About us

Making Industry 4.0 legally compliant:
Our consortium

The consortium comprises four partners with complementary expertise in the fields of Industry 4.0, value networks, blockchain and smart contracts, IT security and IT-law. These partners are all working together on the Industry 4.0 Legal Testbed research project. The four partners are: Fraunhofer Institute for Material Flow and Logistics, Fraunhofer Institute for Software and Systems Engineering, the Institute of Informatics Law (IfR) at Saarland University and the Horst Görtz Institute for IT Security (HGI) at Ruhr Universität Bochum. Fraunhofer IML is responsible for the project management of the Legal Testbed. Supported with funding from the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action, this project started on 1 June 2019 and will run until 31 May 2023.

Responsible for: modelling dynamic value networks; the use of blockchain and smart contracts in logistics; implementing the testbed

Responsible for: architecture and implementation of the testbed and open interfaces; linking Industry 4.0 concepts with International Data Spaces

Responsible for: solutions for aspects concerning contracts, liability and data protection as well as questions of evidence in Industry 4.0 and IT security; legal evaluations in the context of civil law.

Responsible for: IT security components (blockchain, smart contracts, digital signatures, key agreements and identity management); descriptions of security guarantees and residual risks

Our aims

As an interdisciplinary research and development project, Legal Testbed aims to facilitate the systematic use of the potentials of digitization in Germany and aims to put negotiations and contracts concluded and implemented between machines on a legally watertight footing.

To develop and operate a digital testbed for automated business processes

To create and test a new cooperation model for dynamic value networks in Industry 4.0

To derive and develop recommendations for action with regard to new legal standards for policymakers and companies  

To provide concepts and support throughout implementation to enable SMEs to create and utilize (automated) hybrid services

Our partners

Legal Testbed’s close links to industry are ensured by the involvement of associated partners, who check the results and ensure their market relevance. Exchange between the Platform Industry 4.0 and the International Data Spaces Association is particularly significant. This cooperation ensures that the work is linked to relevant concepts and infrastructures. It simultaneously ensures close cooperations with industry.


Platform Industry 4.0 ensures links are formed to practical applications. Especially the two working groups, Technology and Application Scenarios and Legal Frameworkare supporting Legal Testbed. The platform also integrates Transfer Network Industry 4.0 in the discussions.

The International Data Spaces Association (IDSA) is dedicated to setting a standard for sovereign and secure data exchange. IDSA takes on a consulting and evaluating role at Legal Testbed. The key link for discussing the contents of the project is the “Legal Testbed sub-working group in the Logistics verticalization initiative.

Concise, compact, convenient! All relevant information on the project »Industrie 4.0 Legal Testbed« can be found here:

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