CitizenSensor – Developing a Nitrate Measurement Method for Everyone

Completed project


In Citizen Sensor, the Fraunhofer EMFT collaborates with the FabLab München e.V. to develop a measurement method for hobby gardeners to determine the nitrate content in the ground, the fertilization status of their flowerbeds or even the water quality of their garden pond in a fast and uncomplicated manner. In parallel, the Fraunhofer IMW examines the co-operation type »citizen-scientific co-creation project« in respect of the project team´s motives and expectations regarding the collaboration. The Fraunhofer IRB accompanies the project team with regard to questions about the tension field between dissemination and exploitation of the project´s results.



Especially for the applied sciences, the inclusion of citizens offers new perspectives for collaboration. From a socio-economic point of view, questions regarding the forms of collaboration, the agreements to be met in this context and the tension field between protection and exploitation of the obtained results. Besides the development of the measurement method, the aim of the project is to gain knowledge about this type of collaboration, and to transfer that knowledge into a guideline for the initiation and execution of Citizen Science projects.


Role of Fraunhofer IRB

In the context of socio-economic accompanying research, the Fraunhofer IRB is advisory in the field of the dissemination and the exploitation of the project´s results. In different workshops, the project partners are methodically guided in jointly discussing the motives and aims of exploitation and publication of the expected results with respect to find a joint consensus.

The examination of the project partner´s publication and exploitation interests regarding the results gained in the project, i.e. documentations, software and hardware, lasts beyond the project´s duration. Besides, a common exploitation concept that meets the expectations of all parties involved is to be developed in the aftermath.



Out of the project´s experiences a practical guideline has been developed: »GOOD-PRACTICE-LEITFADEN FÜR CO-CREATION-PROJEKTE«. This guideline serves as assistance in the initiation and execution of Citizen Science projects. It convicts all findings and experiences from the project into recommendations for the practical application.