UNITECH Network tackling Climate Change
27 Jun 2016 in The Network by David Ward
Jules Verne would have been impressed as UNITECH took science fiction forward to science fact.
“Space Harvester”, “Internet of Things”, “Space Farm” are only some radical innovative ideas discussed in a UNITECH network symposium held from 16th to 18th June at Infineon’s innovative location in Munich. This first step was initiated by Infineon to leverage the UNITECH network in order to tackle the climate change by supporting the implementation of the Paris Agreement on Climate from 2015.
Professors and students from UNITECH Academic Partners - ETH Zürich, RWTH Aachen, TU Delft, Trinity College Dublin, Politecnico di Milano, INSA Lyon, Loughborough University and employees from several UNITECH Corporate Partners - Infineon, Danfoss, Evonik, Hilti and Nokia took part in the workshop. It was a gathering of international academic and industrial experts of interdisciplinary fields discussing a wide range of disruptive innovation topics.
In 2015 world -leaders came together in Paris to put in place an agreement to limit CO2 emissions. The agreement set out a global action plan to put the world on track to avoid dangerous climate change. We are all aware of the dangers of climate change and the profound negative impact it could have on our lives. The goal of the symposium was to leverage the UNITECH network to help fulfill the European commitment to the agreement. This UNITECH event was only the first step: For that it focused mainly on four separate but interlinked topic tracks, each dealing with a different area to conquer the climate change: Beside “Internet of Things”, “Disruptive Innovation” and “Carbon Footprint” one very radical new line of technology discussed was a “Space Farm” collecting solar power by a platform in the atmosphere.
The symposium pushed all four topics forwards and lead to more precise steps of research and development for the immediate future. For example in the case of “Space Farm” this will be the modular design of the solar platform and how the power cable has to be braid for low weight and low resistance. In another example for “Disruptive Innovation” the next step will be a definition of a new idea generation process itself by using smart infrastructure.
To sustain the innovative process of the symposium the members founded the “Open Network for innovative implementation of Paris Agreement on Climate” (ONiiPAC) and agreed on regular meetings to ensure future progress.
Hans Ehm, Lead Principal Logistics Systems, Infineon: “The climate issue is such a serious topic that the solution goes beyond one company. That’s why we donated the Space Farm idea to the UNITECH network. I really hope we can make a change. “
Jakob Damsbo, IoT Project Manager, Danfoss:
“At Danfoss we are into new ways of working and today this event is a fantastic opportunity to do exactly that. So we are collaborating with other companies, with other educational institutions and the UNITECH network to work on a specific project. The track I have been involved in was “Internet of Things”. We got a lot of good feedback, a lot of new ways of looking at things. This new ways of working, this ways of collaborations is very much the key to the future.”