Technical Visits & Special Interest Programs

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Ecological, economical and social oriented sustainable
activities in the European Rhine-Neckar Metropolitan Area

The European Rhine-Neckar Metropolitan Area

The Rhine-Neckar Metropolitan Area (RNM), situated in Germany´s south west, near the International Airport Frankfurt on Main, has approximately 2,4 million inhabitants in an area of more than 5.600 sq km. The RNM, one of Europe´s most important economic regions with its capitals Heidelberg, Mannheim and Ludwigshafen, is the location of various international enterprises like the BASF, the SAP and the MVV Energy as well as famous universities with international reputation like the Universities of Heidelberg and Mannheim. The Rhine-Neckar Metropolitan Area has also extended agricultural areas for saving the nutrition of the citizens and the supply of energy plants with biomass.

The position of the Rhine-Neckar Metropolitan Area
(marked red) in Germany


Programs, topics and chief points:

Realization of the Energy Turnaround in the Rhine-Neckar Metropolitan Area

The postulated Energy Turnaround in Germany after the nuclear accident in Fukushima (Japan) in 2011, is also an enormous challenge for the European Rhine-Neckar Metropolitan Area (RNM). The public managers of the RNM follow the aim to become the pioneering role in Europe by realizing the Energy Turnaround in the region in the medium term, according to the policy of the German government. The RNM has the reasonable aim to become the most energy efficient European region until 2025.

To achieve those ambitious aims, a high engagement of all players in policy, economy, sciences and citizens as well as the coordination of all activities in regional networks, are important preconditions. Also very important factors for successful performance of the Energy Turnaround are highly developed industries, technologies, sciences and agriculture.

The Rhine-Neckar Metropolitan Area (RNM) is one of the most important region for economy, ecology an sustainability, science and innovation in Europe. The City of Heidelberg was awarded twice as “Sustainable City in Europe”. Other important communities in the RNM, like Mannheim, Ludwigshafen and Speyer, are also very engaged in the realization of the Energy Turnaround, initiating many sustainable energy projects for the future.

The responsible persons of the Metropolitan Area as well as the NEWenergies pool of experts are important players in the regional energy policies and have long experience in the fields of energy efficiency and renewable energies. They have intensive contacts to clients in the energy segment, to enterprises, communities and private households and are important for a successful regional Energy Turnaround.


Program 1:
100 percent realization of the supply with renewable energies in the Rhine-Neckar Metropolitan Area
(practicable concepts, technologies, perspectives and sustainable projects – visit of a co-generation heating plant burned with timber and a local heating grid)

Program 2:
The regional Masterplan for the Energy Turnaround – a challenge for policy, economy, science and citizens in the Rhine-Neckar Metropolitan Area
(activities, strategies, key success factors, networks, supporting sustainable projects – visit of an organization which support the Energy Turnaround and a building with passive house standard)

Program 3:
The energy enterprises – important regional players to ensure a sustainable, climate compatible energy supply

(visit of an energy provider and a model plant with new energies)

Program 4:
Model project 100 % climate protection in Heidelberg, granted by the German government
(visit of a environmental authority and a public building with passive house standard)

Program 5:
“Bahnstadt” – Heidelbergs model project for the future - the world´s largest quarter complete with the passive house standard -
winner of the international “Passive House Award 2014”
(presentation of the passive house standard - visit of the “Bahnstadt”)

Program 6:
Integrated traffic concepts in regional capitals – an important contribution from communities to a successful Energy Turnaround
(adaption of structures, organization, logistics and the promotion of e-mobility – presentation of a pilot project to introduce e-mobility with busses in the short-distance public transport)

Program 7:
Solar region Rhine-Neckar: solar current from large solar parks and from Europe´s largest solar power plant on a building
(visit of a solar park or a solar plant on Germany´s biggest school center in passive house standard near Heidelberg)

Program 8:
Organization of citizen in energy cooperatives – an important contribution for the Energy Turnaround
(Presentation of a regional energy cooperative and visit of a new energy model project)

Program 9:
Energy-self-sufficient villages – the way to an energy autarkic community with energy efficiency and renewable energies
(visit of an energy autarkic village)

Program 10:
The importance of agriculture for the Energy Turnaround in the Rhine-Neckar Metropolitan Area – sustainable energy supply with biomass
(visit of a regional biomass co-generation plant)

Program 11:
Environmental learning and education with pupils, youth and adults – a long-termed successful model in Heidelberg
(Presentation of Heidelberg´s activities and model projects – visit of an institution for environmental education)


Civil Participation in Heidelberg

More than 20 years ago Heidelberg introduced civil participation in local decision processes in order to consider inside knowledge and experiences of the citizens to achieve reasonable decisions with a broad agreement. So Heidelberg became international famous as the “City of Dialog”.

Program 12:
Development of the City with civil participation – Heidelberg´s successful long termed model project
(Presentation and discussion of Heidelberg´s way to a civil participation)

Constructional and energetic projects for the future in the
European Rhine-Neckar Metropolitan Area

In sustainable cities of the 21th century the application of knowledge and experiences will become an important factor for a better quality of living. The “International Exhibition for Construction” (IBA) in Heidelberg asks questions concerning the future of urban development and planning, bringing together the wide knowledge and experiences available. Via the IBA, the City of Heidelberg decides to establish a network of experts in architecture, urban construction and planning, culture, education, science, ecology and economy, to connect knowledge, experiences and creative folks, in order to have a benefit for the City and the citizen. Heidelberg aims at the target to become a model as “The Sustainable City of Change”.

Program 13:
The „International Exhibition for Construction“ (IBA) in Heidelberg – the City of Science set the benchmark for a sustainable city development
(presentation of sustainable urban development and planning models for the future – visit of Heidelberg´s sustainable model district “Bahnstadt”)

Program 14:
Private residential buildings and complexes, public and industrial buildings as architectural, constructional, energetic model projects in the Metropolitan Area
(visit of energetic high efficient public or commercial model buildings)

Program 15:
Ecological agriculture: production, trade and marketing of bio-food - application of bio-food in the catering branch and in restaurants
(visit of a regional eco-farm)

Commercially, ecological disposal of bio waste in the Metropolitan Area

Program 16:
Sustainable treatment of bio waste: commercially processing of regional bio waste to compost of high quality in Heidelberg´s composting plant
(visit of the compost plant in Heidelberg)

Social political challenges for
Rhine-Neckar Metropolitan Area

Due to the demographic change in Germany and many other countries, social subjects become more and more importance. Germany has the highest aging population in whole Europe. The superannuation of the population with an upward tendency causes a lot of problems. Often seniors have the only chance to choose between living solitarily ore to live in an old age home. The society is not prepared for such a development.

Thus, in the Rhine-Neckar Metropolitan Area, especially in cities, rise lots of innovative and humane initiatives and model projects to enable an intergenerational living. So households, families, senior citizens´ home and kindergarten are concentrated in one housing complex with the aim to optimize communication and exchange as well as to generate synergies. Such projects connect living, working, shopping, leisure activities and culture exemplarily and ensure a most widely self-determined living for the elderly. This is a vital component for modern city and district development.

Program 17:
Superannuation of the population: successful social systems and care of the elderly
(projects and institutions in the Metropolitan Area: visit of a model house for intergenerational living)

Overview of further programs in the fields of Sustainability, Ecology,
Climate Protection and Civil Participation

Energetic rehabilitation of quarters – as model projects in cities and communities of the Metropolitan Area, granted by public funds
(visit of a district realized an energy rehabilitation)

Successful social system: structures, programs and activities of public and private charity organizations in Germany
(visit of a modern, innovative senior citizens´ home, granted by charity organizations)

Citizen-orientated public administration in the City of Heidelberg: experiences with a successful award-winning model
(visit the responsible authority in Heidelberg)

Realization of social projects and programs to motivate young people for sport activities in order promote sport and health education, granted by a regional foundation
(presentation of model projects like the education for ball games )


Visits and presentations of Best-Practice Examples
The seminars and discussions are an opportunity for the guests to pose questions, to deepen their knowledge and to exchange experiences. In addition we offer the visit of mostly award-winning objects, and the presentation of sustainable model projects:

  • „Bahnstadt“ in Heidelberg“- the world´s largest quarter in passive house standards
  • Residential buildings, public and industrial buildings with a low energy level, a passive       house or a plus energy standard
  • Europe´s largest solar power plant on a building, solar parks, wind farms
  • Solar-powered ship named „Neckarsonne“ for short tourist trips on the Neckar
  • Regional, climate compatible district heating grids
  • Biomass plants / co-generation plants
  • Geothermal power stations
  • Energy-self-sufficient villages
  • Citizen-cooperatives for new energies
  • Eco-farms
  • Energy efficient hotels and clinics
  • Heidelberg´s commercially composting plant
  • Commercial enterprises and scientific institutions in the European Rhine-Neckar      Metropolitan Area
  • Housing complexes with intergenerational living in the Metropolitan Area, senior    citizens´ homes and kindergarten


Half-day-program (approximately 2 hours)
Topics and discussions – 1 hour
Presentation of a best-practice-example – 1 hour

Fully-day-program (approximately 5 hours)
2 topics and discussions to different subjects – 4 hours
Presentation of a best-practice-example – 1 hour

Lectures and visits/presentations:

  • Different subjects, projects, objects and focuses
  • Japanese-German speaking interpreter

Programs (optional)
Special subjects on your demand. Fees according to our offers.

The speakers all are excellent energy experts from policy, economy and science.

Cooperation partners
Together with ECONA TOURS, BIOTEC ACADEMY offers special interest programs with topics, discussions, dialogues and the presentation of best-practice-examples to international clients, on the subjects science, ecology, economy, energy and social policy, as well as successful and sustainable energy technologies.

We work close together with the network NEWenergies, the experts of the Metropolitan Area, the authorities of regional cities and communities, particularly with the City of Heidelberg and Heidelberg Marketing, enterprises, universities, institutions and organizations.


NEWenergies: Network for Ecology, Economy, Social Politics and Education
The network NEWenergies, operating from a town near Heidelberg in the Rhine-Neckar Metropolitan Area, is specialized in sustainability, social politics, economy, ecology, with chief points in renewable energies and cooperates with numerous enterprises and institutions in the energy- and financial sectors. NEWenergies has contacts to more than 5.000 enterprises, institutions and communities in the RNM, via regional networks.

NEWenergies and partners like BIOTEC HEIDELBERG are specialized in the development of international energy projects, with its main focus on energy efficiency co-generation plants, heating- and biogas plants, solar- and wind farms. NEWenergies has close contacts to enterprises in the energy sector as well as to industries like agriculture, forestry and the biomass sector.

In close cooperation with NEWenergies, BIOTEC ACADEMY offers “Technical Visits” and “Special Interest Programs” on economical, environmental and social subjects to international guests.



Yvonne Megens
Marketing, Sales and Organization
Rheinblick 1
D-69226 Nussloch
Tel.: +49 (0) 62 24-34 87
Fax: +49 (0) 62 24-54 995
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Associated tour operator:

Mr. Seiji Kojima
(Japanese speaking)
Managing Director
Breitlacherstrasse 36
D-60489 Frankfurt am Main (Germany)
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