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terraXcube is Eurac Research’s Extreme climate simulation centre at the NOI Techpark in Bolzano (South Tyrol/ Italy).
Within our chambers, we can create all the environmental conditions of our planet, up to extreme values. We combine hypobaric and altitude technology with state-of-the-art environmental simulation, aiming to investigate the effects of extreme climate conditions on humans, ecological processes and industrial products.
The climate chambers differ in size and equipment. They can accommodate people, plants and other living organisms even over more extended periods and offer space also for huge machines and products.
Each day, our team breaks new ground with scientists and industry partners and prepares the path to gain discoveries.
Eurac Research is a private research centre in Bolzano (South Tyrol/ Italy), where more than 400 researchers work on issues that directly affect people’s lives. Their aim is to contribute to a healthy society, to regions fit to live in, as well as to appropriately manage social, cultural and ecological diversity. Local issues inspire researchers to develop solutions that are relevant in a global context. This is how the idea of terraXcube—one of the centre’s most extraordinary laboratories—was born.
Scientists and engineers have jointly developed an infrastructure that can create the extreme climatic conditions of our planet in a safe, controllable and reproducible environment. At terraXcube, Eurac Research scientists study the effects of different climatic conditions on human physiology and alpine ecology. The structure is also available to research partners, industry and for training purposes.
terraXcube is situated within the NOI Techpark. The industrial park opened in October 2017 and has since become the engine of South Tyrolean industry. Covering an area of 12 hectares, it houses the province’s most important research facilities, 4 university faculties, 40 private companies, 30 start-ups and 40 scientific laboratories with approximately 700 employees working in the following sectors; Green, Food and Digital as well as an Automotive/Automation sector with its own Alpine branch.
The hi-tech facility provides South Tyrolean companies with service areas and infrastructure for: labs, innovation management, start-up incubators, sector-specific tech transfer, multipurpose areas & spaces, public/private and corporate events, open data hubs, EEN x EU opportunities. The architectural complex combines structural framework, with state-of-the-art design, enhancing industrial Bolzano’s existing historical buildings while ensuring compliance with sustainability and energy efficiency criteria.
In 1999, Doctor Hermann Brugger undertook a risky experiment at 3000 m.a.s.l, on the Stubai glacier. Together with a colleague, he simulated an avalanche to study the effects of hypoxia. Ten years later at Eurac Research, Brugger founded the Institute for Emergency Mountain Medicine, the first research centre in the world of its type, where strict protocols were established and the experiments at high altitude increased. However, the risks and concerns were only mitigated. Avalanches and bad weather impaired rescue, exacerbating existing hazards for the researchers and test subjects who were already putting their lives at stake in extreme conditions. Quite often the data collected was limited in use and value as it was difficult to compare, and test conditions were seldom repeatable.
Consequently, at the end of 2010 Brugger and colleagues began to dream about a simulator that would allow safe, repeatable and controlled experiments. With the support of the Autonomous Province of Bolzano and the multidisciplinary interest of Eurac Research, the dream of terraXcube became a reality a few years later.
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High-altitude medicine, ecology, renewable energy, textiles, automotive, UAVs: terraXcube opens up new possibilities for various research areas. Click below for all current projects.
BIA (Bolzano Institutional Archive) contains all scientific publications of Eurac Research including also articles, working papers, technical reports, conference proceedings and doctoral dissertations.
The terraXcube Research Ethics Committee (REC) provides expert opinions in cases of research projects or tests of applications which have ethical implications for human dignity, life, health, liberty, property, the environment or peaceful coexistence.
The REC also raises awareness within Eurac Research and the NOI Techpark of the ethically relevant aspects of research and technology projects in terraXcube.
The REC operates on the basis of applicable laws, scientific standards and relevant regulations. The REC continuously takes into account national and international recommendations and the latest in science and technology.
In cases of medical research, responsibility falls within the remit of the Clinical Trials Ethics Committee of the Local Health Authority.
The publication of this document represents the Committee’s transparency and will be enriched and evolve over time, based on operational experience.
terraXcube is accredited by the Italian accreditation body Accredia and performs testing activities in accordance with the requirements of UNI CEI EN ISO/IEC 17025:2018. Click here to view the accreditation certificate and the list of accredited tests.
The accreditation concerns all processes from the use of technical equipment to administrative aspects and test procedures. terraxcube is the first climate simulator worldwide in which certified dry heat and cold tests involving organisms and plants can be carried out. The extreme climate simulator is a recognized Conformity Assessment Body (CAB).