ARENA2036 is a flexible research factory that promotes the understanding of future production based on smart hardware for automotive manufacture.

It is named after the year 2036, which will celebrate 150 years of the automobile, and conducts research in preparation for how cars will be manufactured in 20-years. Official opened in March 2018 , it is located on the campus of the University of Stuttgart.

The facility is about learning how to manufacture vehicles with greater product choice, speed, flexibility and accuracy without increasing costs to the customer.

The goal of ARENA2036 is stated as: “Lightweight design with integrated functionality in the versatile factory of the future – ARENA2036 as the pacemaker for sustainable automotive engineering for the next generation of cars.”

The facility is a research partnership of 30 engineering organisations including BASF, BOSCH, Daimler, Festo, FARO, John Deere, KUKA, Siemens and Trumpf. A primary goal is to interconnect partners from the industry – notably smaller companies as well – with the scientific researchers of the region in order to realize existing synergy potentials.

Projects will focus on areas that will dominate future automotive production, including lightweighting (a project known as LeiFu), smart composite materials, developing digital prototypes (DigiPro), electrification (ForschFab), smart production islands, competence transfer and idea procreation (KHoch3).


There are three strategic goals of the research facility, based on products, production and the facility:

  • Product2036: light and with functional integration – redefining the borders of lightweight design based on multifunctionality and new materials.
  • Production2036: highly efficient and versatile – sustainable production in a versatile factory.
  • ARENA2036 as a whole: a novel research environment working to shape the transformation of technology.

ARENA2036 will utilise the full range of smart factory technologies including augmented reality, additive manufacturing, digital twins, factory automation, autonomous robots and cobots, single data platforms, rapid prototyping, scanning metrology and factory automation software.