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From basic research to market readiness – DFKI Laboratory Niedersachsen develops innovative AI technologies in GAIA-X

| Press release | Farming & Agricultural Technology | Smart Home & Assisted Living | Environment & Energy | Interactive Machine Learning | Marine Perception | Plan-Based Robot Control | Smart Enterprise Engineering | Osnabrück / Oldenburg

An ecosystem based on the values of Europe for the secure, sovereign and manufacturer-independent exchange of data – that is the goal of the European cloud initiative GAIA-X. In projects, consortia and technology working groups, the German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence (DFKI) actively contributes to the establishment and further development of the major project. At the DFKI Laboratory Niedersachsen, all four research departments are now involved in the development of key technologies based on artificial intelligence (AI) in different GAIA-X application domains. These are characterized by a wide range of applications and high innovation potential.

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In the flagship project Agri-Gaia of the research department Plan-Based Robot Control (PBR), a renowned consortium from industry and research is involved in realizing an open AI standard for the agricultural and food sector based on GAIA-X. The project is funded by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi) with around 12 million euros. The PBR department, headed by Prof. Dr. Hertzberg, is additionally involved in five projects that will collaborate with Agri-Gaia: the 5G Sustainable Agriculture project funded by the German Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure (BMVI), and the PORTAL, resKIL, MoviQ and AI-TEST-FIELD collaborative projects funded by the German Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture (BMEL).

The Marine Perception (MAP) research department, headed by Prof. Dr. Oliver Zielinski, is also participating in the Agri-Gaia flagship project. In this project, MAP deals in detail with sensor technology directly on the agricultural machine and evaluates the obtained data using machine learning techniques. The unique feature here is that the developed machine learning models can be executed directly on the agricultural machine and adapted if necessary. This principle is known as Edge-AI. Here, the models for Edge-AI are obtained via a GAIA-X interface through the Agri-Gaia platform. In addition, sensor data can be transmitted in a GAIA-X compliant matter to other models via a wireless link to run additional models in Agri-Gaia.

The Smart Enterprise Engineering (SEE) research department, headed by Prof. Dr. Oliver Thomas, has accompanied the GAIA-X project from the beginning. Among other things, Professor Thomas and his team have contributed to the development of important GAIA-X basic concepts – such as the GAIA-X technical architecture. In the project ForeSight, the SEE department is particularly involved in researching smart living services. Together with Strategion GmbH, the “intelligent doorman”, one of the first smart services based on GAIA-X concepts, was developed. In addition, SEE and Strategion GmbH designed and implemented one of the first applications of a so-called GAIA-X-federated service, the service registry for the smart living data ecosystem. The results were presented at the Digital Summit 2020 and the GAIA-X Summit 2020. The ForeSight project consists of a total of 17 consortium partners and is funded by the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi). The main goal is to apply artificial intelligence methods in intelligent and networked living spaces.

The research department Interactive Machine Learning (IML), under the direction of Prof. Dr. Daniel Sonntag, is now also involved in GAIA-X through the AI-Breeding project funded by the Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture (BMEL). It focusses on artificial intelligence as the basis for “Big Data-based plant breeding of the future”. At the same time, a new project field called “Computational Sustainability & Technology” ( has started at the IML department to serve central needs around the topics of future and sustainability technology, sustainability and robustness, and resilience through interactive machine learning methods and to bring these into various further application domains.

In their GAIA-X projects, the four DFKI research departments thus serve the entire value chain from basic research to market readiness in close cooperation with partners from business and industry, whereby central social needs are to be met. In this context, the identification of emerging technology fields for the data and platform economy (for example, Edge Computing) as well as climate and resource-friendly AI technologies, which are still very research-intensive, play an important role. In order to accelerate the transfer to application, a cooperation with the DFKI Competence Center AI for Environment and Sustainability (DFKI4planet) is therefore also planned.
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Contact Head Office DFKI Laboratory Niedersachsen
Deutsches Forschungszentrum für Künstliche Intelligenz GmbH (DFKI)
DFKI Laboratory Niedersachsen
Berghoffstr. 11
49090 Osnabrueck
Phone: +49 541 386050 0

Contact details to the Research Departments
Plan-Based Robot Control
Site Spokesman
Prof. Dr. Joachim Hertzberg
Phone: +49 541 386050 2251

Marine Perception
Prof. Dr. Oliver Zielinski
Phone: +49 441 9983

Smart Enterprise Engineering
Prof. Dr. Oliver Thomas
Phone: +49 541 386050 4830

Interactive Machine Learning
Prof. Dr.-Ing. Daniel Sonntag
Phone: +49 681 85775 5254




Press contact:

Corporate Communication Lower Saxony