Under the umbrella term Industrial Management, the FIR carries out application-oriented research in the fields of business organisation and corporate development. With a focus on the available standard IT solutions, the FIR is concerned with service management, information management, production management and business transformation. Each area is dealt with by a special team. However, there is close interaction between the departments, which leads to interdisciplinary research results that are promptly put into practice.
The FIR supports the “Joint Industrial Research” programme (IGF) by the AIF. The programme’s objective is to compensate small and medium-sized businesses (SME) for their structural disadvantages in the area of research and development. The AiF’s core activity is the so called Industrial Collective Research ("Industrielle Gemeinschaftsforschung", IGF). Collective research is a mechanism enabling businesses to solve shared problems through shared projects. This kind of pre-competitive research closes the gap between basic research and industrial application. The results are available for everyone interested and the basis for individual adaptations within enterprises.
The AiF and its research associations provide comprehensive service support in research and development matters, helping small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to meet the challenges of technological change. Each research association of the AiF represents a certain business sector, mostly SMEs, from specific branches of the economy or fields of technology. By joining a research association and taking an active part in its committees etc., SMEs directly influence the association’s research agenda and priorities. Industrial Collective Research, funded by the Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs and Energy, gives SMEs access to a continuous stream of new knowledge which can be used to develop their own products, processes and services as well as giving them the opportunity to build up their individual innovation networks.