Network // Partners

SmartPro – Key to Smart Products!

SmartPro Research Network

Collaborative and dynamic

A strong network 

Under the brand »SmartPro – Key to Smart Products!« the SmartPro network of Aalen University of Applied Sciences develops solutions for social challenges such as climate protection and digital transformation.

Currently, 21 working groups of the university and about 60 external industry, research, and transfer partners are involved – among them renowned research institutions, central regional transfer actors as well as numerous innovative SMEs (small and medium-sized enterprises) and global market leaders. SmartPro places particular emphasis on bringing together and integrating partners with complementary strengths and interests.

// Corporations and medium-sized enterprises
// SMEs (small and medium-sized enterprises)
// Other research institutions
// Transfer actors

An active network


Corporations and medium-sized companies, founding partners


  • Bosch
  • Daimler
  • Henkel
  • Trumpf
  • Voith
  • Zeiss Microscopy
  • Zeiss Vision/Jena

Medium-sized companies

  • AMK
  • Dürr
  • Frech
  • EMAG
  • Kessler
  • Mapal
  • PVA Tepla
  • Vacuumschmelze
  • Varta


Corporations and medium-sized companies, new partners


  • BWF Profiles
  • SEG Automotive
  • Stihl
  • VW
  • Wieland

Medium-sized companies

  • Fein
  • Handtmann
  • H.C. Starck
  • MS Schramberg

SMEs, founding partners

  • Alfred Härer
  • Electronics
  • Faurndau
  • Franke
  • Haas Metallguss
  • Hachtel
  • HECKER Werke

SMEs, new partners

  • Dietz-motoren
  • GTS
  • IFO
  • IoLiTec
  • Tries

Aalen University of Applied Sciences is located in the east of Baden-Württemberg – a region strongly characterized by medium-sized and family-run companies – where it has always maintained strong connections with these regional companies. Short distances enable the transfer of research results directly into the region.

SmartPro members from research and industry network through regular joint events – from SmartPro network meetings to workshops. This gives rise to new collaborations and innovative ideas. Impulse lectures on topics outside the research focus of SmartPro as well as demand-oriented training courses cover a wide range of interests and provide partners with comprehensive further training.

The network is developing dynamically. Twenty-four new partners were recruited for the intensification phase. More than 60 partners are now involved – including 40 corporate partners alone.

Since 2017, SmartPro has been funded as part of a measure of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF): “FH-Impuls: Strong Universities of Applied Sciences – Impulse for the Region”. More information on FH-Impuls can be found here.

Impulse for the region

Together, the university of applied sciences and SmartPro are important catalysts, creating innovation and incentives for established companies as well as start-ups. The reciprocal transfer of research results to industry and of needs from companies to research is a central element of the SmartPro network.

SmartPro-Partner-Netzwerk und Impulse für die Region

Aalen University of Applied Sciences

SmartPro-Partner-Netzwerk Hochschule Aalen

Aalen University of Applied Sciences is one of the strongest research universities for applied sciences in Germany. With its five main research areas – Advanced Materials and Manufacturing (AMM), Photonics, Analytical and Organic Chemistry, Intelligent Mechatronic Systems, and Economic and Social Innovations in Social Change – the university of applied sciences covers a broad spectrum.

The excellent research infrastructure was significantly expanded in 2020. Two centers with an investment volume of over 26 million euros and an area of 3,200 square meters with 31 modern laboratories provide excellent framework conditions for the further development of research and transfer activities:

  • ZiMATE:
    Center for Innovative Materials and Technologies for Efficient Electrical Energy Converter Machines
    Zentrum innovativer Materialien und Technologien für effiziente elektrische Energiewandler-Maschinen
  • ZTN:
    Technology for Sustainability Center – Resource Conservation, Environment, Carbon Dioxide Reduction
    Zentrum Technik für Nachhaltigkeit – Ressourcenschonung, Umwelt, CO2-Reduzierung

In these new research buildings, 12 research groups from the SmartPro network can also contribute to topics of the future such as carbon dioxide reduction, energy efficiency, and resource conservation.

Aalen University of Applied Sciences is home to institutes with various focal points. These include the Materials Research Institute Aalen (IMFAA), the LaserApplicationCenter (LAZ), the Center for Optical Technologies (ZOT), Institute for Drive Technology (IAA) and Foundry Technology Aalen (GTA).

Research Academy

The Research Academy was established at Aalen University of Applied Sciences in 2021 to support early career researchers. The Research Academy offers interdisciplinary training programs and writing workshops to support researchers with their work and the publication of research results.

Join the success story!

There are numerous ways to become involved in the SmartPro network. If your company is interested in the research topics and would like to become part of the network, please contact us!

SmartPro // FH-Impuls:
Strong universities of applied sciences - impulses for the region

With SmartPro, Aalen University of Applied Sciences has positioned itself in the top group of universities of applied sciences nationwide. SmartPro is one of ten partnerships funded through the “FH-Impuls” program of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research with around 10 million euros from 2017 until 2025. Core objectives are the sustainable expansion of the regional transfer and cooperation network as well as strengthening the research profile and innovative power. SmartPro contributes to the advancement of climate protection and digitalization, two key social challenges.