Research areas

Technological development with a focus on users

Do you make money through technological development, research and innovation projects? Is it important to you to know what the exact needs of your target group are? We help you take into account social diversity in the planning and implementation of research and innovation projects. Integrating various user groups in technological development has many advantages:

  • It can lead to new technical as well as social innovations that address different target groups,
  • It can expand the sales markets of products or improve the chances of successful treatment. Diversity-sensitive research is also an important part of responsible research and innovation, allowing you to better cope with social challenges [1].
  • It can give you a decisive competitive edge. It can even be a lifesaver, as the following examples illustrate:
Examples: Research and technological development focused on diversity can save lives: For a long time, people of smaller stature have suffered more serious and more frequent injuries in accidents; this is because the size of crash test dummies is based on the average body size of European men. Car accidents have been the number one cause of death of unborn children due to conventional seat belts – until pregnant crash test dummies were developed. Women are a third more likely to die of a heart attack than men, because their heart attack symptoms differ from those of men. Since this fact has been neglected in both research and clinical practice, heart attacks have been incorrectly diagnosed and sometimes incorrectly treated.

These are just two examples illustrating how important it is to take into account the differences between people in research and innovation projects.

Our JOANNEUM RESEARCH – POLICIES experts support many different technology and innovation projects to take into consideration social dimensions such as gender and age, thus enabling excellent interdisciplinary research.

  • We have wide-ranging expertise and knowledge about gender and diversity
  • We support the entire research and development process
  • We implement participatory research concepts
  • We get users involved in the development process through methods such as
    • Workshops
    • Focus groups
    • Online surveys
    • Action research
  • We examine the aspects of your research and development field that are relevant to gender and diversity We are familiar with the challenges of interdisciplinary and intersectoral cooperation
  • Wir sind vertraut mit den Herausforderungen interdisziplinärer wie intersektoraler Kooperationen


We have also gathered experience in research areas such as sensor technology, optotechnology and nephrology.

Reference projects

PyzoTex - Gender-appropriate textile human-machine interface for the detection of a number of different parameters such as pressure, temperature and moisture

Textiles with sensory functions are of increasing technological and industrial importance. They can measure e.g. heart rate, the skin's pH level, pressure as well as moisture. The PyzoTex project aims to implement existing sensor technologies on T-shirts and examines whether there are different sensor textile requirements based on gender, age or physical build. Tests are being performed in the field of running. Design parameters for textiles are developed based on possible gender and age-specific differences.
Cooperation partner: HUMAN RESEARCH Institute of Health Technology and Prevention Research


GenderFit - New gender-specific treatment approaches for dialysis patients through progressive combined strength and endurance training

The GenderFIT project looks into the impact of systematic physical training on performance and quality of life of dialysis patients as well as motivation for and acceptance of training methods employed, taking the gender dimension into account. On the basis of the research results, the project develops recommendations for a gender-appropriate exercise-based renal replacement therapy, designed to provide women and men with equal chances of participation and success. Furthermore, the innovative strength diagnosis system MASS is used as part of the training programme, which enables training intensity to be optimally adapted to individual performance increases.
Cooperation partners: Medical University of Vienna, SPORTUNION Österreich, Safedeck Gmbh


Light Life - Gender-specific impact research into LED lighting

The Light Life project examines the different requirements placed on LED-based lighting technologies due to gender, age or physical condition and personal attributes and how these can be taken into consideration when it comes to varying and combining controllable product features in application development. Based on possible gender and age-specific differences, the project will develop design parameters for lighting systems equipped with LED technologies; in addition to the visual lighting function itself, lighting systems will be increasingly designed to influence and support other psycho-physiological functions such as activation, enhanced concentration, wellbeing and relaxation for different groups of people.
Cooperation partners: LUMITECH, Graz University of Technology, HUMAN RESEARCH Institute of Health Technology and Prevention Research