The most effective city contest in Germany

A city has countless opportunities to save energy. The mere recognition of this fact is the starting point of the "City high efficiency" initiated by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), who arrives in the final stages.

The central question is what technologies and innovative services which enable energy the most important. "We see the city as a comprehensive system that can significantly reduce energy consumption in different ways," says Secretary of State Prof. Frieder Meyer-Krahmer on 7 May 2009 in Hamburg, at the launch of the second phase of the competition. "The competition is an important step for the government's objectives in the fight against climate change. It is a very good example of high-tech strategy, for which the implementation of research and innovation are central" .

During the first phase last year, a committee of experts has evaluated more than 70 applications for projects. 15 projects were finally selected to appear in Hamburg. Scientists now get the opportunity to continue developing their concepts. Among the finalists are large cities like Hamburg, medium-sized cities as Landau in the Palatinate and very small towns in Saxony Goda. "All the finalists are distinguished by features clear," according to F. Meyer-Krahmer. "They see the city as a global system and have submitted ideas. Moreover, the concepts are addressed in a sustainable way, present an implementation and can be easily replicated in other municipalities."

A particular aspect of the competition is the link between the provision of services, as a research and technological developments. Thus, the BMBF borrows new avenues of research support. "At the moment, services are still too rarely analyzed as objects of research themselves, in relation to technological developments or issues of specialized research. We want to change this," said Secretary of State. The competition is also a pilot for a new initiative of BMBF, implying a greater incorporation of research services than in other fields of research.

For the second phase of the competition, the BMBF will spend 3 million. Next year, after the end of this phase, between three and five among the 15 projects currently selected will be chosen as winners for the practical implementatio

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