Vogelperspektive der HFT Gebäude

4.5 million euros for iCity and the intelligent, liveable and sustainable city of the future

iCity – from a research project to an innovation hub

The Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) has decided to support iCity financially in the intensification phase from 2021 to 2024. This is part of its funding measure "Strong Universities of Applied Sciences - Impulse for the Region" (FH-Impuls). Innovative lighthouse project iCity of Stuttgart`s University of Applied Science (HFT Stuttgart) will be funded with 4,498,000 € for another four years.

There is great cheers that the interdisciplinary research project dealing with research on the intelligent city will be allowed to continue working with its project partners from decisive business and civil society. President Prof. Rainer Franke congratulates the entire iCity team.

The HFT Stuttgart is very pleased to be able to continue the successful iCity lighthouse project. For us as University of Applied Sciences, this is a great opportunity to establish long-term structures within a project and thus allow for excellent research cooperations. Not only will the project be of great benefit for the Stuttgart metropolitan region. Also, iCity is very attractive for teaching at HFT, as our students will gain insights into the HFT's interdisciplinary research at the highest Level.

President Prof. Rainer Franke

What are iCitys goals?

The i stands for intelligent solutions which the project offers for future cities. Since 2017, HFT scientists and researchers have been working in interdisciplinary teams with business and NPO partners of all sizes. Their goal: to tackle the currently highly relevant questions of mobility, digitalisation, climate change, buildings and infrastructures. They have developed the vision of the liveable, intelligent and sustainable city of the future. The HFT researchers playfully call it the LIS city.

"The GO for the second funding phase is a gain for the entire university. The award underlines the university's leading position in the field of Applied Intelligent City Reseach in Southern Germany. Together with the award as Innovative University, the project extension of the iCity funding gives us a strong wind forward to further develop the universities profile," emphasizes Prof. Dr. Volker Coors, Scientific Director of the Institute for Applied Research (IAF).

"iCity networks in all directions: spatially, in terms of its organization and across institutional boundaries. In doing so, the project allows for more information for us as industrial partners. iCity generates knowledge - and thus allows for empowerment in the field of Smart City research. In this way, iCity has an impact on the region and beyond. It goes without saying that the inspiring cooperation within iCity leads to fruitful results," says Werner Steiner of Robert Bosch GmbH in his role of iCity partnership spokesperson for industry.

iCity lately is taking the path of branding. In addition to extensive research and innovation projects, the long-term perspective allows for developing a concept for consolidating the whole iCity partnership from the next couple of years onward.

But what exactly is iCity dealing with exactly?

The project conducts research in general smart city clusters like mobility and urban space, buildings and infrastructure, energy management and urban simulations, and information and communication technology. Exploratory projects of iCity also focus on data security, fuel cells and autonomous sensor networks. The so called Management Project controlls the whole partnership. With its structuring, networking and technical tasks, Management Project is expanding the partnership into a large network of the LIS city. The projects essential component is the committee body of iCity. Above all the external stakeholders of the metropolitan region advise, accompany and support the project and thus contribute to the success of iCitys research. In the Management Project, the core of the project is the Innovation Hub which will also be expanded and later consolidated.

What is the task of the Innovation Hub?

The Innovation Hub is the innovation engine for developments in the context of the liveable, intelligent and sustainable city of the future. This is where innovative ideas and approaches from the partnership and from outside are taken up. Individually assembled teams of researchers from the HFT and the iCity partners work out research projects in creative formats and develop them further. The Hub prepares research and innovation results for the professional public and communicates them. Also, it has a Show Room.

It networks external researchers, companies and professional associations with the HFT Research. The Innovation Hub will also be a central meeting point for founders and start-ups for all LIS related City topics. An iCity laboratory will be set up in the Innovation Hub, which will be made available to scientists and the interested general public for research applications. The hub is affiliated with the Institute of Applied Research (IAF). With the Innovation Hub, the HFT has the opportunity to link the two Ministery of Science and Culture in Baden Wurttemberg (MWK) research focal points "Energy-efficient buildings and sustainable urban development" with "Technologies for spatial data and simulations" and to advance research across disciplines.

We want to establish iCity as an innovation hub in combination with an iCity laboratory. It will be the regions central meeting point for innovations in the realm of the intelligent city of the future!" says Dr. Dirk Pietruschka, iCitys General Manager and, in 2016 Cofounder of the project, together with now Montreals Concordia Professor Ursula Eicker. "We are particularly pleased about the commitment of the many national and international partners. We are delighted of the cooperation with the city of Stuttgart especially in the context of International Construction Exhibition IBA2027.

Dr. Dirk Pietruschka,
Project manager and Initiator of iCity

The intensification phase will be prepared at the beginning of November 2020 with a meeting of the ten nationwide FH-Impul partnerships of the FH-Impuls funding line. The BMBF and the project management organisation VDI, which takes care of its project delays, will put the finishing touches on the way to the intensification phase. iCity plans to kick off the intensification phase in spring 2021.


Detailed information on the fields of action, partners and the team can be found here:

Contact person

Dirk Pietruschka
Dirk Pietruschka dirk.pietruschka@hft-stuttgart.de +49 711 8926 2674
Publish date: 29. May 2020 By Petra Dabelstein (), Nina Ehresmann ()