pioneer: ARENA2036 was the first research campus established by the BMBF

In 2011, the university administration decided to participate in the "Research Campus - Public-Private Partnership for Innovation" competition organized by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), focusing on production and mobility as key transfer topics in collaboration with research and industry partners. “Right from the start, I was convinced that this project had what it takes to become something big,” says Ressel. ARENA2036 became the first research campus and was the only one out of a hundred applications allowed to enter the main phase directly in 2013. Its research program, “The Versatile Production of the Future for Functionally Integrated Lightweight Construction,” was supported by four BMBF-funded projects. “We had two visionary images: One of a research building where the university and industry collaborate flexibly and in partnership, and another of modern teamwork in a facility filled with motivated people and unique machines." It is certainly also thanks to these visions that an enormous dynamic has developed, which has enabled us to turn the visions into reality,” said Ressel.

Group photo of the speakers on stage in front of a screen on which a presentation is shown.
Almost 400 leading figures from science, business and politics met at the ARENA2036 research campus on Thursday evening.

A Hub for Pioneering Solutions in Production and Mobility

“Places like ARENA2036 are crucial for developing forward-looking solutions in the rapidly evolving fields of production and mobility, with positive impacts on society as a whole,” emphasized Prof. Peter Middendorf, Vice Rector for Knowledge and Technology Transfer at the University of Stuttgart and spokesperson for the ARENA2036 Research Directorate. “Its innovative strength stems from combining our university’s interdisciplinary research capabilities with the expertise of numerous partners, supported by flexible research spaces and state-of-the-art infrastructure.” The integration of startups opens up additional pathways for transfer, aligning with our university's startup-oriented transfer strategy."

An orange-colored walking robot walks back and forth in front of a small group of people.
At ARENA2036, start-ups, medium-sized companies and researchers are developing innovative mobility and production technologies for tomorrow.

Third and final funding phase underway

During the ceremony, Peter Froeschle, Managing Director of ARENA2036, outlined the goal of establishing the Stuttgart region as a global technology leader in mobility and production technology by 2036, marking the 150th anniversary of the automobile. “Over the next five years of the third and final funding phase, we will focus on four strategic priorities: Production2036, Mobility2036, Connectivity2036 and Sustainability2036,” explained Froeschle. “Today, employees from almost 60 of our members are working on joint projects under one roof. Together, we have also built up a flourishing start-up ecosystem in and around Stuttgart and, with the Design Factory Stuttgart, created a vehicle that enables students to work closely with industry during their time at university.”

Innovation platform for the mobility and production of the future

Alongside the celebrations, ARENA2036 provided all interested parties with insights into its role as a hub for open innovation and transfer, showcasing the technologies of the future on June 14, 2024. The University of Stuttgart presented itself at the project fair alongside many other ARENA2036 partners. Researchers from the Institute for Institute for Control Engineering of Machine Tools and Manufacturing Units (ISW), for example, presented their project "Well-defined: Value Network Modeling for Software-Defined Resilient Production of the Future." This initiative aims to enhance the resilience, flexibility, and human-friendliness of future supply chains.


This image shows Lydia Lehmann

Lydia Lehmann


Deputy Head of University Communi­ca­tions


University Communications

Keplerstraße 7, 70174 Stuttgart

To the top of the page