Completed research projects

NIL –  Network of innovative learning factories


The project "Network of innovative Learning Factories (NIL)" emerged from the Initiative on European Learning Factories in 2013 and was funded by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) and the Ministry of Education and Research with almost 800,000 EUR between 2013 and 2016. The aim of the project was to promote the exchange of students and scientists, to simplify the transfer of knowledge between the participating institutions and to intensify the scientific further development of the learning factory system.

The Network of Innovative Learning Factories is not a closed system, but is open for partnerships to interested institutions to achieve its strategic goals. The NIL project consortium consists of partners who receive funding from the DAAD and the Federal Ministry of Education and Research.

The cooperation of internationally leading universities and institutions as well as the interplay of research and teaching in terms of content through a permanent international exchange in the above-mentioned research fields enable students to gain a comprehensive insight into systems of production, logistics and manufacturing in a real as well as virtual multinational environment. Researchers have the opportunity to integrate different research fields and to work on them specifically. Teachers have access to a new spectrum of teaching methods and their direct application.

The network partners also benefit from the exchange about the "learning factory system" itself and jointly find answers to the question of what further optimisation opportunities are available here. They use state-of-the-art learning factories and laboratories that enable location-independent communication and joint planning, construction, design, modelling and organisation across several locations. 

 Partners and Associated Partners

The partners of the thematic network NIL with their internationally renowned scientists have set themselves the strategic goal of establishing the network thematically, setting an internationally recognised standard, supporting international mobility, establishing innovative training programmes as well as making a significant contribution to the worldwide quality assurance of learning factories.

ESB Business School 
Reutlingen University 
Prof. Dr.-Ing. Vera Hummel, Prof. Dr. -Ing. Harald Augustin 
Learning Factory: Logistics Learning Factory
Institute of Production Management, Technology and Machine Tools (PTW) 
Technical University Darmstadt 
Prof. Dr. -Ing. Eberhard Abele, Prof. Dr.-Ing. Joachim Metternich 
Learning Factory: Process Learning Factory CiP
TUM School of Engineering and Design (iwb)
Technical University Munich
Prof. Dr. -Ing. Gunther Reinhart 
Learning Factory for Energy Productivity (LEP)
Institute of Management Science (imw) 
Univ.-Prof. Prof. eh. Dipl.-Wirtsch.-Ing. Dr.-Ing. Dr. h.c. Wilfried Sihn 
Institute for Production Engineering and Laser Technology (IFT) 
Technical University Vienna, Austria
Prof. Friedrich Bleicher 
Learning Factory: Learning and Innovation Factory
KTH Stockholm 
Prof. Bengt Lindberg, Dr. Thomas Lundholm 
Learning Factory: XPRESS lab
The Computer and Automation Research Institute 
MTA SZTAKI in Kooperation with Budapest University of Technology and Economics Ungarn 
Prof. Laszlo Monostori
School of Electrical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering and Naval Architecture 
 University of Split, Croatia
Prof. Ivica Veža  
Learning Factory: Lean Manufacturing
Laboratory for Manufacturing Systems & Automation 
University of Patras, Greece
Prof. George Chryssolouris 
Learning Factory: LMS
Chair of Production Systems
Systems / Ruhr University Bochum
Prof. Dr.-Ing. Horst Meier 
Learning Factory: LPS

Industrial Engineering Departement 
Stellenbosch University, South Africa
Dr. André van de Merve, Dirkse van Schalkwyk and Dr. Steven Matope 
Learning Factory: MicroManu

Since the foundation of the NIL, the following institutes could be won as associated partners for the exchange of experiences and for the validation and dissemination of results.

Polytechnics Institute of Setúbal IPS
School of Technology Portugal 
Prof. Pedro Cunha 
Learning Factory: CENI Learning Factory

 Activities in the network


07.05.2013: 3rd Conference on Learning Factories in München, Deutschland, Fraunhofer Institute for Machine Tools and Forming Technology/TU München 

28.05.2014: 4th Conference on Learning Factories in Stockholm, Schweden, KTH Stockholm 

07.07.2015-08.07.2015: 5th Conference on Learning Factories in Bochum, Deutschland, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Chair for Production Systems

23.08.2015-29.08.2015: CIRP GENERAL ASSEMBLY Conference in Cape Town, South Africa 

29.06.2016-30.06.2016: 6th Conference on Learning Factories at Gjøvik University College and at SINTEF Raufoss Manufacturing, Gjøvik , Norway

Strategy Meetings

07.05-2013-08.05.2013: Strategic Meeting in Munich, Germany,TU Munich, Institute iwb

07.10.2014-08.10.2014: Strategic Meeting in Reutlingen, Germany, Reutlingen University, ESB Business School

26.05.2014: Strategic Meeting in Stockholm, Sweden, KTH Stockholm

27.05.2014: Meeting "European Initiative on Learning Factories" in Stockholm, Sweden, KTH Stockholm 

07.07.2015: Meeting "European Initiative on Learning Factories" in Stockholm, Schweden, KTH Stockholm 

02.12.2015-03.12.2015: Strategic Meeting in Vienna, Austria


08.10.2013-11.10.13: Reutlingen, Germany, Reutlingen University, ESB Business School 

05.12.2013: Darmstadt, Germany, TU Darmstadt 

25.03.2014-28.03.2014: Reutlingen, Germany, Reutlingen University, ESB Business School 

11.06.2014-13.06.2014: Split, Croatia, University of Split 

26.05.2015-31.05.2015: Split, Croatia, University of Split 

19.07.2015-23.07.2015: Patras, Greece, at the University of Patras 

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