Second Funding Phase of NRW Research Colleges With RWTH Involvement


NRW is spending 2.2 million euros each on research into future mobility and the sustainable and resource-efficient use of composite materials in construction.


The state of North Rhine-Westphalia is providing a total of eleven million euros to allow five research colleges to continue their work. In a second funding phase starting in 2021, around 2.2 million euros each will be available for a further three and a half years for the research communities launched in July 2016. In these colleges or graduate schools, doctoral students conduct interdisciplinary research on innovative and future-oriented topics, such as IT security, composite materials in the construction sector, or sustainable mobility.

Two of these colleges are funded at RWTH: These include “ACCESS!,” which will examine transformation paths to sustainable mobility, and “Verbund.NRW”, in which RWTH and Münster University of Applied Sciences are jointly focusing on composites in the construction sector. The interdisciplinary consortia combine engineering and natural sciences with the humanities and social sciences. Through collaboration between researchers from different disciplines and professionals in the field, the applicability of inventions, and their implementation in products or services is to be directly taken into account. In the colleges, the appropriate research methods are taught and further developed

“ACCESS!” Transformation paths to sustainable mobility

ACCESS! with spokeswoman Grit Walther, Professor for Operations Management, will concentrate on the Aachen city region including the district of Heinsberg. The researchers will investigate future technical, infrastructural, and organizational possibilities for implementing sustainable mobility while also considering social demands and local and global environmental goals. Partners in the field include the City of Aachen and the district of Heinsberg, cambio Aachen Stadtteilauto CarSharing GmbH, SAYM Mobility GmbH, e.SAT GmbH, e.GO Mobile AG, ADFC, AVV, and the German Paritätische Wohlfahrtsverband. After first developing evaluation measures in the previous funding phase, the focus is now on implementing sustainable mobility concepts in passenger and commercial transport and developing approaches for housing and mobility and car-free city centers. The aim is to achieve greater internationalization, particularly within the Meuse–Rhine Euroregion. Collaboration with the University of Maastricht is also planned. A total of eleven teaching and research institutions at RWTH Aachen University are involved in “ACCESS!.”

“Verbund.NRW” network in the Construction Sector - From Resource Efficiency to Validated Sustainability

Speaker of Verbund.NRW is Peter Quicker, RWTH Professor of Technology of Fuels, along with Sabine Flamme, Professor of Resources, Energy, and Infrastructure at Münster University of Applied Sciences. The inter- and transdisciplinary collaboration aims to validate selected multifunctional fiber and layer composites using specific case studies from actual applications in the field. They will assess when and how the use of interconnected systems can be made sustainable while taking the entire life cycle into account. The focus here is on investigating the implementation of improved decomposability and sorted recycling of the materials in composite materials at the end of their lives while avoiding negative consequences for humans and the environment. In addition, to promote recyclable product design, innovative business models and economic incentives need to be developed. Socio-cultural criteria, such as mega social trends in the design of buildings and spaces, are increasingly being considered.

The network is expanding to include practical actors such as the Aachen Building Experts e.V., the Wuppertal Institute for Climate, Environment and Energy GmbH, the re!source Foundation e.V., the German Association for Waste Management e.V. (DGAW), Landmarken AG/ Moringa GmbH, Hering Bau GmbH & Co. KG, and the Lindner Group KG.

Source: Press and Communications