Smart Cities & Infrastructure

Consortium Project
»Facing the Smart Future: Smart Cities & Infrastructure»
for Smart Products, Infrastructure Systems & Services


Ongoing digitalization, connectivity and advanced data analytics are mega trends and in combination one of the major drivers for the smart future. Which implications has this smart future for your company or our city? Which technologies are needed to be competitive in the smart future? What would be the cost-benefit ratio of being an early adopter?

Based on the previous »Smart Future« projects, KEX Knowledge Exchange and its research partners have started a more focused study on the topic »Smart Cities and Infrastructure«, which specifically addresses smart products, smart infrastructure systems and smart services.

Present project's time frame:

Start: November 2016

End: November 2017


Participation in the ongoing project is not possible.
Please do not hesitate to contact us for further information and upcoming projects.


Patrick Wienert, Project Leader
Patrick Wienert, Project Leader

Extract of former participants:


Digitalization, including the integration of networking capabilities into physical products, is no longer just affecting the consumer electronics industry. Terms like »Internet of Things«, »Smart Infrastructure«, »Smart City« or »Smart Mobility« are just examples for the diversity of buzzwords that are used. But what do these buzzwords mean for companies and cities, particularly regarding their product portfolio and their offered services?

In the consortium project we aim to get answers to these and many other questions:

  • What will be the lead applications driven by smart technologies in particular segments?
  • Which markets and applications will be the next to profit from – and potentially be disrupted by – innovative smart products and smart systems?
  • Which technologies are needed to be competitive in the smart future?
  • What would be the cost-benefit ratio of being an early adopter?
  • What could be beneficial smart products, infrastructure systems and services for my company?


Creating economic and technological transparency regarding current and future potential of smart products, systems and services

Exploring and analyzing market and technology trends and possible game-changing business models

Promoting valuable exchange and networking between the most relevant industry partners and ambitious cities


  • Be able to define the roadmap to your smart city and its infrastructure, enable your products or the related services for the smart future
  • Receive a broad overview of smart applications in the context of cities and their infrastructure
  • Know the enabling smart technologies
  • Assess the possible added values based on digitalization and data analytics
  • Learn how to apply new services and business models
  • Network with cross-industrial players and experts

Key Questions


Smart Services

  • What game-changing business models will affect the markets?
  • How can new interfaces between residents, service providers and authorities lead to innovative business models?

Smart Products

  • Which »smart« functionalities will differentiate products?
  • Which smart products lead to new services and cost savings in an urban environment?


Smart Systems

  • Which systems can be improved by smart technologies?
  • Which positive impact on efficiency can be generated?
  • How do smart systems improve lifestyle and business attractiveness?
Applications and elabler - exemplary key questions

Enabling Technology

Smart Actuators & Sensors

  • Which sensors can be integrated into a smart city environment at competitive prices?
  • How can collected data be leveraged for added customer value?

Smart Data

  • Which data access platforms and analysis technologies will be important?
  • Which steps are necessary to secure sensitive data?


Smart Networks

  • Which communication standards will become ubiquitous?
  • How can heterogeneous autonomous devices securely interact?

Network of Experts

The consortium study...

  • is based on extensive knowledge of the selected research partners and the experience gathered in previous projects in the context of »Industrie 4.0« and »Internet of Things«
  • builds an expert network that enables knowledge exchange and information generation across value creation stages and business sectors
  • brings together a critical mass of experts and decision makers involved in the field of »Smart Cities & Infrastructure«

► Benefit from the opportunities provided by our network and determine which innovations will soon be cutting edge in the market!

Addressed partners in the project

Addressed partners in the project

Target Markets

Smart Mobility and Transportation

Smart Mobility and Transportation

Smart Infrastructure and Buildings

Smart Infrastructure and Buildings

Smart Living and Work

Smart Living and Work

Smart Environment and Utilities

Smart Environment and Utilities

Smart Governance

Smart Governance

Project Approach

Stage 1 - Pilot Study

Assessment of consortium needs and relevant market trends by scanning for cross-industrial smart applications and solutions.

Stage 2 - Assessment

Detailed technology assessment for the most attractive smart applications and solutions selected by the project partners.

Stage 3 - Business Models

Deriving comprehensive business cases, evaluation of market opportunities and new business model generation.

Research Partners

FIR - Institute for Industrial Management at RWTH Aachen

  • Founding year: 1953
  • Industry-oriented research in the areas service management, information management and production management
  • Part of the initiative for excellence in North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW)

PEM - Chair of Production Engineering of E-Mobility Components

  • Founding year: 2014
  • Research and innovation of electro-mobility
  • Development of production processes of the electric vehicle and its components
  • Application-oriented reserach projects

FEN – Center for Flexible Electrical Networks

  • Founding year: 2013
  • Interdisciplinary cooperation with 15 RWTH Aachen University research institutes in the field of flexible electrical distribution networks, low and medium voltage technologies, automation systems as well as urban planning, analyses of social acceptance and economic

Drees & Sommer AG

  • Founding year: 1970
  • Innovative partner for consulting, planning, construction and operation
  • Supports public- and private-sector principals and investors on all aspects of real estate
  • Sets the standard in the areas development consulting, project management, engineering, real estate consulting, infrastructure consulting and strategic process consulting

E.ON ERC – Energy Research Center at RWTH Aachen

  • Founding year: 2006
  • Interdisciplinary work in the field of electrical engineering, information and communication engineering, computer science, business and economics, mechanical engineering, as well as georesources and materials science
  • Research the potentials of energy savings, energy efficiency and sustainable energy supplies

ISB - Chair and Institute of Urban and Transportation Planning

  • Focus on mobility research and management, urban and regional development, transport modelling and controlling in urban and regional environments
  • Consultations in politics, management, and businesses

DFA - Demonstration Factory Aachen

  • Founding year: 2013
  • Small-scale production of marketable products with a high vertical range of manufacture on 1,600 m²
  • Application, exploration and further development of Industrie 4.0 solutions with industrial and research partners
  • Implementation of smart systems enabling transparent and consistent order tracking on the shop floor
  • Further education in a real production environment