Founded in 1988, DFKI is one of the largest non-profit contract research institutes in the field of innovative software technology based on Artificial Intelligence methods. DFKI is focusing on the complete cycle of innovation – from world-class basic research and technology development through leading-edge demonstrators and prototypes to product functions and commercialization. With sites in Kaiserslautern, Saarbrücken, Bremen, Berlin, and Osnabrück the German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence ranks among the most important “Centres of Excellence” worldwide. An important element of DFKI’s mission is to move innovations as quickly as possible from the lab into the marketplace. Only by maintaining research projects at the forefront of science, DFKI has the strength to meet its technology transfer goals. The research and technology development is carried out in nine different research departments. The research department Innovative Factory Systems (IFS) has been active since 1998 in the field of ambient intelligence systems and user interface design for technical systems. With its SmartFactory Living Lab DFKI-IFS addresses and demonstrates ICT innovations in manufacturing-related processes. The DFKI and SmartFactory were one of the initiators and main promoters of Germany’s “Industrie 4.0” High-Tech Strategy. The SmartFactory demonstration platform is unique in Europe and establishes a big network of industrial and research partners, which implement together innovation projects ranging from evaluation of base technologies to the development of marketable products. As a best practice example for such a collaboration activity, under the coordination of DKFI and SmartFactory several ICT-based productions lines were built up. Currently, the SmartFactory-Network consists more than 50 members that are industrial enterprises or research facilities, among others automation technology providers as Bosch Rexroth, Deutsche Telekom, SAP, Siemens, Festo, Harting, Hirschmann/Belden, Johnson Controls, Lapp, Phoenix Contact, proALPHA, TÜV Süd, etc.


Main Tasks in MAS4AI

DFKI will be responsible for project coordination and liaison with the European Commission. One main task is to ensure that the whole project team is working towards commonly agreed goals. DFKI will lead work package WP2, in which a fundamental control infrastructure for industrial AI multi-agent systems based on open-source massage-oriented middleware will be developed. DFKI will provide basic architectures and control components for the MAS4AI integration on diverse control levels. DFKI will leverage modular production line concepts and semantic information model complied with Industrie 4.0 (e.g. RAMI4.0) standards, in order to achieve a unified treatment of production hardware and software and to fully integrate Industrial AI service into modern production environments.