With its concept of the AI marketplace, the Leading-Edge Cluster it's OWL has won the competition "Artificial Intelligence (AI) as a Driver for Ecosystems" of the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi). 20 research institutions and companies are now developing a digital platform for artificial intelligence in product creation, on which providers, users and experts can network and develop solutions.
AI approaches are essential innovation drivers for tomorrow's products. Artificial intelligence cannot only be used to improve the functionality of products or production plants. Also product development can benefit from AI. It can become more efficient and of higher quality. For example, customers expect increasingly individualised products in ever shorter intervals. With the help of AI, manufacturing companies can summarise the information of existing products and research results and virtually run through hundreds of product variants before the most optimal product is manufactured. The problem for companies in many cases is to correctly exploit the potential of these possibilities. At the same time, suppliers of AI applications seldom know how they can specifically address customers and what their needs are. This is where the project 'Digital Marketplace for AI Applications in the Product Development Process' of the project partners around it's OWL comes in.
In the AI marketplace, an innovation ecosystem is created around a digital platform that brings together AI experts, solution providers and manufacturing companies. This digital platform will be successively expanded with functionalities that enable the joint development of AI solutions for product creation as well as their provision. Initial offerings include an intelligent partnering service for use cases and a data room for product creation. In addition, AI applications that are already available today are made accessible via the marketplace. On this basis, a construction kit with tools for AI development will be developed. The AI marketplace is based on a trust-based concept with a corresponding IT architecture that enables data sovereignty and fair transaction mechanisms. The AI marketplace works in a similar way to well-known marketplaces, for example Amazon, in the consumer sector. A manufacturer of machines, for example, has access to research results from AI in engineering via the AI marketplace. He can then use these results without extensive and cost-intensive in-house research to adapt them for his own engineering.
The project will investigate how such a marketplace should be designed so that companies can use it. it's OWL will be the nucleus of the national AI marketplace. A promising concept is to be developed and implemented from various application scenarios. The digital AI marketplace should primarily benefit small and medium-sized companies who, as part of the marketplace, would have access to technology that would advance their business in digitization and lead their business model sustainably into the future.
About the consortium
Research partners are the Heinz Nixdorf Institute of the Paderborn University, the Fraunhofer Institutes IEM, IOSB-INA and IPK, the Excellence Cluster Cognitive Interaction Technology CITEC of the Bielefeld University as well as the Institute for Industrial Information Technology inIT of the University of Applied Sciences OWL. Other project partners include the International Data Spaces Association, prostep ivip, the FIWARE Foundation and the companies Claas, Diebold Nixdorf, Düspohl, Hella Gutmann, ubermetrics, Unity and Westaflex.
Interested companies, AI solution providers and experts are invited to participate in the development. Further information on the AI marketplace project can be found on the project website www.ki-marktplatz.com.
The project is supported by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy with 11 million euros in subsidies, the partners are investing an additional five million euros. More than 130 consortia participated in the competition, ten of which were recommended for funding.