Collaborative Research: Exemplary Projects


Transdisciplinarity and holistic science and technology development

At the latest since Stuttgart 21, it has become clear that classic procedures of acceptance research, which were even carried out according to plan in the run-up, are no longer sufficient in a digital media democracy to establish legitimacy for processes of change (here, more concretely: processes of technologization). Rather, new forms of participation are needed to involve interested stakeholders in the planning and shaping of these change processes at an early stage. This is precisely what transdisciplinary research and transformation approaches are intended to accomplish. In particular, different forms of real experiments seem to be promising starting points to take into account the increased need for participation of the population, the adequate inclusion of local knowledge and the moderation of heterogeneous needs on an equal footing (needs on the part of the stakeholders, on the part of scientific research, on the part of political and economic actors, etc.). HumTec offers exactly such transdisciplinary research approaches in order to enable or significantly facilitate the transfer of the manifold R&D activities of RWTH into the contexts of use through social science and humanities expertise.

Holistic science and technology development refers to collaborative research on socio-technical innovations. This research approach is based on the conviction that every scientific and technological innovation always includes social innovations. Accordingly, it is not sufficient to design only the technical or scientific side, but at the same time the social side must also be included in the design - and this already in early phases of the innovation process, in order to identify possible social perspectives of use or exploitation at an early stage. In iterative loops, holistic science and technology development brings engineering, natural science and informatics research activities on the one hand with social science and humanities studies on the same research subject on the other into a fruitful dialogue in order to drive socio-technical innovation forward. HumTec can refer to a number of successful examples of such holistic science and technology developments and offers the appropriate platform to initiate and accompany further holistic science and technology developments.