A breath of fresh air at HFT Stuttgart - Minister of Science Petra Olschowski impressed by the university's new profile

climate-literate – resilient – connected

Minister Olschowski was able to see for herself the university's mission to create climate-literate, resilient living spaces. An important focus here is the design of a liveable HFT campus in the city centre, which should contribute to the revitalisation of the Stadtgarten.

On February 15, 2024, Petra Olschowski, Minister of Science, Research and the Arts, visited Stuttgart University of Applied Sciences (HFT). During a tour, professors and staff presented the minister with HFT's new profile "climate-literate – resilient – connected", which was developed as part of a university-wide strategy process. HFT Stuttgart sees itself as a university of applied sciences that not only offers its students an excellent education in their subject area, but also makes a contribution to overcoming global challenges. The topics of climate change, resilience and networking are central to this. The university's mission: the climate-competent design of resilient living spaces.

"HFT's focus on key issues for the future of our society, such as climate protection, resilience and sustainable construction, is impressive. The university is providing important impetus in teaching and research. Through innovative start-ups and qualified graduates, HFT is helping to make urban districts attractive places to live, work, live and meet for all generations. This is how the transfer of science into society can succeed," said Science Minister Petra Olschowski and thanked all members of the university who are actively involved in this.

Minister of Science Petra Olschowski

During the tour of the HFT campus, Petra Olschowski was presented with projects aimed at increasing research and innovation capacity, among other things.

HFT.Lab: A RegioWIN 2030 lighthouse project
HFT Stuttgart focuses on future-oriented topics and excellent education in order to strengthen the transfer of knowledge to society and the region. The university is aiming for a climate-neutral and liveable campus by 2030. One of the priorities is to make the current state of building research visible to the public. These goals are supported by the Baden-Württemberg Ministry of Science, Research and the Arts. The HFT.Lab was included as a project of strategic importance in the Baden-Württemberg ERDF program (2021-2027) with 3.35 million euros in funding at the beginning of 2023. Co-financed by the European Union and the state of Baden-Württemberg, the university will contribute €1.34 million of its own funding.


Innovative HFT start-ups
The Campus Walk also led to Plan G, the start-up center at HFT Stuttgart. Here, Olschowski was presented with successful start-ups that are sharpening the university's new profile. EVERGROW ELEMENTS is a start-up that produces an all-in-one building material based on regenerative peat plants to replace climate-damaging materials and simplify construction. The start-up GEOPOLTech focuses on environmentally friendly and resource-saving building material alternatives based on geopolymer technology. FÜNF PROZENT is the name of an HFT start-up that is now operating as a company on the market. FÜNF PROZENT supports municipalities and solar providers in activating building owners by determining renovation and PV potential at building level throughout Germany and making it available in a low-threshold and uncomplicated manner. ImproveMID is a start-up that is committed to a mentally healthier working environment - innovative, automated and data-driven.

iCity: Intelligent city
The "iCity: Intelligent City"-research partnership was also presented to the Science Minister. iCity: Intelligent City" is funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) with around ten million euros as part of the "Strong Universities of Applied Sciences - Impulse for the Region" (FH-Impuls) funding measure. The aim of this funding measure is to strengthen cooperation between universities and partners from industry in a collaborative partnership in order to increase the speed of innovation and act as a driver of innovation in the region. Since 2017, the research partnership has been developing methods, services and products for highly efficient energy, building and mobility systems for the smart city in a transdisciplinary collaboration between researchers from all competence centers. These systems are to be intelligently networked using information and communication technologies in order to be efficient, renewable, sustainable and socially acceptable.


Master's theses In the Architecture course
Petra Olschowski was presented with selected Master's theses and models on topics including "New homes in old walls". The work focussed on the conversion of a monastery near Schwäbisch-Hall and the redesign of a university administration building. The students dealt with questions of resource-conserving construction through the preservation of valuable building fabric and resilience through adaptability and flexibility of use.

Platform for innovations in the construction industry
Under the leadership of Vice Rector Elke Sohn, responsible for transfer and climate strategy, the HFT.Lab team has begun to plan and implement projects from the strategy process. The aim of HFT.Lab is to create a platform for innovations in the construction industry in the Stuttgart region. Among other things, an experimental space for researching and presenting future-oriented planning and sustainable construction using temporary prototypes is being designed for this purpose. These prototypes will serve as a real laboratory in which planning processes, new technologies and construction and production methods can be tested. In this way, the HFT is striving for new forms of cooperation and exchange between science, industry and the public.


HFT's contribution to revitalizing the Stadtgarten
The special location of HFT Stuttgart on the edge of the Stadtgarten plays an important role here. Due to its inner-city location, the HFT Stuttgart campus should act as a role model for climate protection and sustainability. Attractive, inviting living spaces are to be created around the HFT buildings - and beyond. Rector Katja Rade makes it clear what contribution HFT Stuttgart can make to leveraging the potential of the Stadtgarten: "Universities are a central link between science, society and business. It is very important to us to bring research and transfer even more into the city and region. We see the Stadtgarten - located in the heart of Stuttgart between the Stuttgart University of Applied Sciences, the University of Stuttgart and the Baden-Württemberg Cooperative State University - as an ideal location for this."

Stuttgart University of Applied Sciences has concrete ideas for opening up the main building more towards the Stadtgarten. The HFT.Lab is planning to restructure the first floor into an inviting place for people to meet and engage in dialog. The redesign and reorientation of the HFT cafeteria with a counter and terrace facing the Stadtgarten is intended to create a lively and invigorating Stadtmitte campus. Rector Rade would like the support of politicians for this project in order to be able to contribute to the positive development of the Stadtgarten in the near future.

Final photo with Science Minister Petra Olschowski (right in the center). To her left Rector Prof. Dr. Katja Rade, next to her Vice-Rector Prof. Dr. Volker Coors (Research and Digitalization), Vice-Rector Prof. Dr.-Ing. Elke Sohn (Transfer and Climate Strategy) and Chancellor Doreen Kirmse. In the background Dr. Matthias Schenek, MWK. On the left Linus Häberle, AStA chairman, and Ann-Kathrin Brodel, StuPa chairwoman.

All photos: arge lola

Publish date: 15. February 2024 By Michaela Leipersberger-Linder ()