Our vision for the Heilbronn educational campus
What does the smart and innovative campus of tomorrow look like? Within the framework of the Smart Campus Initiative, the Research and Innovation Center Cognitive Service Systems of the Fraunhofer IAO, together with the various players on the Heilbronn Bildungscampus and supported by the management consultancy BICG, has developed future visions for the smart campus of tomorrow. In three co-creative workshops between November 2019 and May 2020, representatives of the campus management as well as employees and students of the educational institutions contributed their visions and ideas for the long-term development of the campus. The results have been incorporated into the following visions for the future.
Images of the future for the smart and innovative campus of tomorrow
How has the Bildungscampus changed in the past? What makes it different from other university campuses? And what are the important features of a smart and innovative campus of tomorrow? The participants of the kick-off workshop (representatives of the campus management, senior staff and employees of the educational institutions) addressed these questions. The essence of the discussion was that the Heilbronn educational campus has an exceptional position in the German university landscape: The rapid growth within a few years, the central (inner city) location, the diversity of institutions and the initiative of the Dieter Schwarz Foundation are particularly characteristic of the campus. When defining the term “smart”, the participants agreed that a purely technological interpretation is not appropriate. Rather, the development of a smart campus of tomorrow should strike a balance between analog and digital solutions, as well as between given structures and creative freedom.
It was important for the further development process of the visions of the future to also shed light on the students’ perspective. For the second workshop, a total of 17 students from different universities and disciplines met on the premises of the Campus Founders. In a creative atmosphere, the participants exchanged views on student life on and around the campus and contributed their ideas for development. It was particularly gratifying that many students already identify with the Bildungscampus and perceive it as a “second home” or the centre of their lives. Based on the results of the first two workshops, the project team created initial visualizations of the future. These were reflected on together with the students’ ideas in a final validation workshop with the participants of the kick-off workshop. This was followed by a revision of the visions of the future, in which additional suggestions from the validation workshop were incorporated. The visions of the future are presented below.
Impressions from the workshops
Within the framework of the Smart Campus Initiative, projects are to be realised together with the campus players to support the implementation of the visions of the future. But what does it take for these visions to become reality? What can the students themselves contribute? What needs to be considered? If you have ideas for joint research and implementation projects, please send us a message to janika.kutz [at] iao.fraunhofer.de
Bildungscampus as a networked Mobility Hub
© BICG/Fraunhofer IAO
Mobility on, around and to the Bildungscampus Heilbronn is a central topic, especially for students. Our vision of the future therefore thinks of the Bildungscampus as a networked mobility hub.
The Mobility Hub is conceived holistically and is embedded in the mobility concept and the structures of the city of Heilbronn. The central contact point is the Bildungscampus App, which bundles and integrates all mobility offers and services and can be curated according to the individual mobility preferences of the users.
With the AR-Campus-Navigation, students, employees and visitors can orientate themselves on the Bildungscampus, are shown where they are and are navigated to the desired destination. In addition to the smart application for the smartphone or tablet, digital signage on the campus serves to provide better orientation for students, employees and visitors.
The app’s local traffic service is networked with information on local and national public transport. The departure times of the city bus and the trains of the Deutsche Bahn can be queried, and the shuttle buses between the locations of the Bildungscampus can be tracked by real-time information.
Another essential component is the data-supported parking lot service, with the help of which users can explore the parking lot possibilities in real time and specifically select an available parking lot. Before arriving at the Bildungscampus, the app determines the ideal parking space, which is located at the shortest distance from the actual destination on campus. In addition to the smartphone application, digital screens along the approach routes help to avoid unnecessary waiting times in front of the car parks and driving around to find a suitable parking space.
A useful supplement to the parking service and to reduce the volume of traffic is the carpooling exchange, where students can both offer their carpooling and take advantage of the same service as a passenger. Marked locations on the Bildungscampus help people to find each other easily.
Other services include e-scooters and rental bikes, which can be located, reserved and booked using the app. The offer includes the rental of e-scooters and bicycles in connection with the city infrastructure as well as sufficient covered parking spaces for personal bikes and repair stations. Additional services include linked Car-Sharing portals and the availability of e-charging stations, which are located and tracked via the application.
Sustainability plays a major role on the Bildungscampus. Accordingly, all mobility services pursue the goal of sustainably reducing CO2. In addition, the Bildungscampus App offers an interactive campus game, which encourages users in their environmentally friendly mobility behaviour by collecting points.
Functionality and comfort
Bildungscampus with digital services and analogue open spaces
© BICG/Fraunhofer IAO
Students and employees should find the ideal conditions for lifelong learning and successful work on the Heilbronn educational campus. Our vision of the future is based on the Bildungscampus with digital services and analogue freedom.
Digital Services facilitate the organisation of learning and working on campus. The holistic Bildungscampus app and the digital screens on campus support orientation; e-books and tablets complement the library’s offerings. Payment is digitalized throughout the campus and is made with the campus card – whether in the canteen or at the snack machine. (Electronic) media can also be borrowed via the card.
An important element of the Bildungscampus app is the integrated AR campus navigation, which provides users with real-time information on their current location and surroundings and displays it combined with the real world. The app supports students in gaining an overview of the campus. It enables them to reserve workstations and rooms and to view the occupancy of the library and other public spaces via heat maps.
Timetables and the individual grades overview can also be integrated into the app. The app also enables interaction and exchange among users, in which groups with specific interests can be created and used. The app also contains a compilation of all offers related to sports and leisure on the campus. Relevant information on nutrition can also be displayed, such as the daily menus in the canteen or the waiting time at lunchtime. Users can also vote for their favourite food via the app. With the help of the app, all activities and offers of the sharing platform can be called up, which enables an exchange of everyday objects. In addition, the app displays available offers in Heilbronn and the surrounding area.
In addition to digital services, students also find analogue free spaces on campus that enable and promote creative work. Students can use designated rooms and open spaces for creativity and realization of all kinds, such as for organizing events, exhibiting study results, artistic activities and sports activities. And students take an active role in this and design these open spaces according to their actual needs and in the sense of a lively and lived campus culture.
Life and health
Bildungscampus as a meeting place and centre of life
© BICG/Fraunhofer IAO
The Bildungscampus in Heilbronn brings together various universities, educational and research institutions. Our vision of the future thinks of the Bildungscampus as a meeting place for students and a place to live.
With a wide range of services and value-added services for a high study-life balance, the Bildungscampus will become the center of student life par excellence. Students identify with the Bildungscampus and like to stay on the premises, as the existing infrastructure offers a high quality of stay.
The Bildungscampus app also includes a sharing platform where students can exchange or donate tools, books, clothing or food and post advertisements for housing, for example. Pets can also be looked after together via the pet sharing service. The sharing platform is one of many building blocks for sustainable management on the Bildungscampus and has met with a high level of acceptance due to the great added value for students, which is why the platform is permanently managed by the users themselves.
The Bildungscampus app and digital screens on the campus offer the possibility to get information about joint activities and events taking place on and around the campus. The app also helps students to organize themselves and, for example, to create joint sports groups, organize study- and interest-related events or visit cultural institutions in Heilbronn together. In addition, cooperation with local and regional sports and cultural institutions, animal shelters and social institutions contribute to a better study-life balance and satisfaction.
A further contribution to the study-life balance is made by 24/7 offers tailored to the needs of the users. In addition to the daily canteen service, the Campus Market Hall offers sustainable food of all kinds and other items of daily use throughout the day. Additional value-added services such as food trucks and snack vending machines complete the extensive range of products on offer at the Bildungscampus.
Culture and identity
Bildungscampus as a living, integrating organism
© BICG/Fraunhofer IAO
The Bildungscampus Heilbronn will continue to grow in the future. Our vision of the future thinks of the Bildungscampus as a living and integrating organism.
The infrastructure of the Heilbronn educational campus continues to develop organically according to the needs of its users, always with an eye on promoting the coexistence and cooperation of the various institutions on campus.
On the campus and in the immediate vicinity, there are various sports and leisure activities available to all students and staff of the various universities, educational and research institutions, which can be found easily and conveniently via the Bildungscampus-App. This offer supports networking and exchange across institutional boundaries and supports the formation of a shared campus identity. The Bildungscampus-App functions as a digital exchange platform where the actors can exchange information on the respective topics, help each other and make appointments.
In addition, cross-institutional courses, projects and courses are offered on campus, for which the attractive common rooms and open spaces on the campus are available to participants. For example, seminars and lectures can be held outdoors on greenfield sites, excursions can be undertaken jointly and existing resources on campus can be used.
Digital and distributed learning is part of everyday life at the Bildungscampus Heilbronn and is combined with virtual exchange platforms. Nevertheless, the campus offers the ideal environment for physical cooperation between the actors and personal exchange between the educational institutions.
The diverse, cross-institutional offerings contribute to the networking of institutions, students and staff, support the integration of the campus into the urban space and promote the formation of a shared campus identity that respects and connects the individual philosophies of the various universities, research and educational institutions on campus.
Profitability and growth
© BICG/Fraunhofer IAO
Profitability and growth are also relevant criteria for the success of the Bildungscampus. Our vision of the future therefore thinks the Bildungscampus internationally.
The Heilbronn Bildungscampus with its attractive, internationally oriented offers is a figurehead for the region and attracts students and employees from the region and beyond. Diversity and integration are lived out on the Bildungscampus and forms of knowledge exchange and cooperation are found that also overcome language and cultural barriers.
The Bildungscampus-App curates the wide range of offers – from language and cultural activities to guest lectures, exchange programs to sports events and evening activities – on and around the campus and presents them in different languages. The multilingual, digital signage on the campus also facilitates orientation on site.
The educational campus regularly welcomes guests from renowned universities abroad who give lectures and seminars or spend their research semester in Heilbronn. The educational institutions on campus and the numerous international partner universities are closely networked, maintain a regular exchange and initiate joint exchange programs. With the help of the Bildungscampus app, students can access their courses and lectures online and thus also take advantage of study opportunities at the Bildungscampus Heilbronn during their semester abroad.
In addition, the app supports the search for internships and jobs of all kinds, which are offered by renowned companies in the region. These companies cooperate with universities and educational institutions, offer guest lectures and pitch contests and assist students with training and mentoring programs.
Resource management and climate protection
Green and CO2-neutral Bildungscampus
© BICG/Fraunhofer IAO
The prudent use of resources, sustainability and climate friendliness is also important for the Heilbronn Bildungscampus. Our vision of the future thinks of the Bildungscampus as a green and CO2-neutral campus.
The Bildungscampus Heilbronn works day by day to be and remain a green and CO2-neutral campus. To this end, the use of resources has been optimized with data support and the power supply has been consistently converted to renewable energies – partly from our own production on the roof. Existing green spaces were expanded and new ones created. The flow of fresh air was also optimised with the help of data. This not only makes the areas more attractive, but also improves the air quality and is in line with the campus’ climate adaptation strategy.
The green recreation areas on campus are popular with students and staff alike – whether for outdoor sports activities, for exchange during breaks, for events or innovative teaching/learning formats. In the long term, additional areas on the Bildungscampus will be unsealed and greened: On the one hand, these will take the form of roof gardens, which will be cultivated as part of courses on urban food production. On the other hand, vertical façade greening at selected locations. The yields of the urban garden are offered and marketed in the Campus Market Hall or via the sharing platform.
Food sharing, which is offered via the sharing platform of the Bildungscampus-App, is also well accepted by the students and contributes to the sustainability of the campus. The canteen has consistently switched to reusable boxes for taking food with you, and thanks to the drinking water treatment system, waste is rented out using PET bottles. The smart waste and recycling concept also contributes to the sustainability of the campus. The individual measures and sustainability initiatives are regularly evaluated by students in research projects.
The infrastructure of the Bildungscampus combines the highest technological standards with renewable energy sources. The majority of the electricity required on the campus is therefore produced in-house via photovoltaic systems, which makes a significant contribution to the campus’s CO2 neutrality. The buildings are equipped with sensor technology and the electricity and water consumption is optimized by an intelligent control system. Despite automatic light and temperature control, the needs of the users are taken into account by allowing them to report adjustment requests via the app, which are then taken into account by the intelligent control system. The app also includes a digital campus dashboard that displays essential information on energy and resource consumption on campus.
We want to hear your opinion!
Phone: +49 711 970-5259
E-Mail: janika.kutz [at] iao.fraunhofer.de
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Phone: +34 913 141 331