On 21-22 September, RWTH Aachen University hosted a Walk&Talk meeting as part of the implementation of WP3 (Sustainable Development Through Transdisciplinary Research) of the ENHANCERIA project. On the first day of the event, participants discussed the Human Technology Center (an interdepartmental centre aimed at integrating and promoting interdisciplinary projects that address social problems) and the Living Labs Incubator (aimed at contextual and localised cooperation between science, politics, business, industry, the city and society), two initiatives that form part of the University’s Excellence Strategy, which focuses on integrated interdisciplinarity. The RWTH Profile Areas – problem-oriented and cross-departmental structures addressing 1) modelling and simulation sciences, 2) energy, chemical and process engineering, 3) information and communication technologies, 4) materials science and engineering, 5) medical science and technology, 6) mobility and transport engineering, 7) molecular science and engineering and 8) production engineering also promote interdisciplinary research and development. The Excellence Strategy of RWTH Aachen University is further supported by institutional structures for transdisciplinary research, such as the RWTH Campus, the RWTH Innovation Factory and the BIOTEXFUTURE TransitionLab, which were also presented at the Walk&Talk.
On the second day, participants visited five Living Labs on-site, including the FabLab, the ITA Innovation and Learning Center and the Reference Construction Site. With an area of around 4,000 square meters, the latter forms part of the Center Construction Robotics (CCR) and is located at the heart of the 5G Industry Campus Europe on the Melaten Campus of RWTH Aachen University. At the site, participants were shown several demonstrators in action. In the afternoon, the participants visited transdisciplinary initiatives focusing on urban planning and city development, namely the Old City Quarter Büchel and the Reallabor Theaterplatz. In addition to observation and discussion, participants also planned future collaborations and project activities, leading to closer ties in the ENHANCE Alliance.