Project Leadership

Prof. Dr. Thoma Klaus

Prof. Dr.
Klaus Thoma

Institute Director
Fraunhofer Institute for High-Speed Dynamics


Dr. Kohlhuber Martina

Martina Kohlhuber

Scientific Officer
Munich head office

T: +49 (0)89/52 03 09-68

Further Information

Topic network Safety and Security

To The German project page

Executive Summary and Recommendations of the acatech POSITION paper

Resilien-Tech – “Resilience-by-Design“

Project status:


Project period :

7/2012 to 9/2014

Project type:

Safety and Security



 Throughout its history, mankind has been faced with a myriad of hazards, for which it has developed sophisticated technical means in order to encounter all kinds of challenges related to security matters. The latter include natural disasters such as earthquakes, floods and fires but also encompass man-made hazards such as military aggression, terrorist attacks or threats resulting from the malicious application of technological developments.

Numerous terrorist attacks within the past ten years, whether the 2001 attacks against the United States or the train bombings of Madrid in 2004 and London in 2005, are a horrific embodiment of a new security environment that has evolved in a global dimension. The process of ‘globalization’ has strongly contributed to the fact that on an unprecedented scale, today’s societies are much more vulnerable to a complex set of risks and threats that transcend geographical and political boundaries as well as jurisdictions and responsibilities. The March 2011 disaster in Japan, originally caused by an earthquake off the Japanese shore, has triggered massive cascade effects that challenge the overall foundations of the Japanese people and all its vital infrastructures. Our modern industrial societies are interlinked with infrastructure networks providing citizens with mobility, energy and information flows that also make way to a new level of such vulnerabilities.



In fact, Europe’s politically and economically networked societies of today, shaped by a growing interconnection of almost all aspects of life, share a common vulnerability to such new threats. The complexity of these infrastructures and the concurrent accessibility of means of destruction to terrorist groups and individual perpetrators demand innovative security solutions, be they of human or technological nature. On the other hand, however, such evolving innovations inevitably lead to fundamental questions our societies are faced with. How do we go about the balancing between the imperative of securing our citizens and infrastructures on one side, and the protection of our sacredly held civil liberties? In effect, the ‘cost’ of security measures, both economic and societal, is what politicians, researches and citizens need to be balancing. Obviously finding suitable answers and solutions to the security challenges of today’s societies requires much more than solely developing technologies. It requires an interdisciplinary approach involving the technical sciences just as well as the social sciences and humanities. 


Within a few years, a new scientific discipline has evolved which is far from solely being a practical discipline acting reactively to often short-term demands and which unites various scientific disciplines and fields of research. Today, security research (in Europe) encompasses a broad community of the technical, natural as well as the social sciences. Research and technology organizations, universities, as well as many public and private actors are developing innovative concepts and technologies covering a wide spectrum of scenarios related to the security of citizens and infrastructures.

More recently, the security research community is increasingly interested in the concept of ‘resilience’. Rather than devoting most energy to measures and concepts aimed at preventing any kind of man-made or natural disaster, the so-called holistic resilience cycle approach involves the anticipation of such incidents and also provides ideas and mechanisms on how to recover and get back to pre-attack/incident status. Making our society more resilient and, in turn, less vulnerable is the fundamental motivation for developing specific security technologies as well as for designing research programs and strategic outlooks for future research programs.


The Project


Funded by the German ministry of education and research (BMBF), the project ‘Resilience by Design – Strategies for the technological future topics (RESILIEN-TECH) aims at developing a comprehensive conceptual framework for a national approach to resilience, encompassing the full spectrum of relevant technological, organizational, legal and societal aspects related to this complex target. With respect to future challenges and requirements to be met by the security research communities of tomorrow, the projects specifically emphasizes the field of critical infrastructure protection, extracting major characteristics and performance indicators of resilient infrastructure (systems) of the future.

Throughout the project period, three distinct expert workshops with different perspectives will be hosted, bringing together the leading resilience experts from various nations.

The first event will concentrate on the German perspective on resilience, setting the foundation for the subsequent expert workshop, which brings together the top resilience experts from selected European countries as well as the United States. It specifically aims at allowing the German community to learn from existing approaches worldwide. In a last workshop, the specific show case of resilient enterprises in term of business continuity management will illustrate on a very practical level hands-on strategies and concepts of how to implement resilience measures in reality.




Having conducted these expert workshops, a subsequent analysis will formulate major research recommendations to key policy makers in the field of public security and resilience on

  • how to establish a resilience-by-design approach in future research agenda setting
  • how to foster and increase resilience in the field of critical infrastructure protection
  • how to make resilience the fundamental prerequisite of technological or societal security solutions and concepts.

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