Together towards Climate Neutrality

PhD students develop climate-friendly projects in a cooperation of maKeIT and KIT Graduate School "Enabling Net Zero". The findings provide valuable feedback for the design of future transfer offers.
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ENZo Community App, game4energy and Sparkling CO2 are the names of the three Real World Projects that emerged from the cooperation of the new KIT Graduate School "Enabling Net Zero" (ENZo) with the also new intrapreneurship program "maKeIT". 

The project was initiated in July 2022. 16 doctoral students took part in the program, hoping to contribute with their expertise and make a contribution to Germany's goal of climate neutrality by 2045. Together with the Head of maKeIT, Dr. Niels Feldmann, the researchers took an in-depth look at their personal research results, skills and values in advance. Over the course of several workshops, they initially developed around 14 project ideas, from which three concrete projects and teams eventually emerged. Encouraged by the professors in charge, the school's "principal investigators," and equipped with some team budget, the teams finally began implementing their projects by the end of 2022.

The game4energy team is working on a social game for people aged 14 and above, which aims to introduce them to our energy system and ways to reduce CO2 playfully. A first version of the game can be tried out at the EFFEKTE festival in Karlsruhe in late June this year. The Sparkling CO2 team is developing a device the size of a moving box that restaurants can use to extract CO2 from the air and make it available for beverage dispensers. CO2 produced industrially from fossil fuels can thus be replaced. The ENZo Community App is the third and final project. The online application supports researchers in their scientific work regarding climate neutrality and encourages them to save CO2. In addition to implementing the projects, the teams are also looking at how to identify target groups, flesh out ideas, acquire supporting forces and develop prototypes. These will be presented to the public in the summer of 2023.

The knowledge gained by the maKeIT team in this cooperation with ENZo will flow into the design of the Helmholtz Academy for Intrapreneurship (HAFIS) - a consortium project of KIT, Forschungszentrum Jülich (FZJ), Gesellschaft für Schwerionenforschung (GSI), and Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR), funded by Helmholtz Association. This academy pursues project-based approaches to strengthen intrapreneurship. Following the ENZo experiences, the learning of new skills will be combined with identification and processing of own projects.

The KIT Graduate School ENZo started its operation in January 2022. It is embedded in KIT Center for Energy and aims to provide young researchers with interdisciplinary knowledge and tools with which they can not only produce outstanding scientific findings, but also contribute to the sustainable transformation of the energy system in application-related projects. In this context, Real World Projects play a special role for the participants of the graduate school. 

Image: KIT