Participation means that those affected by research, for example the users of technologies or buildings, are involved in (technology) development processes. The development of systems, technologies and innovations is thus put on a broader footing and "democratized" to a certain extent. It is also important to analyze the framework conditions that promote or hinder this "democratization".

For more information, please contact Jürgen Suschek-Berger.


Our projects on this research approach

The strategic project, which is funded by COMET and carried out jointly by Pro²Future and IFZ, is intended to sensitize Pro²Future researchers to how gender and diversity can be taken into account and integrated in application-oriented research projects, especially those that use artificial intelligence (AI) technology.

The goal of the PROTEA project is to foster a vivid collaboration of industry, research and gender experts from IFZ to develop and implement the benefits of 3D-printing of prostheses, taking into account gender and diversity aspects. 

The project VEKIAA investigated how the workplace integration of digital assistants based on Artificial Intelligence (AI) can be done in the most responsible way possible.

In this project, teaching materials on the subject of electro mobility were developed for pupils and young people between 13 to 14.

In the FEMtech project "Multifunctional Data Patch for Vital and Movement Monitoring in Everyday Environments" (VITAPATCH), a new technology is developed which makes it possible to realize cost-efficient assessments on a medical quality level in a close to everyday life setting, as well as fitness and movement monitoring. ECG electrodes and piezoelectric sensors on ultra-thin stretchable adhesive foils will send signals to a smartphone app.

The study explores the question of how technical training can become more attractive for young women and diverse young people.

The project examines in which way mobility practices of millennials (born between 1985 and 2003) in Styria can be rearranged at biographical breaks and what offers and interventions are necessary to support a transformation towards sustainable mobility in the long term.

VOICES is a COST Action that aims to increase the visibility of inequalities faced by Young Researchers and Innovators (YRIs) from a gender perspective, and to promote a sustainable dialogue between YRIs and stakeholders in the research ecosystem at the systemic level (European & national policy-makers) and at the institutional level (senior researchers, academic managers) by creating a community of gender equality practitioners composed of various stakeholders (YRIs, independent researchers, academic managers, organizations) across Europe.

Three municipalities committed to zero emissions city logistics – Bremen (DE), Mechelen (BE) and Groningen (NL) – have joined forces with logistics stakeholders and leading academic institutions to accelerate the deployment of innovative, feasible and shared zero-emissions solutions, addressing the challenges generated by the rise of the on-demand economy in urban logistics.

Within the project, each of these lighthouse cities is going to implement at least two sustainable urban logistic solutions, the so called ULaaDS Trials. These trials will be fitted to the stakeholder needs and requirements via a multi stakeholder collaboration process and testes under real life conditions. The results of these trials will be implemented in guidelines to improve the conduction of Sustainable Urban Logistics Plannings (SULP) and will furthermore result in the development of a decision support toolbox for urban logistics.

One aspect of the reliability of contractors has so far been given too little consideration in (public) tenders: the ability of the contractor to provide the service even in during a crisis or disaster. In the course of the project Providentia, a catalog of measures is being developed for (public) contracting authorities with which they can ensure security of supply even in the event of crises and disasters. aims at creating new methods of participatory technology design for the field of Artificial Intelligence (AI) through workshops.

IFZ accompanies the first smart meter rollout of the company "Energienetze Steiermark" (provider of the styrian electricity grid) in a socioscientific way with the help of interviews and focus groups, in order to determine the concerns of the customers and to make recommendations for a socially acceptable introduction of smart meters.

The project develops a basis for a regional, autonomous and robust energy cell that ensures a sufficient auxiliary (power) supply in case of failures in the transmission grid, caused by a blackout or a regional extreme weather condition.

The project Gebäudesoftskills (Buildingsoftskills) aims to both clarify complex interactions between the built environment and human needs and to complete and crosslink the established know-how of building experts with the knowledge of human sciences.

The energy transition is far more than a technical change. Profound changes in energy supply and use involve changes in technological, material, organizational, institutional, political, economic and socio-cultural terms. Therefore, it is a fundamental socio-technical change in energy use and associated systems.

IFZ war part of a one-year exploratory project "Smart City Frohnleiten", funded by the "Smart City Initiative" of the Austrian Climate and Energy Fund. In this one-year exploratory phase, the aim was to explore possibilities for sustainable urban development in the city of Frohnleiten.

"useITsmartly" develops innovative solutions to facilitate young people's capacity building of "smart IT use", and ideas on how to reach them with the topic environmental impact through IT use.

The core of the project was the active involvement of citizens in Hartberg. Several surveys with the population, qualitative interviews with stakeholders and participation events with citizens of Hartberg were carried out.

TransFAIRmation is a project collaboration of IFZ with teachers and students of NMS Albert Schweitzer, which uses a field of interest of children and teenagers (TV series) to elaborate a participatory teaching design facilitating the acquisition of technological and social competencies.

The project BENE assessed the potential of active citizen engagement in energy issues to contribute to the promotion of more energy-aware lifestyles in Austria. It analysed necessary institutional frameworks as well as individual resources (e.g. financial, social, knowledge, time) and motivations (e.g. environmental values, societal norms, economic benefits) for engagement. Building on this analytical basis, it developed and implemented activation strategies for expanding the scope of existing initiatives and initiated a transfer of good practice models to further communities.

Aim of the project MOTIVATION is to compile an exchange between the partner countries in Europe about different factors, which influence the image of sciences and technology.

Young people develop and design gender sensitive pictures of people and technology. A participatory technology research project to compile a non-sexist image database.

Participatory technology design using the example of music. Secondary-school students developing didactical concepts for interdisciplinary engineering education.