The implementation of physical infrastructures in the NEFI_Lab serves to develop technologies and promote cross-sectoral cooperation. Further tasks include the scientific support of sub-projects, the transfer of knowledge within the showcase region and the involvement of new stakeholders. In order to cast this comprehensive concept into a holistic form, three combined infrastructures have been developed, which are to map the industrial energy system transformation within the framework of NEFI_Lab.
N2P – NEFI_Lab to Public
The N2P – NEFI_Lab to Public is based on the innovative “Hardware in the Loop (HiL)” approach. New generation and consumption technologies as well as flexible elements (storage, DSM technologies, …) are combined to form a complete system. The inputs and outputs of all subsystems are connected via ICTs (information and communication technologies) with interfaces representing real or simulated industrial environments. The interaction of the individual components results in optimisation potentials on the level of technologies, system integration and flexible operational management, without being tied to the same location.
While the HiL approach for the development of electronic and automotive components can be regarded as state-of-the-art, its use for investigations in industrial energy systems is completely new.
SES – Stakeholder Enabling Space
To support the brainstorming, the development of new projects and the further development of ongoing projects for the implementation of industrial decarbonisation, existing and new physical and virtual innovation spaces will be networked. In this way, a large common innovation space for all NEFI innovation fields will be created. This improved environment with online and physical workshops will accelerate the technological and systemic innovation development.
At the TechCenter of the city of Linz a room equipped with the latest media technology and workshop infrastructure will be created, which can be used by all sub-project partners and stakeholders for the NEFI_Lab innovation process. To promote innovation locally at the companies, a NEFI_Lab toolbox is developed to provide significant support in the brainstorming process. In addition, innovation experts from the Business Upper Austria will use their methodological knowledge to guide companies through the innovation processes.
The Energy.Factory Lab of the OÖ Energiesparverbandes tackles one of the major challenges of industrial energy system transformation: the shortage of skilled workers in industry and research. The Energy.Factory Lab aims to stimulate interest in industrial energy transformation in schools and universities. Age- and target-group-specific information and communication activities are used to motivate pupils and students to consider energy system transformation in industry as a future career field. The Energy.Factory Lab is thus an important part of the NEFI innovation process and contributes to the goals of the showcase region.