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AIT at the Long Night of Research


Decarbonization and digitalization are the central topics that AIT researchers will be presenting to the general public on May 20. This begins with the development of batteries and innovative methods for planning sustainable cities and extends to the sustainable use of plant resources.

The technologies developed at the AIT Austrian Institute of Technology are of the highest relevance for the future of the country. In particular, these are topics from the areas of decarbonization and digitalization. In order to give the public a low-threshold insight into the wealth of important research topics and to make the results tangible, the AIT is once again participating in the "Long Night of Research", which is taking place throughout Austria for the tenth time this year on May 20. With around 2,500 program points at 280 locations, it is the largest event for science education in the entire German-speaking region. At the event, which is sponsored or coordinated by the Ministries of Science, Climate Protection and Economics as well as the federal states, scientists communicate their work in person. The aim is to raise awareness of research, science, innovation and technology in Austria. Old and young are invited to participate.

Many activities of the AIT

As Austria's largest research and technology organization, the AIT is involved in a whole host of activities at the Long Night of Research. For example, AIT researchers are very prominently represented at the exhibition site organized by the Ministry of Climate Protection at CAPE 10 (near Vienna's Central Station).


Solutions for decarbonization

Three important future technologies in the service of decarbonization will be presented at CAPE 10:

Urban planning of the future: cities must manage their growth intelligently while finding answers to the challenge of climate change. This requires new planning and implementation concepts. In AIT's City Intelligence Lab, scenarios such as the climate situation in city districts or the optimization of people flows can be vividly simulated and acted out. This is an essential building block for the planning of resilient cities.



Heat pumps - energy sources of the future: With the help of heat pumps, it is possible to use heat from the environment or unused waste heat from industrial processes. This can greatly reduce both the need for fossil energy and CO2 emissions. The potential of this technology is demonstrated using a heat pump that can be used simultaneously as a beverage cooler and sausage warmer.



Battery of the future: The ideal battery has a high energy or power density, is environmentally friendly, safe and cost-effective. Current lithium-ion batteries are still some way from achieving this goal. Therefore, other materials and environmentally friendly production processes are being researched. The functioning of batteries will be demonstrated at the Long Night of Research using a potato battery.


Sustainable use of resources

The sustainable use of natural resources is the focus of the presentations at the AIT site in Tulln (Lower Austria). This starts with the importance of the microbiome - which is the totality of all microorganisms in a habitat - for the growth of plants. The diversity of these organisms is of central importance for the stability and resilience of ecosystems and also for plant production in agriculture. An often overlooked but very important part of ecosystems are fungi. These organisms also play a major role for us humans - be it as food, be it as a supplier of important medicines or of paints, or be it because they can trigger allergies. Another important topic for the future is soil: AIT researchers show the public first-hand what is happening in the soil beneath our feet. 


Safety and production

The topic of digital security is also a major focus of research at AIT: Researchers will provide an insight into this topic at the presentation of the Austrian Security Research Program KIRAS (in the Palm House), where a project demonstration will be shown.



The AIT experts will also offer a workshop at Happylab Vienna: In the project "fem*MAD" (Female Engagements in Making * a difference), visitors to the Long Night of Research will be asked to design what they consider to be an ideal makerspace under the title "Make your Makerspace!



AIT expert as a "living book"

A researcher from AIT, Tanja Tötzer, a specialist in the field of urban planning (Digital Resilient Cities), is also available as a "Living Book". This is a dialog platform where visitors can "borrow" a person for a personal conversation on a specialist topic - analogous to a public library.