New service catalog

New service catalog

SDIL makes top German AI research available to businesses

Deadline for applications for free trial opportunity is Sept. 20

Infrastructure, tools, technologies and processes for successful data and AI-driven projects: The Smart Data Innovation Lab (SDIL) makes this transfer service offering easier for companies to use in the form of a service catalog. Founded in 2014 as a "data clean room" for research on industrial data, the SDIL is for the first time addressing interested companies directly with its offering as part of the Smart Data Innovation Services (SDI-S). From now on, they can choose from a catalog of transfer services related to current AI methods and infrastructure and thus drive their own innovations faster. In doing so, they benefit from the expertise of all the partners in the SDIL who offer the "Innovation Services": On the research side, these are the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) as coordinator, the German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence (DFKI), the Fraunhofer Institute for Intelligent Analysis and Information Systems IAIS and the Jülich Research Center; on the industry side IBM, SAP and the Software AG as vendors and - as a new direct partner - the Sicos BW GmbH as a link between research and industry.

"Our aim is to bring top German AI research directly to companies," says Prof. Dr. Michael Beigl, spokesman of the SDIL and head of TECO at KIT. And further: "The services provided uniformly in the SDIL are important to facilitate technology transfer and to simplify access to the concentrated AI expertise of several research institutions for companies." The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) is funding the development of the transfer service catalog and the testing of these services within the 2023 to 2024 development phase, not least for this reason.

Prof. Michael Beigl

Prof. Dr. Michael Beigl, spokesman of the SDIL and head of TECO at KIT (Image: Magali Hauser, KIT)

Project call enables free access to AI infrastructure and AI expertise

Within the scope of a total of three project calls, companies with innovative AI project ideas can apply. The prerequisite for the application is that they can profitably utilize the offered "Innovation Services" - from the areas of large language models, image recognition, embedded as well as data-saving AI - in their own products or processes. Deadline for the current bidding round is September 20, 2023. An overview of the bid and further application modalities is provided by the SDIL's bidding page at"". The selected lighthouse projects can take advantage of transfer services (funded by the BMBF) worth a maximum of EUR 50,000 or a maximum of six person-months per microproject. In addition, they will receive a maximum of 10,000 GPU hours on a high-performance GPU cluster as well as complementary state-of-the-art cloud offerings from industry partners IBM, SAP and Software AG.

The projects currently underway in the first round of calls for proposals support, for example, KIT's work for Aleph Alpha GmbH to ensure truth in large-scale language models. Another example is provided by a group of founders who want to improve the detection of grapevine leaf diseases with the help of Forschungszentrum Jülich and the AI accelerators and cloud systems provided. A full list of examples can be found on the project website, which features more than 70 successful examples of AI collaborations between research and industry in the SDIL. The third round of calls will start in early 2024.

Smart Data Innovation Day in November
Away from the current calls, the SDIL also provides access to experts and domain-specific capabilities, as well as exchanges between AI centers of excellence. This year's Smart Data Innovation Day will be held together with the North Rhine-Westphalian AI Service Center West-AI on November 16 in St. Augustin. Here, interested companies can inform themselves about project results and current developments. More information will follow soon on the SDIL news page.

About SDIL:
The Smart Data Innovation Lab (SDIL) is an exchange and operating platform to accelerate the cooperation between industry, public sector and research in the field of Artificial Intelligence, Big Data and Smart Data technologies.The concept for the SDIL was developed in the working group "Education and Research for the Digital Future" of the German government's National IT Summit in 2014. The SDIL provides collaborative research projects with modern analysis functions that can be used to evaluate data sets from companies (real data sources) and from publicly available data sources.

The further development and use of the SDIL has been supported since 2015 within several research projects (SDI-X, SDI-C, SDI-S) by the Federal Ministry of Research and Education (BMBF). The offer of the SDIL is also supported in the network of European Data Innovation Spaces within the H2020 program of the EU in the framework of the EUHubs4Data project. Furthermore, the participating partners, especially from industry, contribute to the SDIL with their own funds (hardware, software, personnel).

Currently (2023-2024), the BMBF is funding the expansion of the "Smart Data Innovation Services" offering in the funding phase with approximately one million euros annually. On the research side, support is being provided to the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), the German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence (DFKI), the Jülich Research Center (FZJ) and the Fraunhofer Institute for Intelligent Analysis and Information Systems IAIS; other partners are the technology transfer company Sicos BW and the three IT companies IBM, SAP and Software AG; the latter are involved in particular with their cloud offerings.