How sustainably do we work? That is the question it’s OWL and its partners are asking themselves. In order to ensure sustainable products, sustainable business processes and a sustainable working environment, the Leading-Edge Cluster is developing new technologies and applications with the support of the state of North Rhine-Westphalia. Our ‘Industrie.Zero’ strategy, which calls for sustainability through technology, is being implemented in projects by companies and research institutions from OstWestfalenLippe. Our vision is for the OstWestfalenLippe region to develop into a model region for sustainable value creation.

„Mit ‚Industrie.Zero‘ wollen wir Unternehmen bei der industriellen und nachhaltigen Transformation ihrer Geschäftsmodelle unterstützen. Mit unseren neusten Projekten zeigen wir, dass digitale Lösungen der Schlüssel zur Nachhaltigkeit sein werden“, sagt Günter Korder, Geschäftsführer der it’s OWL Clustermanagement GmbH.

Industrie.Zero in a nutshell

With ‘Industrie.Zero’, it’s OWL has been pursuing a dual strategy for sustainable value creation through intelligent technical systems since 2023. For example, companies develop intelligent products for sustainable use or utilise intelligent production processes for sustainable value creation. Sustainability is becoming the foundation of success for it’s OWL and its member companies.

it’s OWL is already delivering sustainable solutions.

This is how the project ‘Climate-neutral Business in OWL’ (Climate bOWL) supports companies on their way to optimising their energy efficiency, for example. The kilowatt hour that does not have to be generated does not emit any greenhouse gases and does not incur any costs. This is where the project comes in. By 2025, the universities of Paderborn and Bielefeld, together with the companies Gea, Miele, NTT Data Business Solutions and Phoenix Contact, will develop an intelligent assistance system that will support companies in reducing their greenhouse gas emissions along the value chain. In the it’s OWL project ‘ZirkuPro’, Miele, manufacturer of household and commercial appliances, is focussing on the development of sustainable electronics. “For example, Miele wants to take greater account of aspects of the circular economy when developing future generations of ovens. The design of components should also make repairs even simpler and more efficient in future,” says Prof Dr Roman Dumitrescu, Managing Director of it’s OWL. Some electronics consist of critical materials, such as rare earths, and their CO2 emissions are often underestimated. In addition to the existing sustainability projects of the Leading-Edge Cluster, three new flagship projects are to be launched in 2024.


Our mission

  • Zero.Emissions – reducing CO2 equivalents to zero
  • Zero.Waste – expanding circular value creation
  • Zero.loss of competitiveness – driving sustainable success
  • Zero.Leaving behing – full employment and people-centred work
  • Zero.Dependencies – reliable supply and delivery systems
  • Zero.Solo efforts – promoting a culture of cooperation


Why is sustainability important for my company?

Economic sustainability is more than just reducing your carbon footprint and planting trees – even if these are of course still important aspects. Sustainable management is also an economic necessity: only those who offer their skilled workers fair and flexible working conditions will continue to be an attractive employer in the future.

News strategy, new presentation

The ‘Industrie.Zero’ strategy will shape the work of it’s OWL in the coming years. The ‘Technology Network for Intelligent Technical Systems’ has become the ‘Competence Network for Industrie.Zero’. To emphasise the strength of ‘Industrie.Zero’, the strategy has been given its own logo, which is used by it’s OWL and its partners. However, ‘Industrie.Zero’ does not replace the it’s OWL brand. Industrie.Zero’ is the programme, it’s OWL as a competence network is the initiator.