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Center for Interdisciplinary Risk and Innovation Studies

Projects

All current ZIRIUS projects and those completed within the last two years. Cross-departmental and listed alphabetical.

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In this joint project, scenarios for the German energy transition will be created based on a wide spectrum of energy and economic models. On the one hand, ZIRIUS supports the use of findings of social science acceptance research in energy modelling. ZIRIUS also advises the partners on the application of CIB analysis, which is used in the project to analyse social framework conditions.

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The systematic analysis of risks associated with various influences on water supply and demand is complex and has received little attention. This research project addresses this challenge by collaborating with various interdisciplinary research groups in Switzerland, Germany and Peru to combine data on water supply and demand in an integrated water balance model.

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Model-based analysis and evaluation of the effects of grid self-sufficiency in regions in the German energy system.

100% renewable energy regions, bio-energy villages, and even cities like Flensburg and Frankfurt have set themselves ambitious targets concerning their energy supply and CO2 reduction. But what effects do these developments have on the entire energy system in Germany?

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The energy transition in Germany requires a thorough transformation of energy conversion, distribution and use, Up to now, research has mainly focussed on developing technical solutions for individual areas of the energy system. However, the energy transition requires more. The project “Navigation System for the Energy Transition” (ENavi) examines the interaction between technology development, organisation forms, regulation and behaviour.

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After the reactor catastrophe in Fukushima in 2011, the Helmholtz Alliance ENERGY-TRANS was founded to supplement technically oriented energy research with a socio-scientific interdisciplinary perspective. The design for researching the transformation of the energy system was aimed at examining the interplay between technical potential, innovation processes, user behaviour, political and economic framework conditions, conflicts and control processes. ZIRIUS participated in all five issues.

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The project pursues pursues an interdisciplinary approach to the socio-technical energy transformation in Baden-Württemberg by focussing on the topic from an engineering, economic and socio-scientific perspective. While the project partners develop and model climate protection scenarios, ZIRIUS is responsible for the socio-scientific analysis.

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The project focuses on a country-by-country, representative population survey of attitudes to climate change and the energy transition in Britain, Germany, France and Norway. An analysis of the socio-political contexts and an international stakeholder panel form the basis of the theoretically sound survey tool. The “Topline Findings” report in the EPCC study offers an insight into the main findings.

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The Helmholtz Research School on Energy Scenarios provides a structured educational programme for international PhD students in the research field of energy scenarios. Three pillars representing the “life-cycle” of energy scenarios form the topical focus of the programme:

  1. New methods for the construction of energy scenarios are developed in order to address the complex transformation of the energy system,
  2. the impacts of scenarios on energy policy and public debate are investigated from an empirical perspective,
  3. methods to systematically assess and compare various energy scenarios are developed. 

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The real-world laboratory Future City_Lab seeks to explore potentials for change of urban mobility cultures. Thereby, a key focus is placed on the close cooperation with citizens and civil society actors.

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IBESSA examines the life cycle of energy scenarios, in other words processes from creation to reception and processing by social stakeholders. Scenarios should be plausible; but what does this mean in methodological development? How do scenario users evaluate plausibility and what does this mean for the effectiveness of scenarios? IBESSA develops empirical and conceptual perspectives in relation to this.

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In a consortium with partners in engineering and economics, ZIRIUS uses focus groups and conjoint analysis to examine the societal evaluation of key technologies in the transformation process of the energy transition through focus groups. It also explores how socio-scientific data from conjoint analysis can be integrated into the evaluation of energy scenarios as a social dimension of sustainability.

To the Project

The tasks of the healthcare system in Baden-Württemberg are increasing. Therefore, discussions with patients were carried out to determine needs and wishes for a future healthcare system in the region, and bundle them into a proposal for the state government.

To the Project

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Early-stage participation of citizens for  sustainable development in Baden-Württemberg

The Living Lab: City District 4.0 is a testing field for tools for visualisation and digital participation formats in the planning processes of Stuttgart and Herrenberg.

To the Project

As part of the collaborative project and in close cooperation with the citizens of the town of Schorndorf, a non-stop, needs-based, innovative operating concept for public transport and a corresponding vehicle design will be developed.

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The junior research group DynaMo seeks to develop interdisciplinary knowledge about the interplay of social, technical and political factors in the transformation of urban mobility systems. By involving practitioners and stakeholders in a transdisciplinary cooperation process, (policy) recommendations for the implementation of sustainable mobility concepts are developed.

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The nascent project explores the potential for development of a sustainable transformation of the food sector. It examines how these new business forms can be characterised and how their role can be estimated in the food sector.

Can such small, niche initiatives become the drivers of sustainable change in the food system and launch socially-oriented entrepreneurship, social innovation and the spread of new sustainability standards?

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For the further development of an energy system model (Sozio-E2S) developed by the project partner Fraunhofer ISE, the investment behaviour of various types of stakeholders (cooperatives, small utilities, large energy suppliers) in energy technology is examined. In a further step, a group Delphi procedure will be carried out in order to assess future behaviour and roles of stakeholders in the energy system.

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The aim of PROSO is to encourage the participation of third-sector stakeholders and citizens in the area of research and innovation. Options and recommendations for this are developed using three exemplary fields: nanotechnology, health and nutrition and bioeconomy.

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Modern critical infrastructures are becoming increasingly “smarter” (e.g. cities). Making the infrastructures “smarter” usually means making them smarter in normal operation and use: more adaptive, more intelligent… But will these smart critical infrastructures (SCIs) behave equally “smartly” and be “smartly resilient” also when exposed to extreme threats, such as extreme weather disasters or terrorist attacks?

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TechnikRadar is a joint project by the Körber Foundationacatech, ZIRIUS and theDepartment of Sociology of Technology and Environment at the University of Stuttgart. The aim of the project is the regular collection of empirical data and analysis of the attitudes, expectations and perspectives in relation to new technologies and technical change.

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Using the example of the Río Lurín water catchment area in the region of Lima, Peru, experts from various disciplines are collaborating in the joint project TRUST to develop planning tools as well as water and wastewater disposal concepts primarily for drinking water supply. ZIRIUS coordinates the project with the overall objective of contributing to the achievement of the sustainable development goals.

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Using the example of the Neckar valley in Stuttgart, the WECHSEL research project addresses the transformation of industrial riverside areas into sustainable urban living environments. To do this, an interdisciplinary project team determines energy potentials and derived potential for land use for a “City on the River”, collaborating with various stakeholders from business, science, administration and civil society.

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Children and young people develop their own climate protection measures for their municipality. This reduces the discrepancy between being able to take part in decision-making and having to assume the consequences.

As part of the German National Climate Initiative (NKI), support is being given to German municipalities that offer their young people the freedom to develop their own projects. With WirWollenMehr, young people decide for themselves which climate protection measures they find sensible and necessary. The young people will be introduced to the subject of climate protection through a series of workshops. The jointly developed proposals and specifically planned measures will be implemented by and with the young people. 

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