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On October 22, 2018, I gave my research talk Automating Scientific Research in Optimization in Stuttgart, Germany and visited the Institute of Industrial Automation and Software Engineering (IAS) at the University of Stuttgart, where I was hosted by the Deputy Head Dr.-Ing. Nasser Jazdi, and the Fraunhofer Institute for Industrial Engineering (IAO), where I was hosted by Joachim Lentes, the leader of the Competence Team Digital Engineering.

The Institute of Industrial Automation and Software Engineering aims to bridge between industrial automation and software engineering. Its research is focused on improving the flexibility and reliability of automation systems and the engineering of cyber physical automation systems. They investigate aspects of software development, the reliability and learning capabilities of automotive systems as well as web and app technologies in automation environments. The IAS conducts projects with research institutes as well as industrial companies. Dr. Jazdi conducts research on software reliability in the context of IoT, learning ability for industrial automation, and artificial intelligence in industrial automation as well as digital twins. The IAS also has many very interesting research, demonstration, and student experiment platforms in the field of intelligent production.

The Fraunhofer Institute for Industrial Engineering has the same abbreviation as our group, namely IAO. It works together with companies and the public-sector to develop strategies, business models, and solutions for digital transformation. For their partners, the IAO develops and implements solutions for human-machine interaction, innovation, and technology strategies, application of virtual and augmented reality (they have developed a very impressive cave), cognitive systems and artificial intelligence, as well as sustainable solutions for the mobility and cities of tomorrow. The overall goal of the institute is to improve the ways in which people, organizations and technology interact. Under the leadership of Mr. Lentes, the Competence Team Digital Engineering conducts research on new methods to make companies more competitive by utilizing fresh ideas and innovative IT. He likes to bridge between different company divisions, disciplines, and even between different companies to create industrial symbioses.

Dr. Jazdi and Mr. Lentes visited our university in May, and it was a pleasure to meet them again. I am thankful for their great hospitality and for the time they took to show me around and to discuss with me. I had the chance to get very interesting tours through both institutes and the university as well as the impressive Arena 2036, a platform where many smart manufacturing technologies are developed. My presentations were received well by both teams and we had nice discussions.

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