Dortmund at night Nacht; "Stahlwerks Phoenix West" in the foreground

© Stadt Dortmund

Dortmund is one of the most important logistics hubs in Germany, offering a unique infrastructure, more than 900 companies working in logistics, as well as nationally and internationally recognised scientific institutes. The variety of different activities taking place at the Fraunhofer Institute Material Flow and Logistics (Fraunhofer IML) has, over the past few years, led to a bundling of skills in the areas of logistics and digitalisation in the city. Industry-based initiatives and pilot projects, such as the Hybrid Services in Logistics innovation lab, the efficiency cluster LogistikRuhr, Industrial Data Space, the Dortmund Mittelstand 4.0 Centre of Excellence, and the enterprise labs

  • are new forms of basic, long-term cooperation between business and science
  • make key contributions to the transfer of knowledge and expertise in the area of Industrie 4.0 and
  • enable small and medium-sized enterprises in particular to develop and test technologies both quickly and in a non-complicated manner.

This means that Dortmund as a logistics hub covers a major part of the innovation chain – from basic research through to applied research with industrial partners. The Digital Hub for Logistics (Digital Hub Logistics) now wants to close the current gap between pre-competitive research and the transfer of product ideas to market. The centrepiece of this is a new corporate incubator called the Universal Spin-in. This is designed to appeal to the new generation of entrepreneurs and to form the basis for the sustained development of start-ups and start-ins in a digital ecosystem. The Digital Hub for Logistics is twinned with hubs in Dortmund and Hamburg.


Susanne Immel
Fraunhofer-Institut für Materialfluss und Logistik IML
Institutsbereich Unternehmenslogistik

Joseph-von-Fraunhofer-Str. 2-4
44227 Dortmund

Tel.: +49-(0)231-9743-611