Smart³ is an initiative of companies and scientific institutions with the aim of developing new, innovative products based on smart materials. Engineers, designers, social and economic scientists as well as entrepreneurs and technicians are working together on the commercial breakthrough of intelligent products in a wide range of applications - from health to climate protection, from energy generation to production technology, from lifestyle to mobility.


More than 150 partner institutions from science and industry are working together on a paradigm shift in product understanding: structural and functional components should no longer be viewed separately. Rather, smart³ is working in a variety of R&D projects on the integration of actuator and sensor functions directly into the component structure. The separation of functionality and structure is eliminated in order to drastically reduce component complexity, weight and mass.

Become part of Europe's largest network for smart materials! As a member of the smart³ network, you will advance the development of future-oriented technologies and products and thus secure long-term competitive advantages. Take advantage of the different material, design and production competencies of an interdisciplinary network and experience new approaches and insights.

We focus on diversity.

Anyone who wants to develop radically new technologies and innovative products today has to think outside the box and open up to the unknown. You seldomly can implement innovative ideas on your own. It is our understanding that ideas will thrive when they are thought over, evaluated and improved in different ways.

We live the exchange.

New things are often created through the combination of the existing and the proven. The more specialist knowledge branches out, the more opportunities for innovation open up. In order to exploit this potential, smart³ expertise is exchanged, experiences communicated and know-how shared.

We serve the creation of value

R&D projects are increasingly gaining in economic importance. Companies can only survive if they are innovative. In order for innovative product development to be successful in the long term, it requires not only creativity and technological excellence but also economic added value. Although innovations remain an uncertain business, smart³ increases the chances of success of innovative product ideas by bringing together all actors of the later value chain in the network.


The consortium smart³ e.V.

In April 2013, 31 initial partners joined forces to form the smart³ innovation network, which uses intelligent materials to dissolve the paradigm of separating functional elements from structural components and to integrate functionalities directly into structural components instead. Supported by the Twenty20 - Partnership for Innovation funding programme of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research, the network has since initiated R&D projects in the fields of smart Production, smart Health, smart Living and smart Mobility. The thematic fields are supplemented by accompanying projects in the fields of interdisciplinarity & networking as well as visibility & acceptance. The orientation of the network is decided by a ten-member managing commitee, which is made up mainly of representatives of medium-sized companies. Since November 2017, this managing commitee consists of the following members:

  • Prof. Dr. Welf-Guntram Drossel ‐ Fraunhofer Institut for Machine Tools and Forming Technology (Chairman)
  • Hans-Jörg Schicktanz ‐ Schicktanz GmbH Sohland/Spree (Vice Chairman)
  • Henry Goepel ‐ Zahntechnik Leipzig - Inhaber Henry Goepel e.K.
  • Dr. Markus Laufenberg ‐ ETO Magnetic Group
  • Dr. Mario Leimert ‐ Asklepios Orthopädische Klinik Hohwald
  • Prof. Frithjof Meinel - Burg Giebichenstein Kunsthochschule Halle
  • Daniela Pfab ‐ SITEC Industrietechnologie GmbH
  • Prof Jörg Sydow - FU Berlin
  • Martin Weber ‐ DIGALOG Industrie-Mikroelektronik GmbH
  • Dr. Michael Wegener - Fraunhofer IAP


The Network's Aims

The establishment of smart materials presents four central challenges that the smart³ network is to solve.

Maturity level of the technology

The envisaged paradigm shift in the product requires the overcoming of technological, economic and social challenges. From a technological point of view, the current lack of large-scale production technologies is significantly delaying the roll-out of smart materials. Solving this issue will pave the way for corresponding technologies. Existing gaps in the value chain will also be closed by networking suitable partners.

Opening up innovation processes

In order to help products based on smart materials achieve a commercial breakthrough, smart³ focuses on breaking through technological and organisational path dependencies. Changing both, corporate and innovation environments require us to leave the beaten track and its outdated structures.
For us, this means tracking down and deliberately breaking through path dependencies in order to establish new growth paths for smart materials.

Strengthening cooperation culture in networks

Interdisciplinary projects, such as those carried out at smart³, require open dialogue processes between individual project partners. For this reason, the smart³ network relies on close networking among its members along the entire value chain. Within the framework of research projects, it is also evaluated which form of cooperation best corresponds to the heterogeneous structure of the network and with which means and measures cooperation can best be supported.

Creating market transparency for smart materials

The below-average use of smart materials is partly due to the relatively unknown nature of the materials. In addition, specific customer requirements for possible applications have so far been insufficiently taken into account in the manufacturing process. Here, the network's task is to identify differentiated customer wishes and requirements and to integrate them into future products. In addition, smart materials and their advantages are to be made better known to a broad range of users.


smart³ agency

The smart³ agency is the first contact point of the network and is available to answer all your questions about smart³. It coordinates all marketing activities for the network, serves as the first point of contact for questions on materials and coordinates the projects within the network.