Continuing education for developing competency in China

iMOVE interview with Jürgen Wilke, Head of the Competence Team, Fraunhofer Institute for Industrial Engineering (IAO), February 2016.


iMOVE: What does the project name "DRAGON" signify?

Wilke: Lead-managed by the IAO, four German organisations have joined forces under the name of DRAGON. They jointly establish a system of continuing education and training for production management and technology in China on a prototype basis.

The topics of production management and technology are prepared with close relevance to practice and delivered in a practical manner. All competency development offerings take into account the specific requirements of Chinese customers. There is greatest demand, in particular, for competency in quality assurance, fault identification and independent problem solving.

Jürgen Wilke presents the dragon project on the German Chinese Education Conference

iMOVE: In which learning formats is the content available?

Wilke: The content in China is available in a variety of formats. The formats extend from open online courses - for example in pneumatics, hydraulics, industrial robots or controllable electric drives - to virtual classrooms for virtual teams through to both free and fee-based online courses or blended learning sequences.

The DRAGON moodle learning management system contains courses which present production techniques and production management methods in a clearly accessible manner. Free courses are available covering basic knowledge as well as more complex courses to develop specific competencies for modern production. The length of courses varies. At the end of longer courses there is a test with a digital certificate.

Learners can use the education and training services either locally in classroom-based events or via an internet platform. This use is fully flexible and can be tailored to the needs of the individual learner. The local offering with real people in real classrooms includes both learning visits as well as parts of courses run in businesses. In production facilities and companies, participants are able to discuss and experience procedures and quality assurance methods at first hand. A particular strength of the system is its excellent use of typical team processes and accepted team working methods.

iMOVE: What are "remote laboratories"?

Wilke: DRAGON Remote Laboratories are physically real production facilities which can be operated over the internet. It is possible to check, via video camera, whether what has been programmed has actually been carried out by the remotely controlled components. You therefore not only see a simulation, but also the hardware at work.

iMOVE: Does the DRAGON system serve any other purpose?

Wilke: The DRAGON system not only offers its users certified qualifications at various levels for different sections of content. It is also intended to serve as a marketing and networking platform for other providers of education and training services in this subject area.

Companies in the sector were interviewed beforehand in order to identify suitable customers. It was therefore possible to identify various marketing channels for which a range of German organisations in China contribute contacts. The targeted end customers are Chinese production businesses and German-Chinese joint ventures as well as their suppliers.


Network platform for education and training services in production management and Technology
Portrait of Jürgen Wilke
Jürgen Wilke, Head of the Competence Team, Fraunhofer Institute for Industrial Engineering
Jürgen Wilke in a conversation with a woman


Logo Dragon project
Fraunhofer Institute for Industrial Engineering (IAO)

Nobelstraße 12
70569 Stuttgart

Phone: +49 711 970-2179

Contact person:
Jürgen Wilke,
Head of the Competence Team

 © photos: Fraunhofer Institute for Industrial Engineering, Jürgen Wilke