The History of ICM

The ICM - Institut Chemnitzer Maschinen- und Anlagenbau e.V. (Chemnitz Institute for Mechanical and Industrial Engineering) emerged from the Interessenverband Chemnitzer Maschinenbau e.V. (Chemnitz Mechanical Engineering Interest Group) founded on April 15, 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 activities of the ICM e.V. began in 1994 with 3 employees. By resolution of the general meeting on October 26, 2009, the name of the association was changed to ICM - Institut Chemnitzer Maschinen- und Anlagenbau e. V. It was entered in the register of associations at Chemnitz Local Court on 13.11.2009. ICM e.V. was recognized as a private research institution by the BMWi (now BMWK) 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 initial phase focused on process innovation in tool and special machine construction. The establishment of regional innovation networks led to various product innovation ideas from 1998 onwards. 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 used rubber recycling) and in the field of special machine engineering (special technologies for the complete machining of pipe ends). The institute gained access to the automotive industry and its suppliers through technical concepts for the activation of used rubber and through machine developments for the production of thin rubber films. The institute increasingly 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 technology/rehab technology; furthermore, the expansion of expertise in the areas of process analysis and digitalization took place. The ICM e.V. draws on its range of services in 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 as well as 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, CargoXS, OSGM, I-Base, H2 apply) is also a source of ideas for the various fields of expertise in medium-sized companies. Due to the increasing number of employees and the need for technical space, the company relocated to the ITC - Chemnitz Industrial and Technology Park in 2010. In addition to more office space, technical areas are available in the production halls (2011: 1st technical center in Hall 11, 2014: 2nd technical center in Hall 9, 2016: expansion of the area in Hall 9). There was a change in the management of the institute in 2017. After 25 years as Managing Director, Dr. Heidrun Steinbach relinquished her position and took over as Chairman of the Executive Board; Dr. Sebastian Ortmann is now the sole Managing Director/Institute Director. Mr. Alexander Irmscher heads research management as Special Representative.


With the entry of the merger of the ICM e.V. with the Institut für Mechatronik e.V. (IfM e.V.) in the register of associations on August 2, 2022, the long-standing and trusting cooperation between the two industrial research institutions will be intensified. This will strengthen basic research on the one hand and expand the focus to new areas of application on the other, especially in the development of simulation software and the digitalization of human movements and environmental interactions.




This is the motto under which the Institute with its more than 70 committed and creative employees are now focusing specifically on application-oriented tasks. Networks from business, research and politics are formed, expertise is pooled and mechanical and plant engineering is strengthened. Future-oriented and market-oriented technologies and products are developed from ideas and solution approaches as part of preliminary research through to practical implementation. Through the targeted transfer of scientific results to SMEs, their sustainable economic exploitation is realized and guaranteed. To support this goal, ICM GmbH Innovation+Cooperation for Mechanical Engineering was founded in 2005. The subsidiary focuses on the implementation and transfer of research results. 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 fields of research have been continuously adapted to changing conditions and now include: production technology, resource and energy efficiency, new mobility, information and communication technologies, innovation management and - since the merger with IfM e.V. - mechatronic and human-technology systems.


At this point, ICM e.V.'s broad range of expertise leads to a number of synergies across research fields. The range of services extends from research into new technologies and processes to the development of products and devices, the design and realization of test benches and prototypes and the implementation of mechanical engineering systems as well as automation and robotics solutions accompanied by knowledge and technology transfer.


Cooperation with the currently 76 member companies (end producers, suppliers, engineering service providers, universities and universities of applied sciences), cooperation with external partners and the institute's focus on various fields of mechanical and plant engineering lead to synergy effects. The ICM e.V. has become an efficient research partner for SMEs in south-west Saxony (85% of member companies), but also for partners from all over Germany. Close contacts exist with national and international university institutes, institutes of the Fraunhofer Gesellschaft and private (industrial) research facilities. Collaboration takes place in joint projects, in innovation and cooperation networks as well as through diploma students and interns. The number of employees grew to 77. In 2022, research and development projects development projects and industrial contracts generated total income of around 7 million euros.


The institute is one of the founding members of the Sächsische Industrieforschungsgemeinschaft e.V. (SIG) in 2014 and the Deutsche Industrieforschungsgemeinschaft Konrad Zuse (ZUSE-Gemeinschaft, 2016) and is actively involved in the SIG board and the Innovation Council of the ZUSE-Gemeinschaft. The ICM e.V. is involved in the German Economic Council/Saxony regional group and is head of the regional 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