Research project on new forms of knowledge transfer and civic participation
Nov 3, 2014
Starting in January 2015, several University of Stuttgart research institutes will be investigating new forms of knowledge transfer in the applied research project “Future City Lab_Stuttgart: Reality Lab for Sustainable Mobility Culture.” It is planned to run for at least three years. The innovative “reality lab” research format is designed to make it easier to link scientific findings with policy and industry, and especially to increase society’s capacity to take action.
“Today, science can work out solutions for important questions about the future only with society’s help. To this end, the reality labs will enable a new innovative form of knowledge transfer,” explains Theresia Bauer, Baden-Württemberg’s Minister of Science, Research and the Arts. The Stuttgart reality lab’s trans-disciplinary research approach interweaves research and teaching and integrates the city’s community directly into the research process.
Using a variety of research and hands-on formats, the participating University of Stuttgart institutes want to encourage people’s willingness to reflect on their own mobility behavior and exchange ideas. The reality lab will pool the knowledge generated into both an interactive website and a real-life network of initiatives and stakeholders. The aim is to encourage residents to take the initiative and help shape their sustainable mobility culture.
The Institute of Human Factors and Technology Management IAT at the University of Stuttgart, which works closely with Fraunhofer IAO, is particularly in demand by the project for its innovative technologies and processes. For instance, the IAT is building a visualization platform that emphasizes mobility processes and convenience in the city of Stuttgart, thereby supporting mobility experiments in the reality lab. One of Fraunhofer IAO’s contributions is a specially designed smartphone app for collecting mobility data. Seven University of Stuttgart institutes in addition to the IAT are participating in Stuttgart’s Future City Lab, which is one of seven such projects under way at other universities within Baden-Württemberg, which is funding all of these initiatives as part of its “Strengthening science’s contribution to sustainable development” program.