Minister President Malu Dreyer Presents Grant Approval for “Digital Villages” to Fraunhofer IESE

Presseinformation / 15.7.2015

On 15 July 2015, the Fraunhofer Institute for Experimental Software Engineering IESE was presented by Minister President Malu Dreyer with a grant approval in the amount of 930,000 euros for the project “Digital Villages”. In two test regions, Fraunhofer IESE will test and use smart technologies for future-viable infrastructures in rural areas in the next three years.

 “The advance of digitalization offers great potential for developing rural areas and making them ready for the future – particularly in light of the demographic changes and the decreasing population figures in rural areas”, said Minister President Malu Dreyer. “The intent of the Digital Villages project is to demonstrate the possibilities offered by digitalization for changes in rural areas. In addition to research and business, citizens as well as the state as the pioneers will be the beneficiaries, since innovations will be generated within the state and this is where they will actually be implemented locally for the first time. New paths to the future will be opened up for the municipalities and the regional businesses. In addition, in the mid-term the project will create completely new opportunities for companies, which in turn will lead to the creation of new jobs and to more economic power.”

Prof. Liggesmeyer, institute director of Fraunhofer IESE, emphasized: “In this project, we are pursuing an integrated approach that focuses on the people and on their everyday needs. To do so, we need to combine independent components into one large whole and thus create efficient solutions that can have a sustainable impact in rural areas. The basis for all this are innovative, digital technologies and systems engineering processes, which have been the research focus of Fraunhofer IESE for almost 20 years.”

The researchers of the Fraunhofer Institute for Experimental Software Engineering IESE are convinced that not only Germany‘s cities, but also its villages must become smart and digital: “A smart infrastructure for central areas of life will enable revitalization of rural areas both technologically and practically. However, we can only realize important scenarios, from future-viable mobility concepts via smart logistics to telemedicine treatment, if we have innovative and secure systems. In addition to the new technological possibilities, it is also crucial to master potential risks, e.g., regarding the security and reliability or usability of such systems. Fraunhofer IESE ensures this with its integrated systems engineering approach,” explains project manager Dr. Mario Trapp.

In a selection process covering 30 local municipal authorities, a jury consisting of representatives of Fraunhofer IESE, the Rhineland-Palatinate Ministry of the Interior, for Sports and Infrastructure, the German Association of Towns and Municipalities, and the University of Koblenz-Landau will choose two pilot municipalities. The focus will be on the areas of mobility and logistics, infrastructure and building management, as well as on new models of work for rural areas.

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 66 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.