The year 2019 saw the launch of three new facilities connected to Fraunhofer IAO: the Research and Innovation Center for Cognitive Service Systems (KODIS) in Heilbronn, the AI Innovation Center and the Mobile Plug-in Lab.
AI for complex service systems
Research and Innovation Center for Cognitive Service Systems (KODIS)
First to launch was the Research and Innovation Center for Cognitive Service Systems (KODIS), which opened in May. Located in Heilbronn, KODIS is the new branch office of Fraunhofer IAO. It seeks to take research findings from the field of artificial intelligence (AI) and apply them to the development of, in the first instance, manufacturing-related services.
KODIS will focus on the development of data-based solutions and business models for complex service systems. Typically, such services involve the processing of large volumes of data and the use of methods based on artificial intelligence. KODIS will be concentrating on serving the needs of the Heilbronn-Franken region and its high proportion of small and medium-sized enterprises. The aim is to break down any residual concerns about dealing with AI.
In the e-book series Richtung Zukunft (Toward the Future), KODIS shows how astute data management and AI can enhance services.
AI expertise for smal and medium-sized enterprises
AI innovation center Learning Systems
The AI Innovation Center for Learning Systems opened on October 1, 2019. This joint facility is operated by Fraunhofer IAO and neighboring institute Fraunhofer IPA. It plugs a gap in what is Europe’s largest research collaboration in the field of artificial intelligence, Cyber Valley in Tübingen, southern Germany. In the past, there was no one to transfer the AI methods developed in Cyber Valley to small and medium-sized enterprises – a role now undertaken by the AI Innovation Center. Fraunhofer researchers at the AI Innovation Center are working on projects relevant to the manufacturing and services sectors. In other words, this research network provides an interface between Cyber Valley, along with the basic research it produces, and industry, with its need for applied solutions.
Finally, in November, Fraunhofer IAO launched the Mobile Plug-in Lab. Housed in a container, this travels out to companies in Baden-Württemberg and provides them with hands-on experience of advanced systems engineering (ASE). The purpose of the plug-in lab is to inform small and medium-sized enterprises about how ASE can make product development faster, better and more flexible. With ASE, the aim is to digitalize the entire product development process – all the way from initial idea to market-ready end product. This reduces costs, shortens development times and increases market opportunities. The new plug-in lab from Fraunhofer IAO not only demonstrates how the ASE process works but also provides individual companies with practical support when taking on their first concrete use case.