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it'a OWL leaps first hurdle in AI competition of the Federal Ministry of Economics


Together with 34 competitors out of more than 130, it's OWL has taken the first hurdle in the innovation competition 'Artificial Intelligence as driver for economic relevant ecosystems' of the Federal Ministry of Economics and was selected for a second round. The project idea of it's OWL is to bring together providers and users of AI in the industry in a digital marketplace for AI.

The goal is to leverage Artificial Intelligence (AI) for product development and provide businesses with solutions in a virtual marketplace. Project partners are Fraunhofer IEM, the Heinz-Nixdorf-Institute, the Institute for Industrial Information Technology inIT from Lemgo and the Cluster of Excellence Cognitive Interaction Technology CITEC from Bielefeld. For the development of the concept, the partners receive funding amounting to 400,000 euros. A jury will decide on the implementation in late summer.

"With our AI innovation competition, we've obviously hit a nerve in business and science. The tremendous response shows that we have the potential and will to use AI quickly and widely in Germany. It is now necessary to put into action. Our goal is to realize large, high-impact lighthouse projects in key areas of our economy. This is how we help to quickly get AI out of the research laboratories onto the street", said Federal Minister Peter Altmeier. The ideas submitted stem from areas such as mobility, health care, industry, smart living, agriculture, trade and construction.

"We are pleased that we were selected as one of only six sponsored industrial project ideas. This shows just how strong the companies and research institutions from OWL are in the area of Industry 4.0 compared to other parts of Germany", says Prof. Roman Dumitrescu, Managing Director Strategy it's OWL and Director Fraunhofer IEM.

Virtual product development MieleVirtual product development at Miele (photo Miele)

AI approaches are essential innovation drivers for the products of tomorrow. The problem for companies is often to tap into the potential of these opportunities. At the same time, providers of AI applications seldom know how to specifically address customers and what their needs are.

The project examines how such a marketplace has to be designed for companies to use. The technology network it's OWL, comprising around 200 partners, will be the nucleus of the national KI marketplace. Small and medium-sized companies should benefit from the digital AI marketplace. They seldom have enough resources to develop their own AI applications.

Interested companies from the cluster environment can apply for the project phase until summer in order to shape the possible application scenarios as well as the planned roadmap and to be part of the AI marketplace right from the start. Contact persons for this are: Marvin Drewel, Heinz Nixdorf Institute, Tel: +49 5251 60-6261, marvin.drewel@hni.uni-paderborn.de, and Tommy Falkowski, Fraunhofer IEM, Tel: +49 5251 5464 435, tommy.falkowski @ iem.fraunhofer.de

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