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TeleWerk: The future of work for the future of the region

New forms of collaborative working with short distances in modern buildings with a minimal carbon footprint and the latest infrastructure for cyber security and energy management - is this what the future of work in rural areas looks like?
vor 2 years | from admin
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Successful ground-breaking ceremony for the joint project of the Fraunhofer IVI, Holzbau Lepski, Mittweida University of Applied Sciences and Volksbank Mittweida:
New forms of collaborative working with short distances in modern buildings with a minimal carbon footprint and the latest infrastructure for cyber security and energy management - is this what the future of work in rural areas looks like?
How can this solution advance a region so that working and living in rural areas becomes more attractive?

The "TeleWerk" project will provide some answers and plenty of scope for testing these solutions. May 4, the groundbreaking ceremony took place in Mittweida. Workstations for 10 to 15 people are to be created on a total of 173 square meters of floor space over two floors.

In the coming months, "TELEWERK - Teleworkshops for Rural Regions", a pioneering real-world laboratory for innovation-supported regional development, will be created in the immediate vicinity of Mittweida University of Applied Sciences on the Werkbank32 site. The Saxon State Ministry for Regional Development (SMR) is supporting the project as part of its simul+ initiative. In addition to Mittweida University of Applied Sciences as consortium leader, the project partners are the Fraunhofer Institute for Transportation and Infrastructure Systems IVI in Dresden, Volksbank Mittweida eG, the innovation experts at TeleskopEffekt GmbH Mittweida and the specialists for sustainable construction with wood from Holzbau Lepski GmbH in Dresden.

Voices on the Telewerk

 "TELEWERK is a real laboratory, where interdisciplinary research and the development of sustainable solutions take place. Unlike traditional laboratory research, science, business and society work together directly here"explains Professor Dr. Volker Tolkmitt from Mittweida University of Applied Sciences, who heads the consortium. "TELEWERK is an open house for technologies that will shape work in the future, and it is open to interested parties from all areas." 

The Fraunhofer Institute for Transportation and Infrastructure Systems IVI and Mittweida University of Applied Sciences are pooling their research expertise in a joint infrastructure. In addition to the TELEWERK project, the complex being built in Mittweida includes the research project "AMSEL - self-sufficient microsettlement for energy-conscious living", which is also funded by the SMR, and will be connected to Werkbank32, the existing innovation and start-up center of Volksbank Mittweida. 

Prof. Dr. Matthias Klingner, Director of the Fraunhofer IVI, thinks the constellation is a success: "Building a research infrastructure in Mittweida with such committed partners that so impressively combines state-of-the-art technologies, appealing architecture and new ways of living and working is simply fun."

Energy-efficient with a minimal CO2 footprint

Although it is the inner values that count, TELEWERK will be special on the outside: The material and shape follow the demand for minimal CO2-footprint. The building is made of wood, a renewable and, unlike concrete, CO2-binding raw material. The timber construction method is also better suited to the realization of areas that make optimum use of solar radiation. In addition to solar energy, optimized load management and decentralized energy storage contribute to the fact that TELEWERK is also forward-looking in terms of energy. Optimized load management ensures more even energy consumption, for example by optimally distributing load-intensive but flexible processes such as 3D printing over time. Electricity storage systems increase the security of supply for heating, cooling and water treatment in the building and can even feed electricity generated from renewable sources into the grid to contribute to grid stability. 

The networking of systems (Internet of Things) required for the operation of the building and working in the building is accompanied by another important strand of research at TELEWERK: Cyber security. It ensures that the supply systems and communication infrastructure cannot be manipulated.

 "In all aspects to be investigated, however, TELEWERK focuses on people and the environment, not technology." emphasizes Tolkmitt. "We are investigating and demonstrating how a building must be designed for the office work of the future in rural areas so that the time-consuming, energy-intensive commute to the big cities can be eliminated. The future design of working environments under the The demand for sustainability, safety and a better work-life balance is an important factor for the development of our region." 

The transfer of findings into practice takes place during the ongoing operation of the real-world laboratory. Interdisciplinary research expertise from Mittweida University of Applied Sciences and the Fraunhofer IVI and the experience of partners from industry are brought together. 

Prof. Leonhard Zintl, CEO of Volksbank Mittweida eG, which is a project partner of TELEWERK, confirms this: "The coronavirus pandemic has shown us that many people can work from almost anywhere. Decentralized teleworkshops like the ones we want to test will make rural areas much more attractive places to live. They also offer the potential for the creation of regional value chains through their construction and operation." 

TELEWERK is made possible by the simul+ future initiative of the Saxon State Ministry for Regional Development - on the basis of the budget approved by the Saxon State Parliament. 500,000 euros are available for TELEWERK.

If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to contact us: Dr. Julia Breßler

The text was written in cooperation with Mittweida University of Applied Sciences and the Fraunhofer Institute IVI