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A great success for Steinbeis-Europa-Zentrum and Stuttgart University of Applied Sciences: the EU grants 8,000,000 for an ecological research project.

Stuttgart University for Applied Sciences (HfT) and its research centre for sustainable energy technology (http://www.zafh.net) has won an ecological project worth several million Euro for the German federal state of Baden-Wurttemberg. The project was supported by Steinbeis-Europa-Zentrum, the Innovation Relay Centre Stuttgart, Erfurt and Zurich.

The project known as POLYCITY focuses on developing innovative solutions for using renewable energies within urban districts in three European countries. Real building projects that are acccompanied by scientific research show how the proportion of fossil fuels, that are becoming more and more scarce and expensive, can be reduced in favour of energy from the sun and biomass. The project, which comprises a total of 17,000,000, will be subsidized by roughly 8,000,000. The Steinbeis-Europa-Zentrum supported the University in writing and submitting the proposal to the European Commission and the contract negotiation with the EU. The award for POLYCITY is the first time nationwide that the management of a project on this scale has been given to a University for Applied Sciences. The European Commission ranked HfT's proposed project in second place of all the submitted applications and the University for Applied sciences and Steinbeis-Europa-Zentrum were invited to Brussels at the end of May to draw up the contract. The management and coordination of the POLYCITY project is Dr. Ursula Eicker's responsibility, who has played a leading role in conceiving the project together with her German and European partners. Ursula Eicker is Professor of Building Physics at the HfT and she manages the advanced technical college's institute for applied research as well as the centre for applied research sustainable energy technology (http://www.zafh.net). The Steinbeis-Europa-Zentrum will take over the administrative part of the project management. Three major housing projects in Germany, Spain and Italy will be promoted with POLYCITY. The one in Germany is the development area at Scharnhauser Park in Ostfildern. The biomass combined heat-and-power station that has already been completed will be optimized in this case. The unused heat that accumulates will ensure during the summer that the building project is air-conditioned by means of innovative thermal refrigeration techniques. ,The main research topics are: use of solar energy throughout the year, poly-generation and communal energy management on the basis of ultra-modern information technologies (online, real-time and running simulations during operation). All of the buildings will be simultaneously insulated on a very high standard, in order to avoid unnecessary heat loss during the winter. These and many other innovative measures are planned and they should be carried out between 2005 and 2009 under the scientific supervision of Stuttgart's zafh.net. The research in Scharnhauser Park will not be concentrating solely on new technologies while doing so but also on the economic efficiency and quality of life. Scharnhauser Park will thus belong to one of the EU's 31 ecological showpiece communes and others can profit from the experience that is gained there. To be precise, POLYCITY is part of the European Union's CONCERTO Programme, for which a total of about 80,000,000 is available. The EU is thus supporting cities that are prepared to make large investments in the area of renewable energies and which want to undertake a pioneering role in Europe. About 20 further communes from the whole of Europe and beyond it have already indicated their interest to participate in the POLYCITY project as observers. They want to use the knowledge for their own building projects; some of which have been planned already. Two further major housing projects besides Scharnhauser Park are integrated into the project: Cerdanyola del Vallès - a ndevelopment area for 50,000 residents that is being planned to the north of Barcelona and the renovation area of Arquata in Turin, which is a working-class district that will be renovated from the ecological standpoints. Town planning authorities, property developers, regional energy companies and research institutes are participating in all three project locations as further project partners; among which are the Fiat research centre and two of the Catalonian state government's ministries. The EU is using POLYCITY as a vehicle to promote applied research in a project of this magnitude, for the first time.Enquiries:,Charlotte Schlicke,Steinbeis-Europa-Zentrum,Haus der Wirtschaft,Willi-Beicher-Str. 19,70174 Stuttgart,Tel: +49-711-1234018,E-mail: schlicke@steinbeis-europa.de Prof. Ursula Eicker Ph. D.,,Stuttgart Advanced Technical College,zafh.net ,Centre for applied research in advanced technical colleges ,Sustainable energy technology,Schellingstrasse 24,,D-70174 Stuttgart. Germany.,Telephone: +49-711-1212831,mobile: +49-178-3084608 ,E-mail: ursula.eicker@hft-stuttgart.de

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Germany, Spain, Italy