Interconnected Future in the Country

Presseinformation / 20.1.2015

Re-thinking innovations for rural areas: The research project “Smart Rural Areas” of Fraunhofer IESE aimed at designing rural areas for the future received an award as “Landmark in the Land of Ideas” in a ceremony held on Tuesday.

With “Smart Rural Areas – Smart Technologies for Rural Areas of the Future”, the Fraunhofer Institute for Experimental Software Engineering IESE is one of the winners of the Germany-wide competition “Landmarks in the Land of Ideas” 2014/15. About 1,000 research institutions, companies, and associations from all over Germany submitted applications for the competition’s topic “Innovative Country – Rethinking Rural Spaces”. In the category Science, this research project offers an answer to the question of how research into smart technologies can simplify and enrich life in the country.

Cars automatically delivering packages or taking senior citizens to visit their doctor: Could this be what life in the country might look like in the future? In the research project “Smart Rural Areas” of the Fraunhofer Institute for Experimental Software Engineering IESE, scientists and companies are working together on developing innovative concepts for making life in the country attractive in the future. The interconnection of smart software and systems – so-called Smart Ecosystems – forms the crucial basis for mastering challenges in the areas of mobility, logistics, medicine, energy, living, working, learning, and farming. The Western Palatinate is the model region for this initiative, which thus also serves to strengthen the local economy.

In the context of the competition, awards are given jointly by the initiative “Germany – Land of Ideas” and Deutsche Bank to ideas and projects that make a positive contribution to the design of rural spaces and regions and to making them fit for the future. Uwe Schmidt, Director Regional Market Team, Private and Corporate Customers, of Deutsche Bank Mainz presented the award “Landmark in the Land of Ideas” to the institute’s director, Prof. Peter Liggesmeyer, and emphasized: “Using new information technologies, you are driving innovative concepts for rural areas and are making a major contribution to positively shaping the future in the country.”

Heike Raab, State Secretary of the Interior and IT Representative of the State government of Rhineland-Palatinate, made this comment about the award at the ceremony at the Fraunhofer Center on 20 January: “We are very proud to have seven projects in Rhineland-Palatinate that are ‘Landmarks in the Land of Ideas’ and thus demonstrate solutions for the challenges faced by rural areas. Particularly in a science and technology hub such as Kaiserslautern and at an institute such as Fraunhofer IESE, we find very fertile ground for future-oriented projects for and with the region. A Living Lab that is being installed at Fraunhofer IESE invites companies to do further work on these ideas. I do hope that the seeds that have been planted now will grow well and that IESE will be able to continue to collaborate with its partners in many concrete projects in the near future.”

Companies and municipalities are invited to make a personal appointment to check on the collaboration possibilities offered by the Living Lab.

More information about the research initiative “Smart Rural Areas” can be found at:

The Fraunhofer Institute for Experimental Software Engineering IESE
Fraunhofer IESE in Kaiserslautern is one of the worldwide leading research institutes in the area of software and systems engineering methods. A major portion of the products offered by its customers is defined by software. These products range from automotive and transportation systems via automation and plant engineering, energy management, information systems and health care to software systems for the public sector. The institute’s software and systems engineering approaches are scalable, which makes Fraunhofer IESE a competent technology partner for organizations of any size from small companies to major corporations.

Under the leadership of Prof. Peter Liggesmeyer and Prof. Dieter Rombach, the contributions of Fraunhofer IESE have been a major boost to the emerging IT hub Kaiserslautern for close to twenty years. In the Fraunhofer Information and Communication Technology Group, the institute is cooperating with other Fraunhofer institutes to develop trend-setting key technologies for the future.

Fraunhofer IESE is one of 67 institutes and research units of the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft. Together they have a major impact on shaping applied research in Europe and contribute to Germany’s competitiveness in international markets.