Within the framework of an idea competition for future-oriented key technologies and their industrial utilization, in 1997 BMBF called for project proposals from industries and research for so-called 'Leitprojekte'. An independent group of experts selected few project proposals from the many submitted, and proposed them to BMBF for promotion. One of these projects is the BMBF-Leitprojekt ADAPTRONIK which is introduced in this paper. Adaptronics describes the field of technology focusing on the development of a new class of so-called smart structures. The Leitprojekt ADAPTRONIK consists of 24 partners from industry and research institutes and is conducted under the responsibility of the German Aerospace Center (DLR). The project focuses on the development and structure-conforming integration of piezoelectric fibers and patches in structures for lightweight construction. It is aimed at active vibration and noise reduction, contour deformation and micro-positioning in the very sense of adaptronics in various industrial applications. The project targets are prototype assemblies from the fields of automotive industry, rail vehicles, mechanical engineering, medical engineering, and aerospace. In the paper the content, the status and an outlook will be presented.© (2001) COPYRIGHT SPIE--The International Society for Optical Engineering. Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.