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Berlin to go, english edition, 03/2017

  • Text
  • Digitization
  • Berlin
  • Digital
  • Innovation
  • Startup
  • Innovative
  • Printing
  • Fraunhofer


LOCATION INNOVATIVE TOGETHER Four Berlin-based Fraunhofer institutes work together to create intelligent solutions for the digital age According to the Statista statistics portal, turnover in Germany’s Internet of Things sector is projected to reach €50.2 billion by 2020. With this in mind, the Berlin Center for Digital Transformation was founded in July 2016 to further leverage this potential and support businesses in the process of digitization, thus enhancing the city’s overall economic landscape. The Berlin Center for Digital Transformation has already started working on eleven cooperative projects: “At least two of the four Fraunhofer institutes are always involved,” explains Dr. Florian Schreiner, head of the IoT Lab transfer center at Fraunhofer FOKUS. “This is also the center’s special feature; it allows us to pursue a comprehensive, holistic approaches to digitization.” There are many reasons Berlin was chosen as the location for the new center: On the one hand, the capital is home to Europe’s fastest growing startup scene, Germany’s largest concentration of universities and many multinational high-tech companies. On the other hand, Berlin is also home to four Fraunhofer institutes and thus a unique bundling of expertise in the realm of digital transformation. Until now, these institutes have used their know-how, experience and many years of technological developments in the realm of digital networking solely to benefit their own projects. In the past year, however, the four institutes have started using their expertise in cooperation with one another – much to the advantage of their industrial partners. At each Fraunhofer institute, a “transfer center” handles all cooperative activities and knowledge transfers. For example, many digitization projects would not be possible without the developments coming from the fields of sensor and actuator technology generated at the Hardware for CPS transfer center. CPS are cyber physical systems that represent the indispensible bridge between real and virtual world. Among the most important solutions from the Hardware for CPS lab is the modular kit developed for miniaturized sensor nodes. Dirk Friebel, Head of Strategic Marketing at Fraunhofer IZM, explains the advantages: “The networking opportunities, high energy autonomy and extremely small design of the node make it possible to integrate sensor technology into any Opening of the Berlin Center for Digital Transformation on March 6, 2017 24

application and thus to create the technological basis for a flat application of IoT solutions.” In order to be able to forward the information sensors record, a modern high-performance data communication is necessary, which is exactly what people are working on at the 5G Testbed in the transfer center at Fraunhofer HHI. There, they are carrying out tests on the fifth-generation mobile transmission standard and exploring future interfaces and net access points for new applications. At the IoT Lab at the Fraunhofer FOKUS, all information is gathered on different platforms where it is then analyzed and presented for concrete IoT applications, for example, in the fields of health care, smart cities, industry and production. Digitization ideas and solutions make their way to concrete implementation at the Industrie 4.0 Lab transfer center at the Fraunhofer IPK. This is where you’ll find practice-oriented support, whether its solutions for smart factories drawn from the Industrie 4.0 Koffer (Industry 4.0 in a Suitcase) project or the development of digital twins and assistance systems fostered as part of the ProEnv project. Patrick Gering heads up the Industrie 4.0 Koffer project and argues that “even though many companies often only see the end of the digitization chain here at the Industrie 4.0 Lab, the results would not be the same without the know-how of the other transfer centers.” Gering sees only advantages in these cooperative activities. Indeed, for the very first time, they allow all aspects of value creation to be addressed “from one single source.” Text: Anke Templiner A SELECTION OF PROJECTS UNDERWAY AT THE BERLIN CENTER FOR DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION Photos: Tom Maelsa/ Fraunhofer FOKUS, Frauenhofer IZM SMART STREETS – INTELLIGENT AND NETWORKED STREETS OF THE FUTURE Wearables, drones, networked vehicles and street furniture ranging from digital displays to sensor-monitored trash bins – this is what the streets of the future will look like. A project called Smart Streets is working on making this a reality, specifically the equipping of existing street lighting systems using intelligent IoT gateways. A broad range of solutions for smart roads are enabled by modular sensor systems and distributed data analysis, for example in IoT lamp gateways, as well as rapid and safe M2M data transmission using radio and optical light communication. CONFORMABLE SENSOR SYSTEMS – EXPANDABLE AND FLEXIBLE ELECTRONICS The project known as “Conformable Sensor Systems” develops multi-sensor nodes that are flexible in their form yet can withstand harsh environmental conditions. The sensor modules have several wireless interfaces, such as Bluetooth LE and LoRa, and are embedded in a homogenous, multi-layer, non-separable material matrix. The aim of the project is to create a platform that combines know-how and application scenarios that generate flexible electronic components in a kind of toolbox. SMARTREHAB – DIGITALLY NETWORKED CARE MODEL IN REHABILITATION The number of rehab patients is expected to increase by 5.6% between 2009 and 2020. In order to improve the quality of rehab therapy, the continuity of data acquisition must be guaranteed, including vital stats and data relating to movement and cognition. Indeed, these health data make it possible to carry out automatic adjustments to therapy. As part of a project called SmartRehab, new technologies relating to the acquisition of health status are being developed. This involves bundling different sensor data and then precisely analyzing these data. Algorithms are developed that guide therapies and thus simplify – and simultaneously improve – the entire rehabilitation process. In addition to that, the development of intelligent movement aids and robot-supported assistance systems is advanced at the same time. 25

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