Nachhaltige Digitalisierung
Philipp Plum/ Fraunhofer FOKUS

Global Climate Strike 2019 – Digital progress in the service of sustainability

News from Sep. 20, 2019

On the 20th of September at the Global Climate Strike 2019 adults in about 500 German cities will demonstrate along with the younger population for effective measures to secure a sustainable future. As an institute of digitalization, Fraunhofer FOKUS is looking to the future and contemplating the question: how can sustainability goals become the success criteria of digitization?

When talking about digitization, economic considerations as well as a look at the ecological and social components are needed. This includes, for example, the German Advisory Council on Global Change (WBGU), in which Fraunhofer FOKUS Director Prof. Dr.-Ing. Ina Schieferdecker is a member. According to the latest WBGU report “Towards Our Common Digital Future”, new technologies can be used in a targeted and comprehensive way to give people access to basic services such as healthcare, education, energy and (environmental) information. Fraunhofer FOKUS has already been able to demonstrate in a large number of projects that sustainability and digitization can be combined and that applied research can ensure the resource-efficient implementation of digital solutions.

Open data solutions such as the European Data Portal will enable the reuse of public databases at both European, national and local levels as a prerequisite for sustainable development. Fraunhofer FOKUS plays a key role in the development of the European Data Portal as part of an international consortium. At the institute, the heart of the portal is being developed: The data management and the so-called harvesting mechanisms, which are being used on such a large scale for the first time. They regularly scour the open data portals of the member states for open data records and automatically integrate them into the European Data Portal. Over 90,000 environmental records are part of this database, helping to understand and improve EU environmental conditions.

In the field of renewable energies Fraunhofer FOKUS supports projects such as WindNODE to digitize the increasingly decentralized energy system with the development of basic ICT services that enable the actors to communicate, to securely exchange data and to use services reciprocally. As part of the project, FOKUS is developing an ICT platform that networks various actors in the energy system and serves as a “data hub”. This is to ensure that renewable energy can be integrated as efficiently as possible into the power grids.

Another current project, Triangulum, is about the conception or implementation of innovative and extensive Smart City solutions. The aim of the project is to reduce the energy consumption of buildings and to promote the use of renewable energies. Another goal is to increase efficiency in the field of electromobility.

A larger overview of the areas in which Fraunhofer FOKUS is active and how the institute contributes to sustainable development can be found our 2018 Annual Report, which focuses on “Sustainable Digitization”.