CONUS Competence Net urban-industrial Supply

Project Description

CONUS - Competence Net urban-industrial Supply

CONUS is a joint network of stakeholders of logistics and supply industries in the Lower Rhine Region, North-Rhine Westphalia (NRW), Germany, funded by the European Fund for Regional Development (EFRE) and the state of NRW. The network’s output is to promote more sustainable action through its economic innovations. This is achieved by the constant expansion of a mutual net of interests that extends across all areas of society - citizenship, business, science as well as politics & administration. The network collaboratively conducts research, tests and implements, exchanges and shares its knowledge and experience within its scope of action. In doing so, the special challenges and potentials of the Lower Rhine Region are linked together in order to develop the maximum impact for climate protection and sustainable management - first for the area tested, later for other regions. CONUS starts with four living labs in which new, participative and, above all, regional processes are established - with a special focus on strengthening urban-rural relationships using digital innovations/solutions. The Living Labs provide the chance to test new ideas, dock on at different levels of the supply chain and are embedded in the existing (logistics) system. The network is designed to go after new ideas and seeking topics for novel living labs. Dynamic network events, think tanks and innovation workshops in an inter- and transdisciplinary environment encourage the network to develop and reinvent itself. By establishing the competence and innovation network CONUS, the knowledge gained in pilot projects can be economically and scientifically reused and be further applied. By establishing a subsisting collaborative management, the project aims at promoting and developing a model for sustainability in practice in the Lower Rhine Region over the next two years - through new cooperation, funding projects, living labs and events.

Conus - Organigramm En - 20200324

Living Labs

Genussregion Niederrhein (Gourmet Region Lower Rhine)

In the Living Lab “Genussregion Niederrhein” food producers, logistics service providers and consumers are directly connected via a purpose-designed IT platform. In doing so, new regional value-added and supply solutions are developed. These services strengthen the connection between urban and rural areas. Digital and direct networking has made it possible to eliminate the need for intermediary wholesalers, thus making future entrepreneurial potential attractive even for small farms in the region.

More precisely: over the next two years an open source IT platform to promote cooperation and the exchange of knowledge and experience will be developed, tested and adapted. In addition, an e-food marketplace will be created, i.e. a perceptible web-based supply for end consumers to buy regionally produced food.


BioEconomy Lab - Smart Logistics Grids for the establishment of bioeconomy in the Lower Rhine Region

This Living Lab connects actors from agriculture and industry to promote the bio economy. One goal of bio economy is to use more bio-based materials for energy, mobility and industrial processes to enable sustainable economic activity. Smart Logistics Grids are being developed as a basic precondition to create the necessary logistics infrastructure and digitisation measures. There are already producers of such bio-based products in the Lower Rhine Region. The potential is being demonstrated at three specific producers a) Biological natural packaging (BIOTEC, Emmerich), b) Bioplastics (IKS, Neuss) and c) biodegradable and bio-based polymers and compounds (FKuR, Willich) and the region is being established as a pioneer in the field of the bio-economy.



In the Living Lab AgriWear, digital technology is tested to support the workflow in agribusinesses. IT-supported technological aids (wearables) - such as special glasses - support employees in optimizing the supply and production processes. Dynamic, digitally supported systems are tested and developed that guarantee security of supply while at the same time the oversupply of certain products is prevented (perishable food). The results contribute on the one hand to process optimisation, and more specific to the conservation of resources and offer on the other hand development opportunities for small regional companies. The LL contributes to more efficient and safer work flows. In the course, a guideline for action will be published, which will summarise the collected findings and make them available to the public. Close cooperation with the neighbouring country, the Netherlands, also strengthens the geographical ties of the Lower Rhine Region.


Autonomous Public Transport Pilot

The future of mobility is autonomous, interconnected and smart. In order to achieve this vision, the Living Lab Autonomous Public Transport Pilot plans to introduce an automated bus in the city centre of the city of Kleve. This bus will be integrated into the existing as well as planned complex traffic systems. Autonomous modes of transport can revolutionise both people and goods traffic.





The CONUS project is funded by European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and the state of North Rhine-Westphalia.

Project Management

PD Dr. habil. Ani Melkonyan-Gottschalk
Executive Director of the Centre for Logistics and Traffic (ZLV)

Klaus Krumme
Scientific Director of the Joint Centre Urban Systems (JUS)

Contact Person at ZLV

Güldilek Köylüoğlu Alabaş
Scientific Staff

Project Consortium

University of Duisburg-Essen (UDE)

Executive Office Centre for Logistics and Traffic (ZLV)

Executive Office Joint Centre Urban Systems (JUS)

Chair of Business Administration, especially Service Operations - Mercator School of Management (MSM)

Chair of Physics of Transport and Traffic

Chair of Transportsystems and -logistics (TUL)

Chair of Economic Geography, Traffic and Logistics

Niederrhein University of Applied Sciences (HSNR)

Institute for Business Process Management and IT (GEMIT), Department of Industrial Engineering Chair of General Business Administration, focus: Purchasing and Logistics

Rhine-Waal University of Applied Sciences (HSRW)

Faculty of Society and Economics, Chair for Economics with focus on
Game Theory as well as
Industrial Economics and Corporate Finance

edv-anwendungsberatung Zühlke & Bieker GmbH (ZUBIT)

Individual software solutions and IT management for CONUS


The CONUS network is made up of central stakeholder groups in the region, including science, companies, business development agencies, agencies, associations and chambers as well as civil society. The more than 50 partner institutions will be presented on our website shortly.

Project Period