Three people standing at a collaborative robot and inspecting a component Copyright: © IAW


Project logo WissProKMU  

Future of Work – SME, Shaping and Networking


Key Info

Basic Information

01.01.2018 to 31.12.2022
Research Area:

Further Information



Christopher Brandl

Chief Engineer


+49 241 80 99474




WissProKMU is a scientific project within the research funding program “Future of Work”. The overarching goal is the promotion and design of both technological progress and social innovations for SMEs. Overall, the project can be divided into three sub-sections: research in the form of a scientific study, monitoring and the transfer of results.


Through digitalization, the processes and conditions of everyday working life are changing, so that companies are faced with a major challenge. SMEs need support in strengthening their potential for technical and social innovation. Despite comprehensive changes taking place at all levels, human labor will continue to be a central component of the value-added processes, making it essential to promote social innovations alongside the promotion of technological progress. The focus includes targeted qualification measures, internal communication, and cooperation through the research and introduction of new models and tools of work design and organization. The exemplary development of concrete approaches will be implemented by the participating collaborative projects in cooperation with companies. Finally, the approaches developed will be brought together, discussed, and transferred to small and medium-sized enterprises.


Within the framework of the WissProKMU project, the IAW – Institut für Arbeitswissenschaft (Institute of Industrial Engineering and Ergonomics) at RWTH Aachen University – is responsible for the sub-project "Monitoring, Analysis and Impact". The aim of this sub-project is to link the main results of the collaborative projects into an integrated, overall picture using empirically recorded expert opinions and debates. In addition, together with the participating collaborative projects possible areas of action from an ethical, legal and social perspective are identified and summarized.


WissProKMU can be divided into three sub-sections: The scientific study analyses the procedures, methods and results of the individual collaborative projects and brings them together in an overarching synthesis. Monitoring specifically promotes the overarching scientific and economic discourse based on the overall picture that has been developed. The transfer of results includes the networking of the actors involved in the collaborative projects with interested parties from business, science, the media and society. The research results are made available to the public.


The potential for applications resulting from the WissProKMU project can also be structured according to the three sub-sections. The research questions, methods and results of the collaborative projects identified in the accompanying scientific study will be compared with the national and international funding landscape to identify further research needs. The monitoring enables the assessment of cross-project innovation potentials. At the same time, possible further fields of action are presented from an ethical, legal and social perspective. The transfer measures serve as a basis for further discussions and provide a catalogue of measures, which will help small and medium-sized enterprises to implement people-oriented work design in the course of digitalization.


The WissProKMU project (funding code: 02L17C000) is an accompanying project within the framework of the “Zukunft der Arbeit” (Future of Work) funding program. Under the roof of the program “Innovationen für die Produktion, Dienstleistung und Arbeit von morgen” (Innovations for the Production, Service and Work of Tomorrow) program, the BMBF (Federal Ministry of Education and Research) funds research projects that develop applicable solutions to maintain and expand value creation and the associated jobs in Germany. The agency managing the project is the PTKA at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT).

Project Partners
STO of the RWTH Aachen
ITA of the RWTH Aachen

Logo ESF, European Union and Zusammen.Zukunft.Gestalten