Fraunhofer experts from Baden-Wuerttemberg accompany President 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. The states of Baden-Wuerttemberg and Maharashtra have been involved in a close economic and cultural exchange for many years. The lord mayors Fritz Kuhn from Stuttgart and Dr. Frank Mentrup from Karlsruhe, who were also part of the delegation, emphasized the importance of the city partnerships between Mumbai and Stuttgart as well as Pune and Karlsruhe.

from left to right: Winfried Kretschmann, Klaus-Peter Murawski, Anandi Iyer, Susanne Schatzinger, Peter Fischer, Katja Schenke-Layland.
from left to right: Dr. Simone Kimpeler, Prof. Dr. Beate Berge, Susanne Schatzinger, Dr. Frank Mentrup.

Germany is one of India’s most important trading partners. The trade volume of both countries is more than 3 billion euros although Germany‘s exports by far exceed imports from India. Also in the area of science India and Germany have been firm partners for over 60 years and particularly Fraunhofer is very active in India.

The group of representatives from politics, industry and science from the state of Baden-Wuerttemberg was split into two delegations: “Smart Cities“, led by Minister of Transport Hermann and “Innovative Technologies“, led by Minister of Economic Affairs Dr. Hoffmeister-Kraut.

Enormous need for sustainable transport infrastructures in India

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. “Due to the population development cities like Pune and Mumbai have an enormous need for sustainable, innovative transport and supply infrastructures. The living labs  for Smart Cities which are being currently created are the innovation hotspots of the future“, says the innovation researcher.

The delegation “Smart Cities“ participated in the “Smart City Congress“ held by the Maharatta Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture (MCCIA) in the city of Pune. This congress is linked to the extensive  “Smart Cities India Initiative“ of the Modi government and aims at improving life in India’s cities, which are continuing to grow strongly, with the aid of new technologies. Projects which have been submitted as part of this initiative include for example transport systems for urban spaces, sustainable water and energy supply and modern waste systems.

Susanne Schatzinger of Fraunhofer IAO was one of the keynote speakers at the congress “Future Cities“. Fraunhofer IAO established together with the “German Sustainable Building Council“ and “Baden-Wuerttemberg International“ a local co-ordination centre for sustainable building and urban development, which was commissioned by the Ministry of Economic Affairs, Labor and Housing. The co-ordination centre “FutureCitiesBW“ is to strengthen the cooperation of all relevant stakeholders and connect the country internationally with the target markets India, China, Brazil and the Arab countries.

Germany has selected three Indian cities in order to offer support in the area of Smart Cities: Coimbatore, Kochi and Bhubaneshwar. Fraunhofer IAO, supported by the Fraunhofer representative office in India, is already linked very closely with Coimbatore and Kochi. “A Memorandum of Understanding“ (MoU) has been signed with Coimbatore.

Designing entire city districts more sustainably with the aid of renewable energies

Dr. Peter Fischer of Fraunhofer ICT represented the area of energy on behalf of Fraunhofer with the issues stationary energy storage, redox flow batteries and the design of storage and energy systems. At the MCCIA Congress he met Harit Landmarks LLP, the project developers from the Indian city of Gatha Gram, which by 2026 is being newly created for 30.000 people. With the help of renewable energies the developers of Gatha Gram want to design entire city districts more sustainably. Together with the Karlsruhe University of Applied Sciences and the Energy Forum Karlsruhe Fraunhofer ICT is designing the energy systems in a settlement project and gives advice on energy storage solutions. At the congress a “Memorandum of Understanding“ (MoU) for further cooperation was also signed with Harit Landmarks LLP.

Professor Dr. Katja Schenke-Layland, director of Fraunhofer IGB, represented several issues such as water technology or waste recovery. At the Delivering Change Forum (DCF) in Mumbai she presented the start-up support in Baden-Wuerttemberg and introduced the programs of the Fraunhofer Gesellschaft and Fraunhofer Venture. The main idea of the DCF is to create a platform for Indian start ups and artists in order to bring them together with international companies. The approximately 900 participants of the DCF came from politics, science and industry and were mainly from India, the USA, Israel and Europe.

Anandi Iyer, the head of the Fraunhofer Representative Office in Bangalore accompanied the delegation and was closely involved with devising the program in Bangalore.

The Fraunhofer Institute for Systems and Innovation Research ISI analyzes the origins and impacts of innovations. We research the short- and long-term developments of innovation processes and the impacts of new technologies and services on society. On this basis, we are able to provide our clients from industry, politics and science with recommendations for action and perspectives for key decisions. Our expertise is founded on our scientific competence as well as an interdisciplinary and systemic research approach.

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