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Sustainability Innovation Campus

At a glance

The Sustainability Innovation Campus (ICN) is a joint initiative by the University of Freiburg (UFR) and the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT). Under the guiding principle “Transformations for Urban Regions of the Future: Climate Protection, Resource Conservation, and Well-Being“, the two universities are setting their sights on comprehensive social, technical, and economic innovations – along with a network of actors from science, industry, politics, administration, and civil society. Together they aim to contribute to the ‘great transformation’ towards a sustainable society.

The research and transfer activities of ICN are based on a holistic approach: In contrast to conventional (purely) technical innovations, system innovations are combined with entrepreneurial, ecological, and social innovations, thus making social change possible in the first place. The simultaneous further development of the innovation ecosystem – a network encompassing everyone from the actors generating the ideas for innovations and those implementing them to the users – has the goal of expediting the transfer of sustainability innovations.

The idea of the innovation campus is to create a research and transformation hub for sustainability innovations – internationally visible and regionally effective. The Upper Rhine region is already being hit particularly hard by the consequences of climate change, and they will become increasingly severe in the coming years. These circumstances call for swift and targeted action.

The need for profound social transformation in the area of sustainability is also reflected in the coalition agreement of the Baden-Württemberg state government: The State of Baden-Württemberg has set itself the goal of becoming climate-neutral by 2040.