In addition to teaching, research and development has been our second core area since 2013.
As we are in permanent exchange with many companies from the shoe and leather industry, the ISC is a place where new ideas are quickly specified together and implemented in research projects.
The ISC works on publicly funded national and international research projects, the results of which are mainly made available to small and medium-sized companies in the shoe and leather goods industry. However, we also carry out contract research and help companies or individuals with the technical elaboration and implementation of a development.
We concentrate on three main research areas
1st focus: Optimizing models and processes
The technical aspects of production are important for industrial shoe production. Improving and further developing these processes is our most important goal. For this reason, a large part of our research activities is focused on "interdisciplinary cross-sectional transfer": We systematically search for new technologies from other industries and test them for suitability for shoe production.
Furthermore, we concentrate on the optimization of models and processes as well as on the resource-saving use of raw materials and energy.
The key asset for the R&D activities of the ISC - in addition to the great experience of our employees - is our 1,800 square metre "learning factory", equipped with state-of-the-art shoe production facilities. Here we can try out all new concepts directly - and also produce prototypes or small series of any type for our customers.
The development contracts for customers range from the development of innovative shoe fasteners to foot measuring systems, the testing of insole concepts, the design of a modular system for diabetic shoes in the orthopedics sector and measures to make shoe production more sustainable overall.
2nd focus: biomechanics / fit optimization / wearing comfort
We are dedicated to open questions concerning the effect of insoles, soles and shoe concepts on gait and balance, as well as the improvement of wearing comfort and the fit of shoes. That is why biomechanics and orthopaedics are the main topics here. Our own biomechanical laboratory is a big plus when it comes to verifying concepts and examining questions in this field. If very special measuring systems not available on the market are required, these can be manufactured and tested by our experts at the ISC themselves.
The proximity to our own learning factory is also a great advantage here. Here the new ideas, concepts or necessary modification measures can be directly processed and implemented within the framework of ongoing research projects on the topics of biomechanics / fit optimization / wearing comfort.
3rd focus: research for education and training
Job profiles are also evolving at home and abroad and must be adapted to the requirements of the markets and the modern production environment. Together with international partners (e.g. from Portugal, Spain, Romania, Greece, Italy, Turkey, etc.), the ISC meets the changing requirements and develops completely new qualification profiles or adapts existing qualification profiles within the framework of EU-funded projects. The developments are oriented primarily to the European Qualifications Framework, but also take into account the conditions in the relevant target countries. Topics of our international education and training projects include sustainability, comfort footwear, return of shoe production to Europe, implementation of dual training in countries without comparable training structures (e.g. dual training for shoe manufacturers). Developments within the projects are often based on the German model. This makes the ISC a valuable cooperation partner for international education and training projects.