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SSP-CH: Sozioökonomische Szenarien für die Schweiz


In einem breit angelegten partizipativen Prozess werden mögliche, plausible Zukunftsbilder unserer Gesellschaft in Abhängigkeit relevanter Treiber und deren Ausprägung entwickelt. Die erarbeiteten Narrative und die qualitativen und (teils) quantitativen Beschreibungen der relevanten Treiber sollen als Grundlage dienen für langfristige, strategische Planungs- und Entscheidungsprozesse.


Wie sieht die Schweiz 2050 aus? Was beeinflusst unsere Gesellschaft im Jahr 2100?

Sozioökonomische Systeme sind komplex. Sie sind nichtlinear, disruptiv, haben Rückkopplungen und Kipppunkte, ihre Entwicklung ist unsicher und schwer vorhersehbar. Die Zukunft lässt sie weder beobachten noch messen. Für die Entwicklung langfristiger Strategien und als Entscheidungsgrundlagen, werden daher vermehrt Szenarien eingesetzt, die mögliche Zukünfte beschreiben. Szenarien sind keine Vorhersagen oder Prognosen, sondern "eine plausible und vereinfachte Beschreibung, wie sich die Zukunft auf der Grundlage einer kohärenten und in sich konsistenten Reihe von Annahmen über die wichtigsten treibenden Kräfte und Beziehungen ausgestalten könnte".


Vorankündigung zur Projekt-Ausschreibung

Mehr Informationen zur Vorankündigung auf simap.

Informationsveranstaltung zur Ausschreibung: 22. Februar 2023, 14:00-16:00 - online.

Anmeldung unter:

Project “Socio-economic scenarios” - open for tender

The project “Socio-economic scenarios for Switzerland for risk analyses and adaptation and mitigation strategies” that is managed by the internal NCCS partner WSL develops Shared Socioeconomic Pathways for Switzerland (“SSP-CH”). The project, to be carried out in the time period from 2023 to 2025, is made up of five modules (numbered with letter «M») that comprise the objectives, several key questions, the aspired deliverables and an indicative budget (see table below). The work of the first two modules is carried out by WSL (Economics and Social Sciences Research Unit, Prof. Dr. Irmi Seidl). With the current tender a consortium is sought for the work of project modules 3-5.

In Module 1 and Module 2 WSL elaborates the Shared Socioeconomic Pathways (SSP-CH) in form of qualitative narratives and quantitative input tables. In Module 3 two topic areas (land use and CO2 emissions) shall be modelled. In Module 4 Shared Policy Assumptions (SPAs) are formulated and a policy coherence analysis is conducted. Module 5 ensures communication and dissemination of the project results.

The SSP-CH should be based on the global SSPs in order to ensure comparability, and at the same time they should be specific to Switzerland in order to be policy-relevant and significant. For a better understanding of the objectives and deliverables of the individual modules, a brief introduction to the global SSP-SPA-RCP framework and its linkage to the modular project design is provided below.

Applicants to the current call for tenders are asked to provide an offer that addresses all key questions of the three open project modules in full as outlined below, elaborates how module objectives are achieved and how required deliverables are developed. Partial offers (e.g. offer for one module only) are not allowed. Due to the complexity and scope of the project, it is believed that a minimum of two to three partners are needed to sufficiently fulfill the requirements of the project. If necessary, the indicative budget split per project module may be adjusted. However, the maximum budget summed over the three open project modules, may not be exceeded in the offer.

The framework of NCCS-Impacts puts emphasis on tailoring, communication and exploitation that runs from the start to the end of the project. This means that new science-based results as well as user-centred climate services are expected to be generated in form of customized and practical products, and that the project results are turned into climate services directed toward the mitigation and adaptation communities. It is therefore expected that in all project modules the tasks are performed taking on a product- and service-oriented perspective, a demand- and user-driven perspective and a co-production approach. The products to be developed shall be made available in all official languages of Switzerland as well as in English. Translation costs need to be considered in the offer, and are hence financed through the available budget.


Aim: Developing socio-economic scenarios for Switzerland, which vary according to societal, economic, and political developments.

Outcome/Products: Resulting climate services in form of applicable products with relevance for all parts of Switzerland, for example(non-exhaustive enumeration): Web atlas on the NCCS web portal, practical guidelines for the implementation of new scenarios, audio-visual information distillation, reports, sub-sites to the NCCS web portal, brochure, recommendations for action, or other.

Target group: Results of this project should serve different users with different background levels. One target group are decision-makers from administration, politics, organizations and the private sector. Another target group are data-driven users from research, industry and consulting companies that apply the data for subsequent use (e.g. as input for specific models) in climate adaptation, climate mitigation or other scientific fields.

Implementation: The work in Module 1 and 2 is undertaken by the internal NCCS partner WSL (Economics and Social Sciences Research Unit, Prof. Dr. Irmi Seidl). Hence, with the current tender a consortium is sought for the work of modules 3-5. It is expected that this consortium jointly carries out the project work together with the internal NCCS partner, thereby forming a project consortium that addresses all key questions of this project in full. The interdependencies between modules and a coarse time table is shown at the end of this section.


The maximum budget for the requested services available through the current tender (M 3-5) is CHF 550’000.- (sum of tender).

The overall budget of the project (M1-5) is CHF 1’000’000.-


Conceptualisation and method design (work by WSL)

Objectives: In Module 1, the methodological procedure is designed, needs are clarified and stakeholders and experts for the qualitative scenario process of SSP-CH are identified.

Key questions:

  1. What method is employed to develop the scenarios (SSP-CH)?
  2. Who are the relevant experts in the socio-economic sub-fields to be examined?
  3. Who are the relevant experts in terms of use and development of scenarios? 
  4. How are existing socio-economic scenarios used in the field of climate change, and what are the users needs in respect of scenarios in the climate context?
  5. How can the relevant experts be involved over the duration of the project?
  6. Which existing international and national scenarios will be included in the development of the SSP-CH, and in what way?
  7. Which socio-economic sub-fields and factors are not covered by the existing socio-economic scenarios and should be addressed?



Expected deliverables:

  1. Method paper (incl. timetable) conceptualising the SSP-CH
  2. Identification of the sounding board
  3. Identification of stakeholders and of experts


Budget: CHF 100’000.- (not part of this tender)


Development of qualitative socio-economic scenarios for Switzerland SSP-CH (work by WSL)

Objectives: In Module 2, SSP-CH narratives for Switzerland are developed: Qualitative socio-economic scenarios will be developed with an explorative, future-open approach, involving relevant experts and stakeholders. For this purpose, key factors with a strong influence on the socioeconomic sub-fields to be investigated are identified.

Key questions:

  1. What socio-economic developments are plausible to shape Switzerland in the future?
  2. What are – according to experts – the relevant key factors for the development of scenarios? How can these factors be combined and put into relation to each other (consistency, singularity)?
  3. How do the scenarios evolve over time (mid and late century)?
  4. How and which of Shared Socioeconomic Pathways (SSPs) can be derived for Switzerland? How do they compare with the global/EU SSPs? How can the SSP-CH be efficiently updated? (Global SSP: SSP1 Green road - sustainable society; SSP2 Middle of the road - business as usual; SSP3 A rocky road - regional rivalry; SSP4 A road divided - inequality; SSP5 Tacking the highway – fossil-fueled development. Detailed description see Annex.)



Expected deliverables:

  1. Impact diagrams and impact networks: Impact diagrams are used to determine the mutual effects of selected key factors in order to subsequently create an impact network. Impact networks relate the key factors in mutual interaction to each other by describing and weighting their mutual effects. Impact networks thus help to understand complex systems and their functioning.
  2. SSP-CH: Short texts describing the society at the chosen points in time, taking all key factors into account.
  3. Semi-quantitative input tables of the key factors or their quantifiable variables.
  4. Quantifiable variables to best describe the key factors





Investigated socioeconomic sub-fields

-               Economy

-               Environment and natural resources

-               External relations

-               Knowledge and education

-               Politics and state

-               Population

-               Technology

-               Values and lifestyles


Each sub-field is characterised by key factors. These key factors will be described in a qualitative manner and they will be bundled into scenarios according to consistency criteria. Based on these scenarios, the narratives are formulated (SSP-CH). The key factors used are quantified by means of defuzzification (Pedde et al. 2019[1] and Harmáčková et al. 2022). For each key factor, quantifiable variables are identified that best describe the key factor (e.g. key factor mobility; qualitative description: Mobility is solved structurally; quantifiable variable: average length of work trips). For selected key factors, the corresponding quantifiable variables are then quantified linguistically (more, much more, very much more; less, much less, very much less) for the periods 2035, 2060 and 2085. Subsequently, these trends are translated into quantitative uncertainties using the "fuzzy set theory". This defuzzification is carried out using the centre of gravity (CoG) method (Pedde et al. 2019).


Budget: CHF 350’000.- (not part of this tender)


Modelling of land use and CO2 emissions (OPEN TO TENDER)

Objectives: The objective of Module 3 is to model land-use and CO2 emissions for each narrative of the SSP-CH (deliverable of M2) up to the year 2100 (4-6 narratives), relying on data generated during the stakeholder process in Module 2 (fuzzy sets approach by Pedde et al. 2019) and on existing statistical data. For each SSP-CH two distinct sets of modelling shall be developed: (a) without additional climate polices (e.g. baseline scenario) and (b) with additional climate policies i.e. shared policy assumptions (SPAs) (e.g. mitigation scenarios).

Key questions:

  1. How shall the qualitative SSP-CH narratives, the (semi-) quantitative variables (deliverables of Module 2) as well as the SPAs (deliverable of Module 4) be integrated into quantitative models?
  2. Modelling a baseline and several mitigation scenarios of land use and CO2 emissions for all SSP-CH-narratives: Which input data are to be generated during the stakeholder process (in Module 2, using the fuzzy sets approach)?
  3. Which of the existing data sets of other scenarios (i.e. EU-SSP, IIASA data base) and trend analyses (i.e. trend analysis of the Swiss federal administration, SFOE’s SWEET-CROSS activity) are available and fit with the elaborated narratives?



Expected deliverables:

  1. Method paper describing the procedure, challenges and solutions of the modelling of the qualitative narratives and (semi-) quantitative variables
  2. Datasets of land use and CO2 emissions modelled for all the SSP-CH narratives developed in Module 2 up to the year 2100 with and without application of SPAs.
    1. land use: result will be spatially explicit yearly data at Swiss Arealstatistik resolution of 100m on land use and land use related CO2-emissions
    2. CO2-emissions: result will be yearly nationwide data on energy-, consumption- and industry-related CO2-emissions.
  3. The datasets and model codes will be made freely available in a user-oriented format, incl. description of the underlying model assumptions for subsequent use by other modelling and data analysis teams in the climate change mitigation and adaptation field (among others).
  4. Technical report including a description and interpretation of the model results for Swiss policy makers and administration.


Required Implementation:


Close cooperation with the team of Module 2 (WSL) and Module 4 is necessary to ensure a common understanding of working methods, type and form of data generation and defuzzification methodology. This requires a common project management plan that is aligned with the milestones defined in the stakeholder process of Module 2.

The modelling of the two areas (land use, CO2) can be done separately or jointly regarding modelling techniques and hence modelling teams. Close cooperation and regular exchange must be ensured between the two modelling teams (land-use and CO2-emissions). To this end, a coordinated schedule is necessary in order to benefit from synergies and to be able to jointly resolve arising issues.


Land-use-modelling: For land use modelling, the dynamic transition land-use-model of ETH D-USYS (Benjamin Wilde, Adrienne Grêt-Regamey in preparation), based on the Swiss land use statistics, shall be used:

Spatially explicit yearly data on land use at Swiss Arealstatistik resolution of 100m (match exact grid points, mind the geoid) and land use related CO2-emission up to the year 2100 are required. Where no other input data is available, quantified key factors from Module 2 and the SPA from Module 4 are to be used. The successful applicant requires openness to extension and experimentation, an understanding of the semi-qualitative data of Module 2 and an adequate processing depth.

CO2-modelling: The models used must be suitable for modelling CO2 emissions, depending on the relevant key factors from Module 2 and the policy assumptions from Module 4 up to the year 2100. If necessary, existing models need to be adjusted and extended to undertake the work and to reach the project goals as described here: the models must be able to not only consider technical mitigation measures adequately, but also societal changes, i.e. changes in consumption behaviour or the structure of the Swiss economy. The successful applicant requires openness to extension and experimentation, an understanding of the semi-qualitative data and an adequate processing depth.

The applicant for the CO2-modelling is requested to answer the following question regarding the models to be used:

  • How is the chosen modelling approach able to take up the socioeconomic scenario fields and their key factors (see Annex)?
  • What are the models calibrated against?
  • What were the models used for in the past?


Input data

Data sets which might be used (e.g. Swiss sector scenarios (FOSD, SFOE, SECO), Swiss energy scenarios (SFOE), Swiss transport scenarios (FOSD), Swiss GDP scenarios (FSO), population scenarios (FSO)) need to be checked for their compatibility with the narratives of Modul 2 and chosen accordingly.

For the modelling of those SSP-CH with a high correspondence to the global or EU-SSPs, the corresponding data on population, urbanisation level and GDP provided by IIASA at country level can be used. For SSP-CH that do not correspond to any global or EU-SSP or for which the deviations are too large, Module 2 will quantify the needed inputs using fuzzy sets for the years 2035, 2060 and 2085.

The selection of further key factors (in addition to population, GDP and degree of urbanisation) to be quantitatively described by Module 2 largely depends on the necessary input data of the models used in Module 3. These must be determined in a first step together with the team of Module 2.



Free and user-friendly access to the data and model codes must be ensured without restrictions (i.e. under CC BY 4.0, free commercial use expressly permitted and even desired).


Indicative budget: about 50% of total sum of tender


Policy coherence analysis and development of Shared Policy Assumptions (SPAs) (OPEN TO TENDER)

Objectives: (i) Identification, in a backcasting process, which of today's policies are leading us towards a SSP1-CH future (sustainable pathway developed in Module 2) and which policies are not. Therefore, relevant current policies are to be selected and their influence on socioeconomic development towards a SSP1-CH future to be examined.

(ii) Formulation of Shared Policy Assumptions for Switzerland (SPA-CH) for each SSP-CH, which describe various possible future policy mixes that can be combined with the different SSP-CH to be developed in Module 2 and modelled in Module 3.

Key questions:

  1. How strong is the coherence between current Swiss policies (political goals, strategies, concepts, programmes and measures) and the SSP1-CH pathway?
  2. Which current policies are moving society in the direction of an SSP1-CH pathway? Which ones are moving us away from such a pathway?
  3. Which different policy-assumptions (SPAs) are plausible in Switzerland in the 21st century?
  4. What consequences can be derived from the answers to key question 1 for today’s Switzerland's climate policy?



Expected deliverables:

  1. Formulation of several SPA-CHs
  2. Report on policy coherence analysis: Systematic examination of selected policies significantly influencing climate mitigation and climate adaptation measures in Switzerland in various sectors, analysis of whether these policies hinder or favour socio-economic development towards a SSP1-CH-society, policy recommendations and options for action for decision- and policy makers.



Required implementation:


Module 4 is related to the other modules as follows:

Module 4 needs input from Module 2: In order to examine current relevant policies and their influence on socioeconomic developments towards a sustainable society, the SSP1-CH from Module 2 must be available (Since SSP1-CH will constitute the basis to describe the sustainable development of Swiss society). The process of selecting appropriate policies for the consistency analysis can, however, be undertaken independently (orientation can be given by the EU-SSP1). The coherence analysis needs to be carried out with the involvement of relevant experts from the relevant sectoral policies.

Use of output from Module 4 in Module 3: The SPAs are needed in Module 3 for modelling the mitigation scenarios.

Indicative budget: about 30% of total sum of tender


Tailoring, communication and exploitation (throughout the project – from beginning to end) (OPEN TO TENDER)

Objectives: The objective of Module 5 is to turn the results of Modules 1 to 4 into products, communicated in a pertinent way and disseminated to target groups. The products shall be made available in German, French, Italian and English with translation costs factored into the offer. Module 5 shall further support the stakeholder process in Module 2 by developing visualisations of the scenarios. Stakeholders should be adequately engaged in a co-creation process in close cooperation with Modules 1 to 4.

Key questions:

  1. Which participative methods are suitable for adequately engaging with relevant stakeholders in the co-production of climate services?
  2. Final choice and planning of the transdisciplinary approaches, implementation of collaborative formats and evaluation in cooperation with the other modules.
  3. What are useful user-centred products to support decision-making in climate mitigation or adaptation, and how can they be designed, developed and implemented as climate services?
  4. Joint development of products, testing and finalizing of products
  5. How can the basics of scenario development (intermediate products, methods, existing national scenarios, etc.) be made accessible to an interested expert public?
  6. How can the SSP-CH-narratives be visualized to stimulate the process of scenario development in Module 2?
  7. Which formats are suitable for communicating results?Developing a communication concept which is tailored to the project, and implementing the formats (e.g. printed matter, webpages and -applications for NCCS web portal, management summaries, networking events, media relations, etc.) in cooperation with the project and communication leads of the programme.
  8. How can the products be introduced to the target groups?
  9. Designing and starting the roll-out of a concept for the dissemination and exploitation of the new climate services in close cooperation with the persons responsible for the overall communication of the NCCS programme.



Expected deliverables:

  1. Products to communicate and disseminate the results of Modules 1-4 (content need to be conveyed in a way that is appropriate to the target groups; the products may take creative and innovative forms)[2]. Final product ideas will be developed together with the teams of Modules 1-4.
  2. Visualisations of the SSP-CH Narratives to stimulate the process of scenario development in Module 2 (these visualisations shall (i) facilitate the consistency check of key factor characteristics with corresponding futures and (ii) support the quantification of variables).
  3. Detailed communication and dissemination plan, including target users.
  4. Workshops and trainings for the different target users incl. guidelines which instruct them how to use various outputs of the Module 1-4.




Module 5 lasts for the entire duration of the project (until 2025). Close cooperation with Modules 1-4, stakeholders and end users must be ensured.

Indicative budget: about 20% of total sum of tender



[1] In a participatory process, quantifiable variables are identified per key factor. These variables are then quantified linguistically for the specified time periods. Subsequently, these trends are translated into quantitative uncertainties using the "fuzzy set theory" by querying individually quantitative ranges of these trends, which are then evaluated using the centre of gravity method.

[2] Applicable products with relevance for all parts of Switzerland, for example: Web atlas on the NCCS web portal, practical guidelines (e.g. event trees), audio-visual information distillation (e.g. pictures, video), reports (short stories, newspaper of the future), sub-sites to the NCCS web portal, brochure, recommendations for action, or other. As an orientation, examples of possible SSP products are illustrated here: UK-SSP Products, EU-SSP products

There are interdependencies between the Modules, which are shown in this Figure:


The timetable is approximate and can be adjusted when developing the management plan. Interdependencies between the Modules must be taken into account.




Harmáčková, Z.V., Pedde, S., Bullock, J.M., Dellaccio, O., Dicks, J., Linney, G., Merkle, M., Rounsevell, M.D.A., Stenning, J., Harrison, P.A., (2022). Improving regional applicability of the UK shared socioeconomic Pathways through iterative participatory co-design, Climate Risk Management, Volume 37, 100452, ISSN 2212-0963.

KC, S., Lutz, W., 2017. The human core of the shared socioeconomic pathways: Population scenarios by age, sex and level of education for all countries to 2100. Global Environmental Change 42 (2017) 181–192

Kriegler, E. et al., 2014. A new scenario framework for climate change research: the concept of shared climate policy assumptions. Clim. Change 122, 401–414.

Pedde, S., Kok, K., Onigkeit, J. et al., 2019. Bridging uncertainty concepts across narratives and simulations in environmental scenarios. Reg Environ Change19, 655–666.

Riahi et al., 2017. The Shared Socioeconomic Pathways and their energy, land use, and greenhouse gas emissions implications: An overview. Global Environmental Change 42 (2017) 153–168.



Methodisches Vorgehen

In einem explorativen, zukunftsoffenen Ansatz, werden in einem breit angelegten Stakeholderprozess mit relevanten FachexpertInnen Schlüsselfaktoren für die ausgewählten Szenariofelder identifiziert. Mögliche Entwicklungen dieser Schlüsselfaktoren werden qualitativ beschrieben. Darauf folgen zwei parallele methodische Vorgehensweisen: 1. werden die Faktorausprägungen mittels Konsistenzanalyse zu Szenarien gebündelt (bottom-up) und 2. werden diese Szenarien mittels Ansatz des Scenario Plannings ergänzt und in das SSP-Rahmenwerk eingegliedert (top-down). Anschliessend werden im Rahmen des Szenariotransfers Quantifizierungen vorgenommen. Dazu werden die Schlüsselfaktoren von ExpertInnen und Stakeholdern mit quantifizierbaren Variablen beschrieben und deren Trends innerhalb der gesetzten Zeiträume (heute-2035, 2035-2060, 2060-2085) geschätzt.




Die Globalen Shared Socioeconomic Pathways SSPs

Die Shared Socioeconomic Pathways wurden für den 6. IPCC-Bericht erstellt. Sie beschreiben fünf unterschiedliche globale mögliche Zukünfte unserer Gesellschaft im 21. Jahrhundert und dies im Spannungsfeld zwischen Herausforderungen im Klimaschutz und Klimaanpassung. Für diese fünf Narrative wurden die Bevölkerung, das Bruttoinlandprodukt und der Urbanisierungsgrad (auf Länderebene) sowie die Bereiche Energienutzung, Landnutzung, Emissionen und Luftschadstoffe (für 5 Weltregionen) modelliert. Sämtliche Daten können auf der IIASA-Datenbank bezogen werden.

Die globalen SSPs (basic-SSPs) werden ergänzt mit einer Vielzahl an nationalen, regionalen oder sektorspezifischen SSPs (extended-SSPs).

Die fünf Narrative beschreiben folgende mögliche sozioökonomischen Zukünfte:

SSP1: Nachhaltige und kooperative Gesellschaft mit einer kohlenstoffarmen Wirtschaft und hohen Anpassungsfähigkeit an Strukturbrüche sowie Bereitschaft zur Transformation. (Geringe Herausforderung in Klimaschutz und -anpassung)

SSP2: Weiter wie bisher: Moderates Wirtschaftswachstum, weiterhin Einsatz fossiler Energieträger. Umweltbelastungen dauern an. (Mittlere Herausforderung in Klimaschutz und -anpassung)

SSP3: Zunehmender Protektionismus, Deglobalisierung und Konkurrenz. Ressourcenbedarf ist hoch, es entstehen Machtgefälle und Konflikte. (Grosse Herausforderung in Klimaschutz und -anpassung)

SSP4: Ungleiche Verteilung von Ressourcen zwischen und innerhalb der Staaten. Folgen sind schwacher gesellschaftlicher Zusammenhalt bis Unruhen. (Geringe Herausforderung in Klimaschutz und grosse Herausforderung in Klimaanpassung)

SSP5: Technologieabhängige Welt mit globalisierter, stark wachsender Wirtschaft, ist in hohem Masse von fossiler Energie abhängig. (Grosse Herausforderung in Klimaschutz und geringe Herausforderung in Klimaanpassung)



Das SSP-RCP-SPA-Framework

Das globale SSP-RCP-SPA-Rahmenwerk besteht aus verschiedenen Komponenten: (i) den 5 SSP-Narrativen (ii) den dazugehörigen Inputtabellen (semiqunatitative Beschreibung der Schlüsselfaktoren) (iii) den Basic Elements (Quantifizierungen von GDP, Bevölkerung und Urbanisierung), (iv) den Baseline-Szenarien (IAM), (v) den Shared Policy Assumptions (SPAs), (vi) den Representative Concentration Pathways (RCPs) und (vii) den Mitigationszenarien.

Die Repräsentativen Konzentrationspfaden (den Representative Concentration Pathways RCPs) wurden bereits für den 5. IPCC entwickelt. Sie legen Änderungen des Strahlungsantriebs im Vergleich zum vorindustriellen Zeitalter bis Ende des 21. Jahrhunderts fest (so weist z.B. das RCP 2.6 eine Zunahme des Strahlungsantriebs von 2.6 W/m2 auf im Jahr 2100 im Vergleich zum Jahr 1850).

Der modellierte Strahlungsantrieb der SSP-Baseline-Szenarien (welche keine zusätzlichen klimapotitischen Massnahmen beinhalten) erreichen 2100 eine Spannbreite des Strahlungsantriebs zwischen RCP 6.0 und 8.5. Werden die SSPs mit verschiedenen SPAs kombiniert, können, je nach Baseline-Szenario, unterschiedliche RCP-Levels erreicht werden. Somit kann die Effektivität verschiedener Klimapolicies aufgezeigt und modelliert werden (Mitigationsszenarien).

Das SSP-SPA-RCP-framework wird in diesem Projekt wie folgt abgedeckt: