The Fraunhofer Institute for Industrial Engineering IAO provided a platform for international scientists to present and discuss the latest research results under the headline “The disruptive Role of Data, AI and Ecosystems in Services Next Gen”. The conference was organized and hosted by the Research and Innovation Center for Cognitive Service Systems (KODIS), the location of Fraunhofer Institute for Industrial Engineering IAO at the Bildungscampus in Heilbronn. The conference focused on the economic, social and technological transformation processes of a digital service economy. Particular attention was given to how the service society and the service economy will change as data and data analytics become key drivers of service delivery. “We are currently undergoing a process where data is becoming the foundation of practically every economic activity. This also applies to service industries, which have not yet been so much at the center of digitization,” said Dr. Bernd Bienzeisler, the site manager at the Fraunhofer Institute for Industrial Engineering IAO in Heilbronn. Among others, keynotes by Prof. Dr. Volker Stich from RWTH Aachen University, Dr. Katharina Schäfer from SAP SE and Prof. Dr. Helmut Krcmar from TU Munich started the conference. For the first time in 31 years, guests could attend the conference either live in person or virtually via an online platform. Many participants gratefully took advantage of the latter opportunity. All keynote speeches and the parallel sessions were streamed via video and audio.
Research meets practice: Creathon on digital factory transformation
For a direct application orientation, a Creathon was held prior to the RESER conference, for which the Automotive Initiative 2025 — a joint project of the AUDI AG, the Fraunhofer Institute for Industrial Engineering IAO and the TU Munich on digital factory transformation — provided an exciting question. At the center of the creative group work was the question of how a vehicle manufacturer can develop new services and business models in the future using data and information generated during the production process. The diverse teams of experts and students developed proposals over the course of the two days, which were then presented in a plenary discussion at the conference together with representatives from Audi. “The range from very creative ideas to immediately applicable ideas makes the Creathon particularly interesting for Audi. The fact that the participants have produced such high-quality results in such a short time in an unfamiliar application area is impressive,” said Michael Häffner, Head of Delivery Management Digitalization Production / Logistics at AUDI AG.
At the moment, the location of the next RESER conference in 2022 has not yet been determined. The team from the Fraunhofer Institute for Industrial Engineering IAO at Heilbronn intends to get more involved with international scientific conferences in the future.