A Registered Association for the KogniHome Research Apartment

Partners from academia, industry, and diaconical organizations carry project forward

Seven partners have banded together to carry on the work of KogniHome Cluster of Innovation. Since 2014, the research project has been developing a smart apartment that enables individuals with cognitive limitations to live at home within their own four walls for as long as possible. The Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung (BMBF, Federal Ministry for Education and Research) provided the project with eight million Euro in funding over three years. The financing will run out at the end of this year. For this reason, the seven partners from the Diakonie (social and welfare organizations), industry, and academia have committed themselves to ensure the continued existence of the project. To do this, they have established a registered association: “KogniHome – Technikunterstütztes Wohnen für Menschen e.V.” (KogniHome – Technical Assistive Living for People, an officially registered association in Germany).

At Bethel, the seven founding members signed the charter establishing the KogniHome Association: (from left, front) Ralf Müterthies (Hettich, 3rd Association Board Director), Prof. Dr. Ingmar Steinhart (from the v. Bodelschwingh Bethel Foundation, 1st Association Board Director), and Dr. Thorsten Jungeblut (Bielefeld University, 2nd Association Board Director), as well as (from left, back) Torsten Born (Steinel), Dr. Barthold Haase (Stiftung Eben-Ezer), Andreas Enslin (Miele) and Dr. Michael Schilling. Founding members include the companies Hettich, Hella, and Miele, as well as Bielefeld University and the v. Bodelschwingh Bethel Foundation. All partners already worked together on the previous project. New to the project are the Stiftung Eben-Ezer (Eben-Ezer Foundation), which is located in Lemgo, Germany, and the company Steinel, which specializes in sensory technology.

“For us, this is a tremendous opportunity,” says Torsten Born, Head of Product Development at Steinel. Four sponsoring members are accompanying the project, including the University of Applied Sciences Bielefeld, among others. The Association is largely about maintaining and utilizing the research apartment at Bethel – a visionary laboratory for ‘thinking’ living that is also geared towards the demands of daily life.

“We are very pleased that the apartment will continue to exist thanks to the Association, and KogniHome will thus still be able to inspire new ideas,” says Dr. Thorsten Jungeblut, who coordinated the Cluster of Innovation.

From January to June 2016, the Cluster of Innovation equipped a typical apartment on the “Bethel corner” of the Gadderbaumer Street with networked, smart technology, which is mostly invisible in the residents’ living space. By providing support with assistive technology, this home of the future offers the possibility of leading as independent a life as possible, particularly for individuals with disabilities or senior citizens. With its establishment as a registered association, the continued operation of the research apartment is secured.

“But we didn’t just want to maintain it – we also want to move forward with new innovations,” says Professor Dr. Ingmar Steinhart, a member of the Bethel Board of Directors. The practical application of the intelligent technology in particular is planned to be further developed. Another key focus will lie on the ethical and legal questions that arise from digital assistive living.

More information is available online at:

  • “KogniHome Awarded ‘Selected Location’ in Germany, Land of Ideas Initiative” (press release, 19.05.15): https://cit-ec.de/en/news/kognihome-awarded-%E2%80%9Cselected-location%E2%80%9D

  • Website of the KogniHome Cluster of Innovation: https://www.kogni-home.de/

  • Brochure on KogniHome: http://bit.ly/2sxC8t6

  • Brochure on ethical, legal, social, and safety issues raised by KogniHome: http://bit.ly/2sxQAkS

  • Video on the research apartment at Bethel: (“KogniHome – A Birthday in the Smart Apartment”): https://youtu.be/aisagMB01GA

  • Film on the Cluster of Innovation Consortium (“14 Partners – One Apartment”): https://youtu.be/_AD7J0Cdv-4

Contact:

Dr. Thorsten Jungeblut, Bielefeld University
Cluster of Excellence Cognitive Interaction Technology (CITEC)
Telephone: 0521 106 12031
Email: tj@cit-ec.uni-bielefeld.de