Medium-sized and regional partners
The Institute for Visionary Product Development is internationally oriented with regard to its standards and methods of working, while at the same time regionally anchored.
As an institute of the Bergische Universität, this connection is especially important to us. Around 50% of our project partners are from the region or from North Rhine-Westphalia, and cover the entire spectrum of business sectors and sizes.

National and international companies and project partners
The other half of our project partners are drawn from national and international companies. We carry out these projects in English so that both the project presentations and the project documentation can be made available to an international team. In recent years, numerous highly interesting and visionary tasks have been developed in the area of product and strategy development.

Publication or partial publication of projects

As an institute of the University of Wuppertal, we are committed to the interests of a publicly funded research institution. This special context gives rise to considerations that differ from those of the private sector.
Even though in principle many of our collaborative projects are subject to confidentiality and it is always at the discretion of companies to exclude results of the collaboration from publication, we must still insist that a general formulation of the topic and part of the results or parts of the process can be made public.
Our framework contractual terms take into particular regard company interests and requirements. Thus, our partners are able to actively control the timing, content and form of publication within the framework of the contracts.


The use of funds from third-party sponsored projects at Visionlabs is clearly divided between the following areas:

Since modern industrial design studies can no longer be funded from the traditional budget available for degree courses, the Institute for Visionary Product Development makes a fixed contribution to the operation of the degree programs. As a result, part of the project sum flows, directly or indirectly, back into improving the working environment of the degree programs. In contrast to the practice in other research projects, our partners therefore grant us complete autonomy in the spending of funds. Fundamentally, however, the money is used for:

Project-related expenditure
Part of the money goes directly to project support - from this fund the costs of materials, models, rough prototyping models, project-related trips, research excursions etc. are paid in full or in part.
This project-related spending frees the students, as far as possible, of expenses that they would otherwise have to bear themselves. In addition to those above, the costs for the final exhibition and documentation are usually also covered.

Support for study programs
Part of the money received is placed in a pool through which the study programs can ensure a professional working environment for the student body as a whole. This usually involves the purchase of computers, technical equipment and software, which can also be used, though not exclusively, within the framework of the projects.