Christian Banse

Getting closer to the vision step by step

3 questions for Christian Banse, Head of Central Office Fraunhofer Cluster of Excellence Cognitive Internet Technologies CCIT

© Fraunhofer AISEC
Christian Banse, Fraunhofer AISEC

Why have more than 20 Fraunhofer institutes come together to develop a cognitive internet for industry?

Everyone is talking about the immense opportunities of digitalization of industry. For example, self-organizing production processes promise to make industrial production more flexible, more agile and more efficient. Concepts based on data evaluation and digital technologies, such as smart agriculture or precision farming, are expected to revolutionize agriculture. Autonomous vehicles and intelligent traffic infrastructures represent tomorrow's mobility. However, implementing these visions in practice is complex. Although the basic technologies needed for this, such as wireless communication, secure data spaces and machine learning, have long since come of age, holistic concepts for specific applications are missing. This is precisely where the Fraunhofer CCIT comes in. The participating Fraunhofer institutes combine expertise in the disciplines of microelectronics, information, communication and production which are necessary for a cognitive internet. The goal is to develop prototypes for concrete applications and to implement them together with industry.

What is your conclusion after the first two years of research work?

The cognitive internet emulates the cognitive abilities of humans. Particularly our ability to plan, orient ourselves and learn. The cognitive internet links the physical world of things to the digital world of data and learning algorithms for highly intelligent performance. The cognitive internet is therefore the key to the digital sovereignty and economic competitiveness of German industry. In the past two years we have taken further steps toward this vision. In the first phase, we forged ahead with the most important issues in flagship and application projects. These include, for example, autonomous plant monitoring, predictive farming, active, intelligent manufacturing tools, the intelligent intersection, a data-sovereign approach for optimized demand and capacity management in automobile production, the Shared Digital Twin for exchanging data between companies, voice and gesture control in industry as well as quantum machine learning. Details about the individual projects can be found on our website.

What targets have you set yourself with the Fraunhofer CCIT for 2020 and beyond?

Through the research work to date, many specific demonstrators have come about which we now want to implement in conjunction with industry. The added value of collaborating with the Fraunhofer CCIT is clear: we offer direct knowledge transfer from research into business practice. Customers profit from an industrial implementation with a knowledge advantage and the CCIT technology expertise, for example in terms of data sovereignty, machine learning and the Internet of Things. We are there for our customers from the development of a vision up to the implementation of sustainable services. We come up with new project ideas in Excitement Workshops together with the enterprises. We show the possibilities that exist for making traditional industrial procedures and processes "cognitive." That is why I tell companies that want to begin digitalization now: Get in touch with me. I am your central contact for the Industry 4.0 expertise of over 20 Fraunhofer institutes.