Topic of the year

Form 2018 till 2020 the content of the Carl Zeiss Foundation programmes was based on an annual topic. The topic of the year was developed with experts from the fields of science and business.

The topics constitute a contemporary interpretation of the goals of the Foundation and provide links for the profiles and focal points of research of the various higher education institutions in the field  s of mathematics, computer science, natural sciences and technology.
The topic of the year for 2020 was
“Intelligent solutions for an ageing society”.

Intelligent solutions for an ageing society

Demographic development in Germany is leading to an ageing society. In 2050, 50 per cent of the population will be over 65 years old. The effects of the demographic change are creating major challenges with regard to the health services, infrastructure, economy and working world. Scientists can provide key information to help answer these questions of the future.

In order to strength the research contribution in the technical fields (STEM subjects) to cope with the abovementioned challenges, the Carl Zeiss Foundation is providing its funding with the motto “Intelligent solutions for an ageing society” in 2020.

With its funding lines, the Foundation is addressing the whole spectrum of possible projects, from basic research to user-oriented research and development and disruptive innovation.

The individual projects are to be targeted at developing solutions for specific challenges faced by an ageing society. In this regard, technology such as robotics, automation, technical assistance systems, mobile and remote control diagnostics, digitally networked systems, machine learning and artificial intelligence or big data is to be used. The STEM-based projects may involve interdisciplinary networks and also include disciplines in the field of design and/or the social sciences in order to improve understanding of the issue in question and the application of the solution.

Funding projects should contribute to solving the following challenges, in particular using the tools and approaches associated with the abovementioned disciplines:
  • Increasing the quality of life of older people;
  • Providing them with supporting in maintaining autonomy and independence;
  • Ensuring their participation in working life, as well as making it easier for them to actively participate in society;
  • Prevention of age-related diseases and the cost-conscious management of such conditions;
  • Managing the increased demand for care.
The projects may relate to one age group or multiple age groups:
  • Professional activity and transition into retirement age;
  • active retirement age;
  • elderly.