Fraunhofer Institute for
Systems and Innovation Research ISI

Newsletter 01/2017


What do citizens think about new propulsion technologies such as hydrogen? What could a system for recycling electric engines of pedelecs look like? And what are the potentials and risks resulting from using devices and technologies for digital self-tracking such as health apps and fitness bracelets?

The current Fraunhofer ISI newsletter answers these questions and others and also offers information on current and completed projects as well as new research results and publications.

Enjoy reading our newsletter and we are looking forward to receiving your comments!


Energy storage for electric mobility – where does Germany stand regarding its goal of becoming a lead supplier?

In its study Energy storage – monitoring update 2016, the Fraunhofer ISI examines whether Germany has made any progress since 2014 towards its goal of becoming a lead market and lead supplier for energy storage systems for electric mobility. According to the study, which is part of the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research’s funding program "Battery 2020", having made up lost ground, Germany has been able to stabilize its technological performance in lithium-ion batteries. The international viewpoint is also that high quality battery research is being done in Germany at the moment. Support should be continued to maintain this momentum and so that Germany might be able to turn its technology know-how into domestic battery cell production after 2020. More information can be found in the press release.


Study on the German innovation system in the bioeconomy sector

In order to support the German Bioeconomy Council of the German Federal government the Fraunhofer ISI conducted innovation system analyses for a number of economic sectors (including automotive, construction, energy, chemical, pharmaceutical, ICT, plant engineering) which have now all been released in the publication "Bioeconomy for the industrial nation". The results show that the bioeconomy has high potential for a great number of sectors: Germany is highly competitive as a technology service provider, but is also well-positioned in the manufacturing sectors of the bioeconomy (for example chemical, pharmaceutical) in order to play a significant role in the bioeconomy. The publication is available at Contact person at Fraunhofer ISI is Sven Wydra.


The potentials and risks of digital self-tracking – and fields of action for politics, science and medicine

Self-tracking devices and technologies like health apps or fitness bracelets are now part of everyday life for many people. This trend harbors both potentials and risks. The Fraunhofer ISI has therefore conducted an explorative impact assessment that looks at the implications and challenges of quantified-self technologies. As part of the joint "Wissenstransfer 2.0" project, this work was sponsored by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF). Fields of action for politics, science and medicine were derived from the findings and are summarized in the policy paper. More information can be found in the press release.

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Stronger consideration of the fight against energy poverty in energy efficiency policy

In order to combat energy poverty in low-income households, alongside classical social policy measures, it makes sense to consider this target group more strongly in energy efficiency policy. If the ambitious energy and climate targets in Europe are to be met, it is essential that all end-users save energy. Commissioned by the European Parliament, the Fraunhofer ISI, SQ Consult and the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya have put forward proposals for how to better integrate low-income households in current energy efficiency policy. The study "Energy Efficiency for Low-Income Households" describes the positive influences of improving energy efficiency on both low-income households and the economy as a whole. More information can be found in the press release.

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The regional distribution of electricity demand will change fundamentally by 2030

On behalf of the German Transmission Network Operators, the Fraunhofer ISI has analyzed how electricity demand and load will develop in the period 2013 to 2030 and beyond. The research team developed three scenarios for the analysis. The demand for electricity declines by 2030 or remains constant depending on the respective scenario. In addition, fundamental changes at regional level can be expected in the future: While the demand for power remains constant or increases in urban regions and neighboring districts, there may be a stronger decline in some rural regions. The study is an important component when drawing up plans for future grid expansion. More information can be found in the press release.


Hydrogen and fuel cell technologies: positive evaluations but low willingness-to-buy

What do normal citizens and experts think of hydrogen as a new source of energy? Together with ten European partners, Fraunhofer ISI wanted to discover the answers to this question. The team of researchers questioned almost 7,500 individuals from seven European countries to determine their familiarity with, current attitudes towards and future expectations of hydrogen and fuel cell technologies. This revealed that the technologies are basically positively perceived, but not well known and there is a low willingness to buy them. The detailed results of this study, which was conducted as part of the EU funded project "HYACINTH", have been published in the specialist journal "HZwei". More information can be found in the press release.


Investments in energy efficiency: New benchmarking platform for companies, investors and policy-makers

On 30 November 2016 the EU Commission introduced the De-risking Energy Efficiency Platform. Based on more than 7,800 measures and actions that have already been implemented, this free benchmarking website enables businesses, investors and political decision-makers to assess which investments in energy efficiency are particularly worth making – whether with regard to fast payback times or the highest possible profit. The Fraunhofer ISI played a decisive role in developing this platform by providing thousands of data sets. More information can be found in the press release.

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Expert dialog: Roadmap for living labs in the green economy

The workshop "Living Labs for private and public passenger transport" took place on 9 February 2017 at the University of Siegen. This marked the kickoff to the expert dialog coordinated by the Competence Center Foresight in the INNOLAB project with the objective of combining the two perspectives of livings labs/real-world laboratories and sustainability in a Roadmapping process. Two further workshops will take place on 16 and 28 March in Cologne and Duisburg respectively. More information is available on the project’s website


Fraunhofer experts from Baden-Wuerttemberg accompany Winfried Kretschmann on his delegation trip to India

A delegation of representatives from politics, industry and science from the state of Baden-Wuerttemberg around President Winfried Kretschmann, the Minister of Economic Affairs Dr. Nicole Hoffmeister-Kraut, the Minister for Transport Winfried Herrmann and Secretary of State Petra Olschowski travelled to India between January 22 and 28. They visited the cities of Pune and Mumbai in the state of Maharashtra and the city of Bangalore in the state of Karnataka. Four of the 14 Fraunhofer Institutes in Baden-Wuerttemberg were part of the delegation. As a member of the delegation "Innovative Technologies" Dr. Simone Kimpeler of Fraunhofer ISI visited German and Indian IT companies and automotive manufacturers in Pune and Mumbai. More information can be found in the press release.


Workshop on Futures issues

On 30 November 2016 a workshop to select and discuss futures issues took place at the European Commission in Brussels as part of the project BOHEMIA (Beyond the Horizon: Foresight in support of the preparation of the European Union's Future Policy in Research and Innovation). The Fraunhofer ISI conducted this workshop together with the expert group "Strategic Foresight for R&I Policy in Horizon2020" and the internal Foresight Network of the Commission. The issues were very interdisciplinary and were evaluated by an international delphi study. Its results are to be used as input for the next research framework program. Contact person at Fraunhofer ISI is Dr. Kerstin Cuhls.

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Innovation systems today – ready to address big societal challenges?

Innovations should increasingly contribute to aims concerning society as a whole, for example the challenges which are implicated in demographic change, the scarcity of resources or global warming. An important mechanism is public research funding. In a discussion paper the Fraunhofer ISI developed the model of a reflexive innovation system which requires actors from research and development, politics, research funders, users and other actor groups to be capable to reflect on their actions, their interaction and their decisions. The discussion paper "Addressing directionality: Orientation failure and the systems of innovation heuristic. Towards reflexive governance" can be downloaded from our website.


Drivers and barriers of industrial modernization in Europe

The modernization of their production sector presents many European countries with considerable challenges regarding the use of advanced production technologies. In cooperation with ITIA-CNR, IDEA Consult and VTT the Fraunhofer ISI developed the most comprehensive Europe-wide study to date. On the basis of surveys and interviews it identifies concrete barriers in financing, human capital, information and market dynamics and makes eight policy recommendations in the areas of capacity building, the use of technology and the development of business models. The concluding report is available online. You will find a short overview of the results and more information on the project at

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German innovation prize for climate and environment 2017 announced

The application phase for the German innovation prize for climate and environment (IKU) started on 23 January 2017. Until 31 May 2017 German companies and research institutions with outstanding innovations in the field of climate and environmental protection can submit applications for the prize, which is offered for the sixth time this year. A total of 125,000 euros is awarded to innovative processes, products and services as well as climate friendly and environmentally sustainable technology transfer solutions for emerging and developing countries. More information can be found in the press release.


Stakeholder dialog: the German government’s micropollutant strategy

In the project "Stakeholder dialog: the German government’s micropollutant strategy " the Federal Environment Agency commissioned the Fraunhofer ISI (project management, technical support of the process) and IKU GmbH (process design and moderation) to prepare and implement a stakeholder dialog in order to develop a strategy for dealing with anthropogenic trace substances in waters at Federal level. The Federal Environment Agency is carrying out the project in close cooperation with the Federal Environment Ministry. More information can be found on the project website.


Magnet recycling for pedelecs

In the Fraunhofer Lighthouse Project "Critical Rare Earths" the Fraunhofer ISI investigated possibilities to establish a recycling system for neodym iron boron magnets (NdFeB magnets) from electric engines – using the example of pedelecs. The analysis showed that the actors are currently relatively unprepared regarding the recycling of pedelecs or the corresponding engines. The results were published in the working paper "Magnetrecycling bei Pedelecs: Rahmenbedingungen und Akteure – Status Quo und Perspektiven",  information on the Fraunhofer Lighthouse Project can be found at

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Kind regards
Your staff of Press and Communications at Fraunhofer ISI