Research Projects

Smart East

Smart energy supply in the east of Karlsruhe: from mixed residential/commercial area to sustainable quarter

Start: 01/2021

End: 12/2023

The Smart East project is transforming a mixed residential and commercial area with existing buildings in the Oststadt district of Karlsruhe into an energy-optimized smart neighborhood. As a lighthouse project, it is part of the energy strategy of the TechnologieRegion Karlsruhe (TRK) to become a model region for energy transition and climate protection, serving as a blueprint for sustainable management in the design of energy systems.

The neighborhood network in Karlsruhe’s Oststadt includes office buildings like the Technologiefabrik Karlsruhe and the Hoepfner Villa, as well as the multi-generation “Pflege und Wohnen Alte Mälzerei” residential building. Furthermore, research laboratories such as the FZI House of Living Labs and two startup centers – the Cyberforum entrepreneurial network and the new Smart Production Park iWerkx – are integrated.

Potentials for a renewable, climate-neutral energy supply are evaluated and economically assessed in practice through the digitalization of the energy supply in the directly adjacent residential, office and production buildings as well as the sector-coupled networking of the local energy systems within an integrated optimization and operating model. Here, the optimization and operation model is digitally linked to the urban grid infrastructures.

In addition to digital networking and optimization, Smart East has a particular focus on the developing business models for energy cooperation between local actors in mixed residential and commercial neighborhoods and for municipal utilities as service providers. The Smart East research project offers a special opportunity to test these business models for their feasibility in practice and their profitability, since all stakeholders in the neighborhood are involved in the project as tenants, energy suppliers, real estate operators, and owners. This makes it easier to identify promising business areas for energy districts, energy communities, and municipal utilities in a practical manner.

The patron of the project is the Lord Mayor of Karlsruhe, Dr. Frank Mentrup.


David Wölfle

Research Scientist
Division: Intelligent Systems and Production Engineering

Research focus

Climate Action Innovation

The research focus Climate Action Innovation aims to actively promote climate protection and create sustainable solutions in energy, mobility, production, and supply and disposal via IT innovations. Security aspects of the solutions are considered from the very onset.

Karlsruhe - place of opportunities

The Smart East project has received the award Ort der Möglichkeiten (Place of opportunities)Under this signet the city of Karlsruhe accompanies existing and new future projects of the economic and scientific city of Karlsruhe. 

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