The Kehl Institute for Applied Research (KIAF) leads the research activities at Kehl University of Applied Sciences. The research is interdisciplinary, application-oriented, achieves results that can be used directly in practice and is characterised by a partnership-based approach and the involvement of students.

Research at the university is characterised by its inter- and pluridisciplinarity within its core areas of expertise as well as its application orientation. The university's research activities deliver findings that can be directly utilised in practice. The basis for this is the partnership-based cooperation with our stakeholders and practitioners in our research projects and the joint development of new projects that are orientated towards the challenges and problems of practice and help to solve them.

By involving students in suitable research projects on the basis of the "research-based learning" method, the university endeavours to establish a continuous link between science and practice at an early stage.

The research activities are characterised by a deliberate complementarity through the legal-administrative orientation to other UASs as well as through the application orientation to universities and through the European and cross-border perspective to national research networks.

Cross-border cooperation & Europe

Regional and global challenges for public administration call for research with a European and international focus, both in terms of content and the implementation of joint research projects in transnational alliances and networks. As an internationally oriented university located on the Franco-German border and in the immediate vicinity of central European institutions, one of its research focuses is on Europe and international affairs in relation to the core competence field of public administration.

Important topics for this strategic field are

  • Municipalities in the European multi-level system
  • Cross-border networking of science, business and administration
  • Modernisation of educational processes in Europe

Klima, Energie & Umwelt

Research activities in the field of energy and the environment are primarily focussed on the numerous implementation issues of the energy transition, with both technical and legal issues relating to energy policy and the energy transition taking centre stage. This also includes areas such as energy efficiency, types of renewable energy generation (such as wind power, hydropower, biogas, solar energy) and electricity and heating grids.

Research activities are focussed on the following areas:

  • Wind energy planning and expansion of photovoltaics
  • Energy transition and municipalities
  • Citizen participation
  • Smartgrids
  • Energy provider
  • Internationalisation of the energy market
  • Innovative air pollution control

Changing administration

Social and political developments, modernisation issues and phenomena such as demographic change are just a small selection of the factors that affect public administration. This is why the research focus area deals with both change in public administrations and the role of public administration in a changing environment. Important topics are Open government social innovation digitalisation and citizen participation sustainable human resource management.

International Cooperation & Development

Kehl University of Applied Sciences is recognised both inside and outside Germany for its research and teaching in the field of international cooperation. As a university for public administration, it is particularly dedicated to the development of instruments and structures for good governance and sustainable services of general interest, which are essential for the success of transformation processes and the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Public administration plays a key role in such processes, which is why good governance and democratically legitimised rule of law structures are indispensable elements for successful sustainable development strategies. 

Important topics for these strategic fields are

  • Human capacity development in local governments in countries of the global South
  • Sustainable municipal development
  • International capacity development of administrative staff
  • Development of instruments and structures for good governance and administrative management
  • Research into the framework conditions for successful transformation processes

Innovation systems & policies

Innovation is an interactive and evolutionary process that develops cooperatively across disciplinary boundaries in complex networks. The research focus concentrates on the interactions between cross-sectoral interdependencies and on innovation processes within political-administrative systems.

The analysis of innovation processes in the public sector is particularly relevant:

  • The introduction of new knowledge, new forms of organisation, management skills or processes,
  • innovation in the provision of services for citizens, businesses and communities,
  • resilience of public actors to crises.

SolLab TUN is a project that connects Tunisian and German companies, start-ups, universities and young talents through the Solution Lab exchange format. The main objectives are to promote the emergence of innovative, market-orientated solutions and to create new knowledge and employment opportunities for young, highly qualified talent. In addition, long-term cooperation between Tunisian and German partners is being sought.

More information

Promotion of young talent

Students have the opportunity to participate in research projects via the university's internal "research-based learning" programme, which then leads to initial publications in relevant journals. In addition, targeted "networking" is carried out (e.g. "Stammtisch Windkraft") in order to network practitioners with lecturers and students with the aim of ensuring that current and applied issues are dealt with scientifically by students.


Kehler Institut für Angewandte Forschung (KIAF)

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