The History of ICM


The ICM - Institute Chemnitzer Maschinen- und Anlagenbau e.V. emerged from the Interessenverband Chemnitzer Maschinenbau e.V. (Chemnitz Mechanical Engineering Interest Group) founded on 15 April 1992 by 10 mechanical engineering companies and institutions. The first entry in the register of associations at Chemnitz Local Court was made on 19.10.1992. As a registered association, the interest group started out with the aim of preserving the core substance of the mechanical engineering industry concentrated in the Chemnitz region. The active business activity of the ICM e.V. began in 1994 with 3 employees. By resolution of the general meeting on 26.10.2009, the name of the association was changed to: ICM - Institut Chemnitzer Maschinen- und Anlagenbau e. V. The entry in the register of associations of the Chemnitz Local Court took place on 13.11.2009. The ICM e.V. was recognised as a private research institution by the BMWi on 28.09.2006.


ICM - Institut Chemnitzer Maschinen- und Anlagenbau e.V. has been supporting small and medium-sized companies in the implementation of their innovative ideas since 1992. Ideas for future-oriented processes and products are developed at the institute and processed in industrial research.


The work content of the start-up phase was related to process innovation in tool and special machine construction. From 1998 onwards, the establishment of regional innovation networks led to various ideas for product innovation.. Work was carried out on machine developments (CNCplus, InnovatiF milling machine / BMBF projects), in the field of plant engineering (energy-efficient recycling technologies, mobile concepts for waste rubber recycling) and in the field of special machine engineering (special technologies for the complete machining of tube ends). The institute gained access to the automotive industry and its suppliers through technical concepts for the activation of waste rubber and through machine developments for the production of thin rubber foils. Increasingly, the institute expanded into new subject areas. Until 2017, the main focus of the research and development tasks was in the areas of: Mechanical and plant engineering, railroad technology/logistics, electromobility, hydroforming and medical/rehab technology; furthermore, the expansion of competencies in the areas of process analysis and digitalization took place. ICM e.V. draws on the range of services within the following areas: mechanical design, numerical and iterative simulation, electronics and software development, ergonomics and safety analyses, test bench and prototype development from conception to commissioning, project and process management, and measurement and testing technology. The initiation and support of ZIM networks (KFSnet, Retrofit, RailTecNet, Innvelo, Easyload, Gemetech, Innvelo Energie, mitibo, Bahntecnet, Prelum, NAQS, MATZE, AUROMI) is also a source of ideas for the various fields of competence in medium-sized companies.


Due to the increasing number of employees and the need for technical space the company moved to the ITC - Industrie- und Technologiepark Chemnitz in 2010. In addition to more office space, technical areas are available in the factory halls (2011: 1st technical centre in hall 11, 2014: 2nd technical centre in hall 9, 2016: expansion of the area in hall 9).. In 2017 the institute celebrated its 25th anniversary and on 01.01.2018 a change in the institute management took place. Dr. Heidrun Steinbach relinquished her position after 25 years as Managing Director and took over as Chairman of the Board, Dr. Sebastian Ortmann is from now on the sole Managing Director/Institute Director. Mr. Alexander Irmscher heads research management as Special Representative.




This is the motto under which the Institute, with its more than 50 committed and creative employees, is now taking on specifically application-oriented tasks. Networks from business, research and politics are formed, competencies are bundled and mechanical and plant engineering is strengthened. In this way, future and market-oriented technologies and products are developed from ideas and solution approaches within the framework of preliminary research through to practical implementation. The targeted transfer of the results of scientific work to SMEs ensures their sustainable economic exploitation. In support of this goal, the ICM GmbH Innovation+Cooperation for mechanical engineering was founded in 2005. The implementation and transfer of research results are the subject of the subsidiary. The institute is also a competent partner for direct tasks in the field of industrial research. On this basis, new technologies and products for SMEs are realized efficiently, quickly and reliably by integrating current research results.


The research fields have been continuously adapted to the changing conditions and now include: production technology, resource and energy efficiency, information and communication technologies as well as innovation management.


The range of services extends from research into new technologies and processes to the development of products and equipment, the design and realization of test stands and prototypes, and the implementation of mechanical engineering systems as well as automation and robotics solutions accompanied by knowledge and technology transfer.


The cooperation with the currently about 70 member companies (end producers, suppliers, engineering service providers, universities and technical colleges), cooperations with external partners and the content-related orientation of the institute on different fields of work of mechanical and plant engineering lead to synergy effects. The ICM e.V. has become a powerful research partner for SMEs in southwest Saxony (85% of the member companies), but also for partners from all over Germany. Close contacts exist with national and international university institutes, institutes of the Fraunhofer Gesellschaft as well as private research institutions. Cooperation takes place in joint projects, in innovation and cooperation networks as well as through diploma students and interns. The number of employees grew to more than 50. In 2018, total revenues of approximately 4.2 million euros were generated from research and development projects and industrial contracts.



The institute is one of the founding members of the Sächsische Industrieforschungsgemeinschaft e.V. (SIG) in 2014 as well as the Deutsche Industrieforschungsgemeinschaft Konrad Zuse (ZUSE-Gemeinschaft, 2016), where it actively serves on the SIG board and the innovation council of the ZUSE-Gemeinschaft. ICM e.V. is involved in the Wirtschaftsrat Deutschland/Landesgruppe Sachsen (Saxony Economic Council), where it is head of the state commission for innovation promotion and technology transfer.

ICM - Institut Chemnitzer Maschinen- und Anlagenbau e.V.

Otto-Schmerbach-Straße 19
09117 Chemnitz

+49 (0)3 71/2 78 36-101

Thinking ahead. Developing innovations. Transfering success.

Your Research Partner for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises