Source: Regina Rhodius, 2023

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On October 16, 2023, the tdAcademy, the Center for Technology and Society (ZTG), and the Science and Society Department of the TU Berlin extended an invitation for an informal exchange on research at the intersections of science and society. In the well-established discussion series "Let's talk about it: Transdisciplinarity & Co-Production," Nadin Gaasch (Science and Society Department) and Emilia Nagy (ZTG) welcomed Dr. Regina Rhodius from the Öko Institut e.V. for an online conversation this time. Regina Rhodius is a scientist with extensive expertise in the implementation and research of real-world laboratories, among other areas.

As part of the "Reallabore der Nachhaltigkeit" network, she contributed to the consultation process for a "Reallabor Act" conducted by the Federal Ministry of Economics and Climate Action (BMWK) in the summer of 2023. The BMWK aims to develop a law that provides uniform and innovation-friendly conditions for real-world laboratories, with a focus on creating space for testing innovations. In preparation for the law, the focus of the consultation was on how to create these conditions and what additional standards and complementary measures are needed*.

Regina Rhodius outlined the key points of the "Reallabore der Nachhaltigkeit" network's statement regarding the consultation process and the BMWK's published "Green Paper Real-World Laboratories," as well as her personal understanding of the BMWK's concept of a real-world laboratory. She emphasized that, from her perspective, real-world laboratories are characterized by their transformative nature, experimental character, long-term focus, and consideration of impacts. Additionally, essential features include the sustainability aspect, scientific nature, and collaboration among various societal actors. As a symbolic image, Regina Rhodius brought a fan, associating real-world laboratories with "bringing in a breath of fresh air." In contrast, Regina Rhodius explained that the BMW's understanding is much narrower, with a strong focus on technological innovation and its benefits for companies. Regina Rhodius expressed her desire for the law to understand real-world laboratories as learning spaces that can generate knowledge through scientific integration, and to facilitate the work of civil society actors in real-world laboratories through appropriate funding opportunities.

We thank Regina Rhodius for the insightful glimpse into the topic and all participants for the lively discussion that arose regarding Regina Rhodius's input.

Additional resources:

Green Paper Real-World Laboratories https://www.bmwk.de/Redaktion/DE/Downloads/G/gruenbuch-reallabore.pdf?__blob=publicationFile&v=10

Statement of the "Reallabore der Nachhaltigkeit" Network on the initiative of the Federal Ministry of Economics and Climate Action (BMWK) for a "Reallabore Act" https://www.reallabor-netzwerk.de/downloads/RLN_Stellungnahme-Reallabore-Gesetz.pdf

*Consultation for a "Reallabore Act" and supplementary measures by the Federal Ministry of Economics and Climate Action (completed) https://www.bmwk.de/Redaktion/DE/Textsammlungen/Digitale-Welt/reallabore-konsultation.html