Wind energy is an alternative energy source with a high potential for the future. Through optimising the rotor blade structure as well as new methods of construction and production processes, both weight and costs can be reduced. At the Center for Lightweight-Production-Technology (ZLP) in Stade and in the laboratories in Braunschweig, research from coupon to industrial scale is possible. For reduction of operating costs and for better planning of maintenance intervals, research is done on systems for Structural Health Monitoring (SHM). In the future, the operating loads will be reduced by means of adaptive trailing edges and bending-twisting coupling. Through integration of additional functionalities in the material, rotor blades cannot only be manufactured in a cost-optimised way in the future, also service life and energy yield will be considerably enhanced. A further contribution to achieve this aim are developments towards quality-controlled production. The interdisciplinary cooperation with other DLR institutes enables efficient assessment and comparison of new types of construction.