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KIT – Karlsruher Institut für Technologie, Germany

General description

In 2009 University of Karlsruhe and the Research Centre Karlsruhe merged into the new legal entity of Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, KIT. Both institutions looked back on a long tradition of research and education with many parallels in terms of contents and organization. Nowadays, KIT belongs to the largest single research institutions in Europe with appr. 9200 staff, 5 departments, 13 faculties and 25.100 students. KIT has besides its main campuses in Karlsruhe locations in Ulm, Garmisch-Partenkirchen and Dresden and operates offices in Brussels, Moscow and Suzhou.

The Institute for Technology Assessment and Systems Analysis (ITAS) is an interdisciplinary research institute at KIT covering technical, economic, environmental and social aspects of existing and emerging technologies. With more than 130 scientists it is one of the largest institutes among the KIT. ITAS investigates scientific and technological developments with a focus on their impacts and possible systemic and unintended effects. It produces analytical knowledge and assessments of innovative technologies and processes in order to provide design options for decision makers. Technologies in scope are batteries, power to x and renewable energy technologies. The team involved in TwinVECTOR currently collaborates with other Helmholtz centers in the field of systems analysis of energy storage systems. It is furthermore involved in the POLIS Post Lithium Storage Cluster of Excellence.

Expertise related to the project

ITAS has long experience in sustainability assessment and Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) as well as in risk assessment. The team involved in TwinVECTOR holds a high expertise in the field of Life Cycle Assessment and has already collaborated with national and international research groups in several projects.

KIT is highly active in sustainability life-cycle assessment (LCSA) and the technology assessment of emerging battery technologies. The WP4 “Boosting research capacity in sustainability assessments” aims at an ordinary understanding of carrying out ex-ante life cycle sustainability perspective-based assessments using methods as LCA or social Life Cycle Assessment (S-LCA) used under an Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI) framework. This knowledge exchange aims to improve skills and establish a strong network for future cooperation in the target institution (TBU). Also, insights related to the Collingridge dilemma (power control dilemma), a continuous challenge of early-stage technology sustainability assessments, will be highlighted and discussed. KIT will develop a concept for the teaching strategies and materials (e.g., workshop structure, presentations, examples). Methodological approaches starting from RRI, to data collection and Life Cycle inventory modelling and Life cycle impact Analysis and interpretation of results will be explained and discussed over the course of the project. Finally, a “sustainability theatre” in close cooperation with TBU will be organized. Here a transdisciplinary group of researchers is led through a moderated, IT and model supported discussion process to find a common approach to pave the way from lab to market and society with RRI as frame. Applying an LCA and Multiple Criteria Decision Analysis-use case on batteries with different interest groups will be carried out. Finally, a discussion about goals, challenges, and implementation of life cycle perspective methods will be held to enable capacity building.