The Region of Northern Hesse to Take Off Smart Logistics to the 3rd Dimension for its Urban and Inter-urban Areas

01.10.2018
By Marketplace Editorial
EIP-SCC news

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Smart Logistics will pave the way of future ‘connectivity’ of its rural areas and subsequent strong social benefits through the transport of goods and persons.

The "Urban Air Mobility" (UAM) Initiative of the European Innovation Partnership on Smart Cities and Communities (EIP-SCC) aims to accelerate practical application studies of drone and air taxi technologies and their consequent implementation. The initiative is led by Airbus and is supported by the European Commission, while institutional partners include Eurocontrol and the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA). The EIP UAM initiative is founded on a city-centric approach with a diversified set of demonstration projects with engaged smart cities and regions. The target is to jointly develop, through a horizontal cooperation of diverse mobility actors, concrete urban air mobility solutions (intra-city and inter-city mobility) with real impact by addressing established mobility needs of the specific cities.

Today, the Manifesto of Intent was formally signed in Wiesbaden. Signatories included Mr Holger Schach (Regional Manager), Mr Thomas Fehling (Mayor of the City of Bad Hersfeld), Dr. Carsten Ott (Hesse Trade and Invest), Michael Kadow (House of Logistics and Mobility), Dr. Lutz Heuser, EIP-SCC-SUM Action Cluster Leader ([ui!] The Urban Institute) and Dr Vassilis Agouridas, EIP-SCC, UAM Initiative Leader (Airbus).

“With the membership in this initiative, Northern Hesse becomes a partner of world-leading regions like Hamburg, Ghent, Geneva and Brussels, aiming to develop innovative new mobility solutions as well as technologies and to reinforce the regional and cross-regional innovation and mobility ecosystems”, says Regional Manager Holger Schach.

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The city of Bad Hersfeld and the region of Northern Hesse have expressed their willingness to define a UAM Initiative demonstration project for addressing the mobility needs of the region, with an initial focus on logistics across the airports chain of Kassel Calden and Frankfurt am Main. 

“The region of Northern Hesse is rural in its structure but has the latest acceptance time for consignments in Germany. Consignments reach any destination in Germany overnight, time-critical goods are distributed on time and even European economic centres are supplied overnight”, highlights Dr. Astrid Szogs, Head of the Mobility Network Northern Hesse e.V. 

The city of Bad Hersfeld is located not only in the heart of Germany but also of Europe. This is one of the reasons for which the city of Bad Hersfeld has been developed as one of the most important logistics locations in Germany and Europe consequently. Examples include the corporate settlements of companies like Amazon, DHL and Libri.

“A realistic scenario for the region of Northern Hesse can be the use of autonomous drones for the feeder traffic of freights to the airports Kassel Calden and Frankfurt am Main to improve the possibilities of mobility in Northern Hesse, especially in rural and inter-urban areas”, says Thomas Fehling, Mayor of the city of Bad Hersfeld.

Expectations are increasing when it comes to efficient and effective mobility in urban and inter-urban areas and more attention is paid to sustainability, reliability, affordability and efficiency. At the same time, technological innovations and new business models offer great potential for new approaches to urban mobility, including Urban Air Mobility.

“Therefore the region of Northern Hesse offers a high potential to develop innovative airspace mobility solutions with 40 partners in the cluster of aviation CCA (Competence Center Aerospace), 13 aviation-related departments of the University of Kassel, Airbus Helicopters and ZF Luftfahrttechnik as leading companies and with MoWiN.net. e.V., the Regional Management´s network for the mobility industry in Northern Hesse”, underlines Schach.

The feasibility of implementing these solutions will be studied in close collaboration with institutional partners such as DLR, Eurocontrol and the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA). Amongst other partners who have signed and support the Manifesto of Intent are Bernhard Kempen ([ui!] Urban Mobility Innovations, B2M Software GmbH), Dietmar Höhn (ZF Luftfahrttechnik GmbH) and Dieter Klein (Wingcopter). Other supporters are the five districts of Northern Hesse - Hersfeld-Rotenburg, Kassel, Schwalm-Eder, Waldeck-Frankenberg and Werra-Meißner, the city of Kassel, the Chamber of Crafts Kassel, the Chamber of Industry and Commerce Kassel-Marburg, the Regional Council Kassel, the trade association of Hesse e.V., the business development agencies of the region, the Fraunhofer Institute for Energy Economics and Energy System Technology and other public authorities, industrials, startups, research laboratories and clusters. 

The list of interested partners is by no means neither definitive nor closed. Following the signature of the manifesto, an official Kick-Off Workshop will be organized in November 2018. The date and venue of the Kick-Off Workshop, as well as registration details, will be announced soon at www.regionnorthhessen.de