Fraunhofer IAO’s “Fraunhofer IZS elektromobilisiert” living lab, located at the Fraunhofer campus Stuttgart IZS, and Fraunhofer’s Morgenstadt (city of the future) initiative examine what life will be like in the cities and communities of tomorrow.
Morgenstadt (city of the future) and the “Fraunhofer IZS elektromobilisiert” living lab honored in 2013 competition as Landmarks in the Land of Ideas.
The pioneering nature of these research efforts impressed the jury for the Germany – Land of Ideas initiative’s 2013 competition to become “Landmarks in the Land of Ideas.” Under the banner of “Ideas for the City”, this year’s competition honored a total of 100 projects.
At the Fraunhofer IZS campus in Stuttgart, the future of mobility is already a reality. Up to 30 electric vehicles at a time can fill up on electricity in the campus’ parking garage, making it Germany’s largest charging station. Until 2014, scientists will be using this living lab to research the technology required to manage electric vehicle fleets: How to prevent the facilities from becoming overloaded? How to set up smart grids in which photovoltaic facilities supply vehicles with electricity? At the same time, Fraunhofer IAO is developing appropriate charging infrastructures.
One of the key questions for the cities of tomorrow will be how to achieve sustainable mobility. Scientists at a variety of Fraunhofer Institutes are working on this and a host of other issues as part of the Morgenstadt (city of the future) initiative coordinated by Fraunhofer IAO and the Fraunhofer Institute for Building Physics IBP. How do we shape the cities of tomorrow to make them sustainable in the face of dwindling resources and without having to compromise on our quality of life? The vision is one in which residents produce their own power and feed surplus electricity into the grid.
House façades will clean the air and reduce traffic noise. All across cities, roof areas will be turned into gardens and spaces to grow food in an effort to improve quality of life by reducing goods traffic and emissions. In cities around the world – in Berlin, Copenhagen, Freiburg, New York, Singapore and Tokyo – scientists are busy gathering research ideas in the Morgenstadt: City Insights innovation network.
Under the banner of „Ideas for the City“, the Germany – Land of Ideas initiative and Deutsche Bank went on a nationwide hunt to find the 100 best ideas that already offer solutions to the challenges posed by tomorrow’s cities and regions.
The competition jury honored projects on topics ranging from energy to culture, and from mobility and communication to construction and living. This year marks the first time since the initiative was launched in 2006 that the competition has been framed by a single issue.
Juliane Segedi | Fraunhofer-Institut
Smart buildings through innovative membrane roofs and façades
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Concrete from wood
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Plants and algae use the enzyme Rubisco to fix carbon dioxide, removing it from the atmosphere and converting it into biomass. Algae have figured out a way to increase the efficiency of carbon fixation. They gather most of their Rubisco into a ball-shaped microcompartment called the pyrenoid, which they flood with a high local concentration of carbon dioxide. A team of scientists at Princeton University, the Carnegie Institution for Science, Stanford University and the Max Plank Institute of Biochemistry have unravelled the mysteries of how the pyrenoid is assembled. These insights can help to engineer crops that remove more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere while producing more food.
A warming planet
Our brains house extremely complex neuronal circuits, whose detailed structures are still largely unknown. This is especially true for the so-called cerebral cortex of mammals, where among other things vision, thoughts or spatial orientation are being computed. Here the rules by which nerve cells are connected to each other are only partly understood. A team of scientists around Moritz Helmstaedter at the Frankfiurt Max Planck Institute for Brain Research and Helene Schmidt (Humboldt University in Berlin) have now discovered a surprisingly precise nerve cell connectivity pattern in the part of the cerebral cortex that is responsible for orienting the individual animal or human in space.
The researchers report online in Nature (Schmidt et al., 2017. Axonal synapse sorting in medial entorhinal cortex, DOI: 10.1038/nature24005) that synapses in...
Whispering gallery mode (WGM) resonators are used to make tiny micro-lasers, sensors, switches, routers and other devices. These tiny structures rely on a...
Using ultrafast flashes of laser and x-ray radiation, scientists at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics (Garching, Germany) took snapshots of the briefest electron motion inside a solid material to date. The electron motion lasted only 750 billionths of the billionth of a second before it fainted, setting a new record of human capability to capture ultrafast processes inside solids!
When x-rays shine onto solid materials or large molecules, an electron is pushed away from its original place near the nucleus of the atom, leaving a hole...
For the first time, physicists have successfully imaged spiral magnetic ordering in a multiferroic material. These materials are considered highly promising candidates for future data storage media. The researchers were able to prove their findings using unique quantum sensors that were developed at Basel University and that can analyze electromagnetic fields on the nanometer scale. The results – obtained by scientists from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics, the Swiss Nanoscience Institute, the University of Montpellier and several laboratories from University Paris-Saclay – were recently published in the journal Nature.
Multiferroics are materials that simultaneously react to electric and magnetic fields. These two properties are rarely found together, and their combined...
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