The project EcoHub, which is funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), aims at facilitating an integrated management system for sustainability data in manufacturing companies in order to enhance usability of such data as services for the sustainability management.
Led by the Fraunhofer Institute for Manufacturing, Engineering and Automation IPA, the project team will develop a prototype for a data architecture, which is generally applicable and user centered. Subsequently, the prototype will be implemented as a digital platform: the service-oriented hub for utilisation and application of sustainability information in manufacturing companies (EcoHub). The services can encompass e.g., sustainability assessments such as LCA or MFCA, validation of data or reporting.
Several use cases will be used for identifying specifications of the EcoHub platform, as well as for its development and validation of the prototype. These use cases are realised in cooperation with 13 companies, which will also implement and quantify sustainability improvements by this. The aim is to increase the companies’ energy and resource efficiency, improve material cycles of products and processes, and optimise the socio-economic factors of production.
The Wuppertal Institute manages two use cases analyzing potentials of digitalisation for energy and resource efficiency in metalworking and agriculture. Furthermore, it will develop a concept for evaluating all use cases as well as the EcoHub prototype and lead the overall evaluation process. In order to enhance usability and improve user experience of the EcoHub, the prototype will be developed based on the Living Lab approach and user-centered design methods from the research unit innovation labs at the Wuppertal Institute.