Approved projects in the field of "Protection against the failure of supply infrastructures"

Operational utility infrastructures are vital for society and industry. With that in mind, this research area examines security scenarios in which critical supply infrastructures (for power, water or food, for example) are under threat or affected by attacks, major incidents or natural disasters. Key areas of funding are research into the prevention and early identification of threats, the prevention of cascade effects, crisis management through timely and efficient security and disconnection measures and the development of an effective emergency supply service.

Schutz vor Ausfall von Versorgungsinfrastrukturen

Norbert Dörnbach /

Completed joint projects:

GRASB: Scenario-based principles and innovative methods for reducing the risk of power supply failure, taking into account their impact on the populace

110-kV-Freiluftanlage Umspannwerk Merkenich

RheinEnergie AG

Funding codes 13N10511 to 13N10514

The main objective of the GRASB research project was to mitigate current and future risks that would cause the population’s power supply system to fail. The project therefore worked with power plant operators to identify particularly critical points in the power supply infrastructure and classify them according to various types of risk. Special consideration was given to areas that involve neuralgic points, at which the interconnectivity of various infrastructures could lead to the failure of several power plants or other utility infrastructures (cascade effect).

More information  (only available in German)


InfoStrom: Learning information infrastructures for crisis management in case of medium to large electrical power breakdowns

Leitstelle in Berzdorf

RWE Rhein-Ruhr Verteilnetz GmbH

Funding codes 13N10711 to 13N10715

Electricity is essential to many other supply systems, including heating installations and petrol stations. Although power outages are rather rare, when they do occur they usually catch people unprepared and cause extensive damage. In such an event, information and communication are crucial factors in the rapid restoration of power supply. InfoStrom is therefore aiming to develop a decentralised IT-supported security platform that links all relevant stakeholders, such as energy utilities, crisis task forces, fire brigades and the police.

More information  (only available in German) 


SES²: Intelligent emergency power supply concepts involving renewable energies

SES2-Modell der Minimalversorgung im Krisenfall durch regenerative und dezentrale Stromquellen

Fachhochschule Südwestfahlen

Funding codes 13N10639 to 13N10643

Prolonged, large-scale disruptions to the electrical power supply system are a huge potential risk to industry and society. The SES² therefore worked on strategies for securing a minimum supply in crises. The intention was that a “Smart Emergency Supply System (SES²)” would provide that minimum supply at the local level, using decentralised conversion systems and renewable sources.

More information  (only available in German)


SIMKAS-3D: Simulation of intersectorial cascade effects through breakdowns in supply infrastructures, using a virtual 3D city model of Berlin

Potsdamer Platz, Berlin

Funding codes 13N10560 to 13N10566

Supply infrastructures are complex socio-technical, interdependent systems. Faults or technical or human errors in one supply infrastructure cascade through all of the other supply infrastructures. SIMKAS-3D developed tools to support the persons responsible at gas, water, electricity and district heating infrastructure operators when deciding and coordinating responses to crises that affect various infrastructures. The project team designed cross-system scenarios and simulated them in a virtual 3D model of Berlin, plus joint training sessions, to give stakeholders the necessary skill set and confidence to cope with chaotic crisis situations and to minimise the risk of supply infrastructures failing.

More information  (only available in German)  


STATuS: Protection of the supply of drinking water with regard to CBRN scenarios - Phase 2

Luftbild einer Talsperre

KWL Zweckverband Wasserversorgung Kleine Kinzig

Funding codes 13N10623 to 13N10627 and 13N11436

The primary goal of the project was to enable water utilities and authorities to significantly increase the extent to which the public are protected against harmful substances in drinking water. Based on the first phase, in which a comprehensive threat and risk analysis was conducted regarding biological, chemical and radioactive contamination of drinking water, the second phase developed concrete protection and organisation strategies along with technical innovations. These were then supplied to users and authorities in the form of a guide and a database.

More information  (only available in German) 


TankNotStrom: Energy and fuel supply for petrol stations and emergency generators during power outages

Abhängigkeit verschiedener Infrastrukturen von der Treibstoffversorgung

TimeKontor AG

Funding codes 13N9965 to 13N9972

Nowadays, virtually all critical infrastructures depend on an operational electricity supply as only a few of them have an adequate number of emergency generators. Petrol stations, for example, generally do not have an emergency supply system in place. In the event of a power disruption for an extended period of time, fuel supply would come to a complete standstill. Petrol stations would not be able to supply fuel for fire engines and ambulances or for the emergency generators of critical infrastructures. The TankNotStrom joint project took this cascade effect as its starting point. The overall goal was to devise a management and logistics system that could guarantee fuel supply for critical infrastructures in the event of power outage over an extended period of time.

More information  (only available in German)