​FAQ – Background information

12 Questions – 12 Answers 

1. What is digital networking?

Digital networking describes the continuous connection of the real world with the digital world. This includes the digital recording, mapping and/or model building of the real world as well as the IT driven networking of this information and enables the real-time (partially) automated surveillance and or control of the real world.

2. Why is digital networking important? What is special about it?

Digital networking makes the use of digitalization limitless. It closes the gap between digitalization, i.e. the production of digital images, their networking and optimized application with the help of data analysis technologies. Digital networking significantly improves the performance of digitalization as well as the networks: It acquires and analyses data distributed over the network and thus enables the minimization of network-load and optimal data security. Digital networking provides for an efficient evaluation of data, which is generated in the course of further digitalization. The results can be used for tailor-made decisions or for an efficient control of devices and processes. This is suited for new solutions in traffic control like in collaborative driving and Car2X-concepts, in the automation of production processes or in telemedicine. 

3. What is the Berlin Center for Digital Transformation?

The Berlin Center for Digital Transformation emerges from a close cooperation of the four Fraunhofer Institutes located in Berlin (FOKUS, HHI, IPK and IZM) along a collective implementation-oriented value-added chain. The partners intend to bundle the competencies in the following areas: Information and communications technologies, data processing and data preparation, development and deployment of high-end electronic systems and their production as well as production and microelectronics. Especially the use of synergy effects between the areas and to cover the entire technology chain of digital networking. Primary focus is the development of solutions for concrete application areas by means of optimized hardware and software. The center sees itself as a Transfer-center: The main objective being applied research – the core competency of Fraunhofer. In cooperation with industry, the institutes will conduct concrete application projects and thereby will transfer the research results directly into solutions and products for companies.

4. How is the Berlin Center for Digital Transformation set up?

LZDV, Anwendungsbereiche Wirtschaft Englisch
Organizational Chart Berlin Center for »Digital Transformation« Fraunhofer FOKUS

5. What is the goal of the Berlin Center for Digital Transformation?

The goal of the center, is to strengthen the cooperation between industry and the Berlin Fraunhofer Institutes, in order to establish Berlin as a beacon for digital networking within Germany and internationally.   

6. Who are the partners involved in the center?

  • Fraunhofer-Institute for Open Communication Systems FOKUS (Speaker)
  • Fraunhofer Heinrich-Hertz-Institut HHI
  • Fraunhofer-Institute for Production Systems and Design Technology IPK
  • Fraunhofer-Institute for Reliability and Microintegration IZM
  • Industry

7. How can companies participate in the center?

In the form of joint research projects with the participating Fraunhofer Institutes and through the use of technological infrastructure of the institutes. Currently eight research projects and four Transfer-centers are planned.

8. How is the center funded?

The Berlin Center for Digital Transformation is funded by the Governing Mayor of Berlin, Senate Chancellery – Research and Technology as well as from the European Fund for Regional Development (ERDF). Further support comes from industry and the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft.

9. When will the planned center commence operations?

The center is to commence with a two year pilot phase beginning 1th July 2016.

10. Why is Berlin important as location for the center?

Berlin has acquired a unique density of research institutions, High-Tech-Start-Ups and leading international companies that are active in the area of digital networking. For instance there are 5,800 digital companies in Berlin, 62,400 people work in the digital branch, in the year 2011 the digital economy in Berlin made a turnover of 8,9 Billion Euro and last but not least there are 15,000 students enrolled for IT and digital relevant courses (Source: Digitale Wirtschaft in Berlin 2013). This potential will enable Berlin to turn into a national and international beacon for digital networking. 

11. What will be the substantive focus of the center?

Research focus of the center is the formulation of application-oriented technical solutions for the areas "Industry & Production", "Mobility and City of the future", "Healthcare" and "Critical Infrastructures & Energy".

LZDV Kooperation englisch
Fraunhofer FOKUS

12. What value added does the center bring for companies and the location Berlin respectively?

The center should help the economy and regional companies in the realization of the opportunities in an ever increasing digitalization as well as in the management of risk as and when required, in order to attain a leading role internationally. Since digital networking can only be viewed and promoted in an international context, strategic partners from outside the region should also be integrated into the center.