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REALIS – Living labs for distributed information and training of the civil population in crisis situations

Duration: June 2021 to November 2022

Funded by: SifoLIFEFederal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF)

Project partner: City of Siegen

Contact person (University of Siegen): Dr. Thomas LudwigNino Bohn
Contact person (City of Siegen): Björn Schröder

Ensuring security to protect the population is one of the central tasks of municipalities. The BMBF-funded competition “SifoLIFE – Demonstrations of innovative, networked security solutions” supports municipalities in testing new security solutions from research and development in practice together with regional players and citizens. The testing is intended to achieve a clear advantage for the participating municipalities and to make the security solutions tangible for the population, thus also creating impulses for a transfer of innovation and practice.

The starting point for REALIS are emergency situations such as corona pandemic, extreme weather events, such as the 2021 flood disaster, and refugee situations, which pose major challenges to the civilian population and often trigger a great wave of volunteerism and public commitment. However, because these volunteers often lack effective organization and information about the current situation, the goal of this project is to provide an information and training infrastructure that enables local disaster response agencies to disseminate targeted location-specific information and support selfhelp capabilities.

To achieve this, the project will pilot the REALIS approach in a large-scale citywide living lab. The setup will also incorporate organizational and technical solutions from earlier projects developed in Siegen as part of civil security research. Among other things, an existing infrastructure of public displays, communication apps and other coordination tools will be expanded. In order to address the real-world requirements of the various user groups, they will be involved throughout the entire project by means of various participatory methods and dialog offerings.