In July 2005 ITAS has started a new project about so-called "Industrial Working Groups" (in German: Industriearbeitskreise), commissioned by the "Production and Manufacturing Technology" unit (in German: PFT) of the Project Management Agency of Research Centre Karlsruhe. Industrial Working Groups are established to accompany so-called "Verbundprojekte" (a consortium of several firms and two or three scientific institutes) which are subsidized by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF; in German: Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung). Topics covered are new products and processes in manufacturing technology. Industrial Working Groups typically accompany these projects but sometimes keep working even after the project has finished.
Industrial Working Groups are considered as important instruments for technology transfer, complementing primary TT instruments such as project publications, public presentation of results, or participation at industry fairs. These Working Groups are an opportunity for research institutes, consultants, and companies, who were not part of the "Verbundprojekt", to join in and to acquire latest results and to share knowledge.
The goal of the ITAS project is to answer the question how a further development of this particular TT-instrument might be achieved. Methods used by ITAS are expert interviews and field observations. Interviews are planned both with leaders and participants of Industrial Working Groups and with the staff of the management unit.