Information technology for Big Data from industry and everyday life

Digital data in large quantities are becoming more and more important in industry and society, for example, when managing electricity networks, machine parks or city traffic efficiently. With the Smart Data Innovation Lab (SDIL) at the Karlsruher Institute of Technology (KIT), a national research platform has now started to develop the tools for handling large amounts of data. Industry and R&D work closely together to gain economic and social value from Big Data and to generate Smart Data.

“We are pleased to have gathered so many competent partners within SDIL,” says Wilfried Juling, Head of Department 2 “Computer Science, Business and Society” at KIT. The consortium agreement and the founding certificate of SDIL now have been signed by leading companies and research institutes: Bayer, Bosch, EnBW, IBM, SAP, Siemens, Software AG, German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence, Fraunhofer IAIS, Forschungszentrum Jülich, and KIT. A further 50 partners are associated. “Together we will develop new algorithms and instruments to manage large amounts of data and make them available to our society as sources of knowledge.”

“The SDIL partners have already filled their lives in advance“ emphasizes Michael Beigl, SDIL’s coordinator at the KIT. In four working groups (energy, smart cities, medicine and industry) project ideas were discussed and initial pilot projects were identified. From the starting point, the projects can go into the implementation phase in which science and industry create new innovative applications together. The research areas include, for example, decentralized energy markets, flood protection and personalized medicine. "When the SDIL is full, we want to work parallel on around 30 Smart Data projects” says Beigl.

“Two high-performance data systems are currently available at the KIT for the work of the SDIL” says Bernhard Neumair, Director of the Steinbuch Center for Computing (SCC). The SCC runs the SDIL infrastructure. The hardware will rise compared to the needs of the research projects. In addition, SDIL offers a versatile and unique software package for Smart Data Innovation. These include for example the software packages of the partners SAP (HANA), Software AG (Terracotta) and IBM (Watson).

SDIL links research and application

The SDIL provides a research platform and state-of-the-art analysis tools that can evaluate large data collections from companies (real data sources) and publicly available data sources. The platform also aims to provide a better flow of information between individual sectors, which brings competitive advantages for companies. Especially for small and medium-sized enterprises, SDIL opens up unique access to infrastructure and know-how to give new impetus to their big data applications.

Within the projects, the scientists at the SDIL receive access to data from industrial processes which are stored securely on the platform. The analysis of the data, for example the description and structuring of specific data sets or the finding of anomalies, is carried out in close cooperation with the respective company partners. Thus enables a rapid transfer of knowledge and technology. The participating research institutes will also develop general tools and methods for data analysis which can be made available via the platform to all participants of the Smart Data Innovation Lab.

Besides the SDIL, the KIT already operates other infrastructures for large amounts of data. For example, the GridKa data center as part of a globally distributed network for the European particle accelerating center CERN and the Large Scale Data Facility (LSDF) for science in Baden-Württemberg. In the project “Large Scale Data Management and Analysis (LSDMA)” of the Helmholtz Association, the KIT works as the coordinator. For many years, information technology institutes at the KIT have been working with analysis methods, evaluation algorithms and data security.

Project presentation at the National IT Summit

The concept for the SDIL research platform was developed in the working group “Education and research for the digital future” of the National IT Summit of the Federal Government. The workgroup focuses on the education and training of professionals as well as research for the digital future and has already implemented two successful initiatives: Software Campus Network (2011) and Academy Cube (2012).

The SDIL is part of the Baden-Württemberg Initiative “Forward IT”, which aims to strengthen the interaction between business and science in the fields of industry 4.0, enterprise software, mobility and IT security.

kes, 16.10.2014

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