Expert Field of the FZI

The FZI covers a wide range of topics with its research. A for autonomous driving, E for energy or F for the future of work – the topic range of the researchers at the FZI is wide and reaches beyond classical IT topics.

We would be pleased to put you in contact with competent contact persons concerning our various expert topics.

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Autonomous driving

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The development of highly automated, networked, safe and secure vehicles, is a core research area of the FZI's field of application Mobility.

In cooperation with partners from the automotive industry, the FZI develops functions, system architectures and hardware platforms for the realisation of driver assistance systems and automated driving.

Big data

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Companies are increasingly confronted with large amounts of various data – big data. The complexity of the analysis of large amounts of data, requires procedures and structures, in order to make the curse of the data dimensionality controllable.

In its research, the FZI focuses on decision-making processes based on facts and data for the planning and controlling of complex (IT-)services and systems in organisations.


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The blockchain technology does not only affect the financial world. Best known through the success of the crypto currency bitcoin, the blockchain enables a distributed network structure without a central administrative unit – ensuring high transparency and security at the same time. Intermediaries, like banks or insurances become redundant. Smart contracts allow the automation of transactions and thus make the technology also attractive for applications in the field of mobility, energy and services.

However, the blockchain is still in its infancy – the FZI now researches the opportunities and risks behind the hype.

Cloud computing

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Cloud computing promises advantages to companies, like dynamic scalability, elasticity, lower capital requirement and lower operating costs.

The FZI individually adapts cloud computing solutions to the company structure and supports the choose between various clouds and storage solutions. It develops new or migrates old software architectures for the cloud and supports the migration of the company's existing software systems in a hybrid cloud solution.

Digital sovereignty

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The FZI defines digital sovereignty as the ability to autonomously act and decide in the digital area.

The freedom of individuals, of the civil society and the economy can only be permanently safeguarded in a digital world, if the competencies are available as basis for self-determined acting and decision-making, IT security and data protection are ensured on an appropriate level and there is innovation-open competition. The FZI has shown a way to this goal in the study "Kompetenzen für eine digitale Souveränität" (competencies for a digital sovereignty).

Electric mobility

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In the research focus Electric Mobility, concepts and functions for electrically-driven vehicles are researched, developed and evaluated.

This includes procedures for the increase in efficiency and range optimisation, future concepts of networked mobility as well as the implementation of future electric mobility concepts into transport and energy infrastructure.

Embedded security

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The thematic field Embedded Security is an interdisciplinary topic, which can be found in nearly every research sector of the FZI.

The embedded security comprises all activities for the research and development of innovative, especially hardware-based security solutions as well as corresponding methods and processes for the development, analysis and evaluation of secure embedded systems.


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In Germany, a significant amount of the installed capacity in the electrical grid is provided through regenerative power generation plants. On the one hand, these plants are an integral part for the success of the energy transition, on the other hand, the thus accompanying fluctuation presents a major challenge to the energy system in the energy generation. Decentralised energy management systems are, amongst others, able to face these challenges and to use the potential of distributed power generation plants, through the intelligent use of information and communication technologies.

At the FZI, such intelligent energy management systems as well as mechanisms for the intelligent control of flexible consumers and other relevant components of the power grid are developed.

Business processes, -models and software development

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The FZI supports companies in the identification and modelling of business processes in common modelling languages and analyses models by means of scientific methods. In order to realise the identified business processes, the researchers of the FZI accompany the implementation of these processes into the business software.

The FZI supports in the improvement and compliance of software development processes. In addition, it provides support in the development of business software.

Health care logistics

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Information and communication technologies assist in a number of everyday activities, support lifelong learning and facilitate the social interaction.

In the health care system, they improve the workflows of physicians, rescue teams and carers through networking, technical monitoring, electronic information and automated documentation.

Industrial automation

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The planning of industrial plants with a high degree of automation is a challenging task. Their solutions have to meet the impacts, boundary conditions and requirements.

The FZI researches on innovative automation architectures with intelligent sensors, actuators and modern networking.

Competence Center for IT Security

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With the Competence Center for IT security the FZI has created a central contact point for practical questions for IT security with the support of the State of Baden-Württemberg. The centre offers solutions for questions of IT security for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Baden-Württemberg.

The security technologies that are researched at the Competence Center for IT Security are easy to understand, easy to apply and easy to communicate.

Product lifecycle management

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Product lifecycle management and virtual prototyping serve for the analysis and modelling of complex systems.

At the FZI, design tools are developed, in order to evaluate embedded systems by means of a digital fabric at an early stage and to perform application-specific optimisations. Questions of an early lifecycle- and robustness analysis as well as adaptability are also considered, in order to companies to obtain information about the characteristics of their products.

Mobile applications, bring your own device

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At the FZI, solutions for the design, operation and maintenance of cross-platform systems are researched. These integrate often mobile devices and enable new utilisation scenarios, for example, the use of environmental information in business processes or the networking with Industry 4.0 components for the improved human-technology interaction.

The work of the FZI includes the identification of application scenarios of mobile IT and bring your own device (BYOD), the mobilisation of business processes, but also the conception and prototypical implementation of mobile and cross-platform applications.

PROFIBUS test laboratory

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The FZI is an accredited competence centre and test laboratory for the communication standard PROFIUS.

The certified test engineers, do not only test, but especially consult, research as well as develop within the portfolio of the test laboratory.


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In the field of robotics, new basic technologies and functions for flexible robot systems are developed at the FZI, which subsequently are implemented in various application scenarios, in order to be able to offer innovative services.

Smart data

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The FZI manages the accompanying research, established by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi) on the technology programme "Smart Data – Data Innovations". It supports the funding projects of the technology programme in the implementation of their plans. It links the individual funding projects among each other and ensures a broad transfer of valid results into the market.

In order to achieve these goals, the accompanying research implements various individual measures. This includes the cross-project monitoring of big data technologies and their economic value as well as the initiation, organisation and presentation of specialist groups on the comprehensive topics of IT security, legal frameworks as well as economic potential and social acceptance.

Smart grid

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The studies in the field Market and Feedback Mechanisms for Smart Grids focus on economic mechanisms for the decentralised coordination of the increasing flexible energy supply and demand in local and regional energy systems and -cells.

Smart home

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Research activities that deal with the development of technologies, their integration into accommodations and the interdisciplinary service development – for more safety and comfort in everyday life – are summarised under the terms "smart home" and "ambient assisted living" at the FZI.

Software architecture

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The architecture is the central element of each and every software system. Especially non-functional characteristics of systems highly depend on the quality of the architecture and its realisation. The FZI supports companies in the construction-, evaluation-, and evolution of an architecture under the consideration of non-functional characteristics and implements quality assurance strategies and continuous integration.

The assessment of consequences of modifications on the system or its use under the avoidance of quality problems, such as the analysis of possible performance increases through parallelisation are within the thematic field of the FZI.

Software engineering

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Concerning the software engineering, the FZI bundles its activities in the software technology research.

The focus is on researching and developing innovative approaches in software engineering as well as the integration of software technology and innovations in interdisciplinary research projects at the FZI.

Supply chain

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In the field of logistics- and supply chain management there are networks with very diverse characteristics, such as worldwide distributed supply networks, Europe-wide multimodal transport networks or conveyor systems within a production site.

Innovative optimisation processes for the planning and control of these networks are researched and developed at the FZI from different sectors. The FZI thereby covers a wide range of procedures, reaching from packing to tour planning and up to supply chain planning.

Test Area Autonomous Driving

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In the Test Area Autonomous Driving Baden-Wuerttemberg, companies and research institutes will be able in future to test future-oriented technologies and services for networked and automated driving in everyday traffic. The focus reaches from automated driving of cars, buses to commercial vehicles, like street cleaning or delivery services.

As the consortium leader, the FZI coordinates the construction of the test area.

Knowledge management

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The most important resource of a company is its employees and the knowledge in their heads. A deciding factor for the company's success is thus to enable their employees to manage their knowledge effectively and efficiently, to exchange their knowledge among each other as well as to generate an added value out of it.

The FZI consults and supports companies in the selection and the use of knowledge management- and social media solutions and conducts trainings.

The future of work: New Work

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Large-scale and small-sized companies have to handle a conflict of objective from economical and social claims. While they have to face a globalised competition, their employees claim more flexibility and greater say. New technologies modify our working methods and jobs. HR managers have to adapt faster to the lack of experts and new trends, like "people analytics".

The FZI researches in numerous projects on the future of work from a technological and social point of view.