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SPAICER Project Wins the AI Innovation Competition of the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy

| Press release | Trade & Logistics | Industry 4.0 | Smart Service Engineering | Saarbrücken

Production companies struggle with disruptions every day. These can be external disturbances, such as delays in logistics, raw material shortages, and politically motivated trade barriers, but also internal disturbances, such as illness, tool breakdowns, and production stoppages. The AI lighthouse project SPAICER was selected as the central element for the implementation of the AI strategy of the Federal Government. SPAICER will thus contribute to "AI made in Germany," with which an international trademark for modern, safe, and public welfare-oriented AI applications is to be developed on the basis of the European canon of values. Together with leading researchers and production companies, SPAICER is investigating how artificial intelligence methods can be transformed into resilience management for industry in order to better prepare for and react to disturbances. The SPAICER consortium has successfully won the AI competition of the Federal Ministry for Economics Affairs and Energy (BMWi) against strong, national competition and will, under the leadership of Prof. Wolfgang Maaß (DFKI), be funded with more than 10 million Euro for three years.

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"In concrete terms, SPAICER is about developing an ecosystem and a platform for smart resilience services to strategically improve the resilience of the production industry," explains Wolfgang Maaß, scientific director at the German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence (DFKI) in Saarbrücken. Resilience is the ability of a company to permanently adapt to internal and external changes and disturbances in complex, rapidly changing production networks. This research on resilience management is driven, among other things, by the growing complexity and fragility of an industry 4.0 production, volatility of political, economic and ecological contexts, uncertainties in the supply of raw materials and, last but not least, by demographic change and increasing qualification requirements.

Technologically, SPAICER follows an agent-based, modular, and open approach to developing smart resilience services based on world-leading AI technologies and industry 4.0 standards. SPAICER is embedded in a broad ecosystem of industrial partners, leading research institutions and associations. The project also focuses on the transfer of knowledge to industry through certificates and innovative education and training on resilience. Based on this, Wolfgang Maaß sees the opportunity to develop a powerful AI-based software industry around the topic of resilience: "It is not about recovering from a single setback. It is about giving production companies the ability to permanently anticipate changes and disruptions, to react to them and to adapt to them. SPAICER's contribution is to make German industry more competitive, and for that, we need powerful AI-based resilience technology".

In addition to DFKI, SPAICER includes the renowned Machine Tool Laboratory (WZL) at RWTH Aachen University, the University of Freiburg, the Technical University of Darmstadt, the Institute for Technology and Innovation Management at RWTH Aachen University, the Otto Beisheim School of Management (WHU), deZem, Feintool, SAP, SCHOTT, SCHAEFFLER, SEITEC, SENSEERING and Waelzholz. A further 39 associated partners support the project consortium with important practical knowledge.

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[Translate to English:] © BMWi/BILDKRAFTWERK/Zöhre Kurc
Prof. Dr.-Ing. Wolfgang Maaß (DFKI) and Dr. Ulrich Nussbaum, Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energie (BMWi), during the ceremony.

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