Research under real conditions

Sustainability change needs knowledge and research. The Karlsruhe Transformation Center creates orientation knowledge, system knowledge and action knowledge around the questions: What does it take to advance sustainable development in the different areas of life, sectors and organizations of our society? How can change be shaped well together and how can corresponding hurdles be overcome?

The predominant type of research is real-world lab research or transdisciplinary and transformative sustainability research. The scientists at KAT are themselves involved in processes of change. In this way they gain insights that cannot be generated purely from the outside. The KAT is a university institution at the Institute of Technology Assessment and Systems Analysis (ITAS) of KIT, where it uses both the decades of experience in sustainability research and the unique, interdisciplinary research environment.

More information will be available here soon. Do you have any questions? Please feel free to contact us.

The KAT combines science and practice
KAT Publikationen

Selected Publications

The team of the Karlsruhe Transformation Center contributes to research with many and diverse publications. In addition to philosophical and conceptual reflections on sustainability and the further development of real laboratories, problem-oriented and application-oriented publications from participatory and collaborative research have been produced. A compilation of previous publications can be found here.


Research requires adequate infrastructure. Thus, the Karlsruhe Transformation Center also develops and maintains infrastructures that are necessary and profitable for real-world lab research. Recently, the Mobile Participation Lab MobiLab enriches the equipment of the KAT. It was designed specifically for transdisciplinary research in and with society and, as a prototype, is so far unique in the research landscape.

KAT MobiLab
Reallabor Tagung Karlsruhe
Conference: real-world labs in transformation

Conference: Real-world labs in transformation

Where do we stand with real-word labs today? After almost ten years of real-world lab research, practice and discourse, the conference of the Karlsruhe Transformation Center is intended to map an interim status as well as to raise current, pressing conceptual, methodological and very practical questions and to shed light on them in different formats. The two-day event will be hosted in Karlsruhe, Germany, June 2-3, 2022, in cooperation with the Real-World Labs of Sustainability Network


Video "What is a real-world lab?"

How do we get from knowledge to action? This is exactly where real-world labs come in. Ideas can be contributed, tried out and researched. What happens here is scientifically accompanied. The video is in German (3:38 mins.)

Further fields of action