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The Netherlands and Germany aim to become more proficient in AI with their joint field lab

The first Dutch-German field lab focusing on digital twins and AI opens this week on the Brainport Industries Campus in The Netherlands.


The first Dutch-German field lab focusing on digital twins and AI opens this week on the Brainport Industries Campus in The Netherlands.


Written by Innovation Origins

19 January 2021

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The Dutch Brainport region Eindhoven has been cooperating with the southern German state of Baden-Württenberg for some time now, e.g. in the field of mobility. But there is close contact in the field of big data and the development of industry as well. This close cooperation will soon be followed up in a physical form on the Brainport Industries Campus (BIC).

The first Dutch-German field lab Artificial Intelligence for Digital Twins (AI4DT) opens up here this week. Companies from both regions can come here for help with the development and smart application of artificial intelligence and digital twin technologies. “The idea was born a few years ago while we were on an economic mission. We saw opportunities to do something together where we could find common ground. Both regions have robust industries and AI is becoming increasingly important in these,” says John Blankendaal, director of Brainport Industries, about the establishment of the field lab.

In his view, the field lab needs to become a place where companies can not only learn about the opportunities offered by digital twins, but will also be able to contribute to the development of the technology. “It’s about us becoming stronger together. We are reinventing the wheel in both places, but we are much stronger when we work together and pool our knowledge.”

Benefiting from each other’s network

The collaborating parties want to share this knowledge both in the Netherlands at the BIC and in Germany at Werk150, a factory with lab facilities run by the ESB business school at Reutlingen University of Applied Sciences. ” This knowledge is readily available to everyone. Companies or other parties can turn to BIC for demos and to Werk150 in Germany. Dutch companies can also benefit from the network of German companies and vice versa,” Blankendaal explains.

Katrin Schütz, Minister of Economy in Badem-Württenberg, sees many similarities between the two regions and is looking forward to the cooperation: “You can feel the creativity and energy. You also notice that we share many of the same ideas on how to tackle future challenges.”

The network of fieldlabs was established through cooperation between the Dutch national Smart Industry, the Fraunhofer Institute for Production Technology and Automation in Stuttgart, Steinbeis Transferzentrum für Industrie 4.0 und Digitalisierung, Reutlinger Zentrum Industrie 4.0, Brainport Industries, the field labs and educational institutions on the Brainport Industries Campus, the German Federal Ministry of Economics, Labour and Housing and the Dutch Province of North Brabant.