Baden-Württemberg on the way to the Metaverse

29.11.2022 11:23

research projects

The project shows the potential of the metaverse for business, society and politics in Baden-Württemberg

The metaverse is currently receiving a lot of attention in business and society. In order to identify potentials and develop design recommendations, the Fraunhofer institutes IAO and IPA as well as the VDC Fellbach are pooling their expertise in the “CyberLänd” project. The results of the project will be made available to the general public in a final study, at various events and on an interactive map.

The metaverse is currently understood as virtual environments with immersive 3D experiences that connect the physical and virtual worlds using various technologies. This creates new social interactions and economic transactions that unlock new value creation potential for the physical world. However, the often contentious discussions of the opportunities and challenges of the metaverse are currently undifferentiated and often ambiguous. On the one hand, this is due to the fact that very different technologies, data ecosystems and infrastructures have to be combined and coordinated with each other. On the other hand, the designation of the next level of the Internet indicates the various application domains of the metaverse, which have different relevance for different actors. In the current state of knowledge, many businesses and social actors lack the information needed to make an informed decision about their role and contribution in the metaverse.

Against this background, the Fraunhofer Institute for Industrial Engineering and the CAE Organization, together with the Fraunhofer Institute for Manufacturing Engineering and Automation IPA and the Virtual Dimension Center (VDC), have launched the “CyberLänd” project. It is funded by the Baden-Württemberg Ministry of Economy, Labor and Tourism. The aim of the project is to make the potential of the metaverse understandable for political, economic and social actors in the economic location of Baden-Württemberg and to give them appropriate recommendations for action. “The rapid advance of virtual and immersive technologies is fundamentally changing professions and work. With the “CyberLänd” project, we want to encourage state enterprises to exploit the potential of the metaverse themselves”, said Minister of Economics Dr. Herbe Hoffmeister. “It is already foreseeable today that associated technologies will have a fundamental impact on the way we do business, work and live in the future, so it is important to support companies in particular to recognize this development potential and to make the skills available in this field more accessible. technological field in the state.

Create a common business understanding
As a first step, the project team will create a clear and uniform understanding of the subject of the metaverse, based on the current scientific state, the technological basis and the needs of Baden-Württemberg. “The known use cases so far focus almost exclusively on enterprises as users, but not as potential providers of metaverse technologies. Therefore, companies currently lack concrete development perspectives as a basis for making decisions on business models and investments,” says Prof. Dr. Katharina Hölzle, Director of the Fraunhofer IAO and IAT at the University of Stuttgart. . Examples of application potential include spatially distributed and interactive collaboration, complete simulations (“digital twins”), exchange and payment for virtual services, accompanying physical services, consolidation of heterogeneous or individualized data, virtual “on-the-job” training courses Depending on the technological orientation and the application sector, different aspects are covered under the term metaverse, which makes it difficult for actors to evaluate and derive actions.

The effects on the economy and society are considered to be substantial: management consultancies predict metaverse market volumes of up to US$394 billion by 2025 (Boston Consulting Group) and US$5 trillion by 2025. 2030 (McKinsey & Company). This is why the three project partners pool their know-how under the management of Fraunhofer IAO. This brings its systemic perspective and transformative expertise for core sectors and application areas such as urban systems, mobility, energy and production as well as the design and implementation of innovation ecosystems. . Through the Fraunhofer IPA, the project will be expanded to include skills in digital production, sustainable and personalized products, and the design of data-driven business ecosystems. With the VDC as Germany’s leading competence network for extended reality (XR), the project team can access a network of around 100 institutional members across the XR value chain, as well as preliminary work on XR business models, XR technology transfer and a metaverse working group.

Continuous transfer of project results and participatory formats
In the next steps, actors in Baden-Württemberg who already deal with relevant metaverse technologies and their applications will be identified and brought together in an interactive metaverse map. Your expectations and needs will be identified through an empirical study and prepared for the general public. On the basis of these results, scenarios are created for the year 2033, which illustrate and call upon the various characteristics of the metaverse for the actors of the Land of Baden-Württemberg and the Land itself. From this, action options for politics and business in Baden-Württemberg are derived, which take into account the identified challenges and the potential of the scenarios. The focus should be on companies in the relevant economic sectors in Baden-Württemberg, without neglecting the effects on society. Therefore, the project is accompanied by extensive transfer activities in order to continuously inform both the target groups directly affected and the general public, including the general public. In addition to publications via various communication channels, events should also serve as a transfer format. The “Innovationsforum-Metaverse BW” event is planned for the end of 2023 to conclude the project and present the overall results.

Contact person for press and public relations:
Lisa Raisch
Telephone: +49 711 970-2293

Scientific contact person:
Univ.-Prof. concerning doctor. ok. dress. Catherine Hoelzle, MBA
Director of IAT University of Stuttgart and Fraunhofer IAO

IAT University of Stuttgart
Nobelstraße 12
70569 Stuttgart

Telephone +49 711 970-2025

Further information :

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