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Fraunhofer FOKUS

The Governing Mayor of Berlin Michael Müller visits the Berlin Center for Digital Transformation

As part of his summer science tour, the Governing Mayor of Berlin and Senator for Higher Education and Research, Michael Müller, was today a guest at the IoT Lab of the Berlin Center for Digital Transformation at Fraunhofer FOKUS and informed himself about the numerous projects carried out jointly with the Berlin business community.

The visit was in direct connection with the announcement by the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft that the Berlin Center for Digital Transformation would enter its second phase two years after its foundation. The Berlin Center for Digital Transformation is funded by the Governing Mayor of Berlin, Senate Chancellery Higher Education and Research as well as from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) with 
EUR 6 Mio. until end of 2020.

Prof. Manfred Hauswirth, spokesperson of the Berlin Center for Digital Transformation, gave Michael Müller at the IoT Lab an insight into current research work in the field of the Industrial Internet of Things: "In our Transfer Center Internet of Things - or IoT for short - we deal with methods and technologies for networking things, devices, systems and people in order to realize digital process chains and business models. We also carry out interoperability, conformity, load and security tests and offer services for quality assurance and pre-certification. Our expertise is multi-layered - networks, protocols, platforms and data analysis systems are the cornerstones of the Internet of Things - and we support the industry in these areas with our know-how".

During his visit, Michael Müller emphasized the importance of the Berlin Center for Digital Transformation for the city: "Berlin is the right address for forward-looking companies. Here you will find a dynamic research landscape and the best cooperation opportunities to shape digital change. The Fraunhofer Institutes and the Berlin Center for Digital Transformation play a very special role in this structure. Together with the Einstein Center Digital Future and the Weizenbaum Institute for Networked Society, they make Berlin an international hotspot for digitization and an important location factor for the economic development of our city."

Michael Müller was also particularly interested in the close cooperation between the performance center and Berlin's business community, and was informed by the representatives of the four participating Fraunhofer Institutes in Berlin and the invited company representatives of ALBA Group, CONTACT Software GmbH and SAP SE & Co KG about their existing or future cooperations with the Berlin Center.

Since April 2018, the Berlin Center for Digital Transformation has also been cooperating with the ALBA BluehouseLab with its Industry 4.0 Transfer Center. The aim is to jointly develop innovative Smart City solutions with the aim of digitizing the urban infrastructure. Initial ideas have been developed, such as container tracking, in which the sensors can measure the filling level and also record the materials in the container.

The new platform CONTACT Elements for IoT, developed by CONTACT Software GmbH together with the Transfer Center Industry 4.0 of the Berlin Center for Digital Transformation, was presented. This makes it possible to realize innovative business models faster. Due to the special architecture, companies can interlock the processes of product development and product usage in the sense of product life cycle management in the best possible way. Thus the physical and the digital world can be connected with each other. For example, the machine tool is linked to its digital twin as a cyber-physical production system for monitoring and enables predictive maintenance, for example.

SAP referred to the intensive exchange between the SAP IoT Startup Accelerator and the Fraunhofer Start-A-Factory. This creates a permeability that accelerates knowledge transfer and generates added value in digital transformation for companies. The modular sensor construction kit developed by the Fraunhofer IZM as part of the Berlin Center for Digital Transformation also provides particular support here. This makes it possible to test in real test scenarios in a simple and resource-conserving way which potentials result from the use of sensor technology even before complex development projects are started. In this way, companies can determine which sub-processes are suitable for digitization and save a lot of time and valuable resources.

These are just three of numerous examples of successful cooperation. "The Berlin Center for Digital Transformation offers companies - from start-ups to medium-sized companies to large corporations - comprehensive research and implementation expertise from a single source," said Prof. Manfred Hauswirth. In a live demonstration from the Transfer Center IoT of the Berlin Center, there was an outlook on real-time condition monitoring in industrial systems. The example of a motor control system demonstrated how different data communication approaches (OPC-UA and oneM2M) work on the basis of an existing real-time communication standard (PROFINET RT). The demo also showed how the interaction of "Cloud Computing" and "Fog Computing" could look in the future.