CeBIT 2015

Industrial Data Space – Fraunhofer presents industry-supported key issue paper at CeBIT

Press Release / 17.3.2015

Our businesses are facing big challenges: the fourth industrial revolution, cloud computing, smart data and the Internet of Things are on their way to have a lasting impact not only on manufacturing but also on traditional business models. Fraunhofer experts summarized their recommendations concerning an open international data space in a key issue paper presented at CeBIT in Hannover.

Prof. Reimund Neugebauer, President of the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft, Prof. Johanna Wanka, Federal Minister of Education and Research, Prof. Stefan Wrobel, Director of the Fraunhofer Institute for Intelligent Analysis and Information Systems IAIS and Prof. Michael ten Hompel, Director of the Fraunhofer Institutes for Material Flow and Logistics IML and for Software and Systems Engineering ISST (from left to right).
© Photo Kurt Fuchs/Fraunhofer

Prof. Reimund Neugebauer, President of the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft, Prof. Johanna Wanka, Federal Minister of Education and Research, Prof. Stefan Wrobel, Director of the Fraunhofer Institute for Intelligent Analysis and Information Systems IAIS and Prof. Michael ten Hompel, Director of the Fraunhofer Institutes for Material Flow and Logistics IML and for Software and Systems Engineering ISST (from left to right).

Working in close tandem with efforts towards digital production (»Industry 4.0«) or the concept of smart services, the planned Industrial Data Space is a federal data infrastructure that provides a foundation for these concepts and supplies data on demand in close to real time. »The various campaigns surrounding CeBIT demonstrate the strong hold the topic of digitalization has over business and society. We’re still in a good position, as German and European companies possess high levels of expertise in the development of embedded systems, control software for machines and systems, and industrial software. We should capitalize on these strengths and act now,« says Prof. Dr. Reimund Neugebauer, President of the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft. »The concept of Industrial Data Space stands out to the extent that it is aiming for comprehensive and cross-sector connectivity in an open data space. It enables companies to use the potential of digitalization in their business models without ceding control over their data.«

The Industrial Data Space initiative set three priorities: the project partners are preparing to found an Industrial Data Space Consortium with the intention of pushing forward the setting-up of an Industrial Data Space, its funding and the implementation of use-cases in line with market requirements. They will create the basic conditions for short-term access for other partners – including partners from inside and outside Europe.

The German Federal Government is supporting the Industrial Data Space initiative. Prof. Dr. Johanna Wanka, Federal Minister of Education and Research, sees the project as an important component of »Industry 4.0«: »The Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft initiative is geared precisely to the needs of German industry. The joint action of science and business ensures that the interests and concerns of users – be they small, medium-sized or large companies – flow into the development process. Application-oriented research must set the pace in »Industry 4.0«.«

Dieter Schweer, Member of the Executive Board of the Federation of German Industries (BDI) said: »German industry and »Industry 4.0 – Made in Germany« is world-class. Establishing the Industrial Data Space is a milestone for the digitalization of German industry. To build a bridge between real and virtual production, the German SME sector in particular needs neutral, protected data spaces and testing grounds together with familiar and experienced partners in Europe.«

The most important issues for the Industrial Data Space include digital sovereignty over one’s own data and maximum data security. Data exchange is only secure between certified partners when it is actually required for a value-added service by the data user. It is also planned for industry to have access to data and applications for its own value-added services. An example of such a service in the field of mobility could be the proactive display of local transportation options in car navigation systems in order to avoid or reduce traffic congestion resulting from major events. The Industrial Data Space will facilitate many of those services in various fields of application that use linked data from different sources.

In logistics, an innovative use case is developed by the Fraunhofer InventAIRy research project which is reinventing stocktaking: autonomous flying robots navigate through warehouses by themselves and read barcodes as they fly past. In tomorrow’s logistics, their recorded data will be essential. On the other hand, the drones need environmental modeling supplied from different sources in order to act independently of obstacles on the ground, move in all directions and be able to scan even difficult to access places – for example, in high-bay warehouses. This will lead to the creation of new business models and software services.

It is up to politics and business to create the general conditions to make this possible. Efficient broadband and mobile digital infrastructure with nationwide availability is a key requirement. Another prerequisite is legal certainty based on clear rules and international solutions and agreements in order to ensure transparency and market orientation.

A major piece of groundwork for the initiative has already been successfully completed: the foundation of a task force that develops a detailed concept for implementation and determines and creates sensible framework conditions. Participants include representatives from federal German government ministries as well as companies from the automotive, supply, and systems industries, and IT, software, logistics, infrastructure, energy, primary production, chemical and pharmaceutical firms.