AI-MATTERS as an innovation driver for AI in the European manufacturing sector

© Reutlingen University
“Werk150”, the learning, research and development environment of the ESB Business School at Reutlingen University is available as a testing environment for AI in manufacturing as part of “AI Matters”.

In short

Implementing artificial intelligence (AI) technologies in business operations is often still a challenge, especially for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). To counter this problem, the EU is funding the “AI-MATTERS” network, which enables companies to test AI technologies in eight different EU locations in real-world deployment scenarios. Through this, a strong ecosystem is emerging in Europe to drive excellence and trust in AI.

In detail

The European Union has launched the AI-MATTERS network, consisting of 25 institutions from eight EU countries, to promote so-called “Testing and Experimentation Facilities” (TEFs) for AI in manufacturing. AI-MATTERS is one of four similar networks addressing the four sectors of manufacturing, health, agriculture/food, and smart cities. At the Stuttgart site, the German offshoot of AI-MATTERS is being set up in cooperation with the University of Stuttgart and the ARENA2036 research campus as well as the Braunschweig national metrology institute PTB under the direction of Fraunhofer IPA. Fraunhofer IPA is also contributing resources from its cooperation with “Werk150”, the learning, research and development environment of Reutlingen University’s ESB Business School. 

The emerging test center offers consulting and development services related to the use of AI technologies in manufacturing. This includes topics such as human-robot collaboration (HRC), autonomous mobile robots, computer vision and AI-assisted process optimization & quality control, with the intention of providing assistance to SMEs in particular so that they can test AI technologies in their manufacturing operations.

From 2024, the aforementioned testing and experimentation centers will be available at eight European locations for companies to test and certify AI-based components. The funding phase will run until the end of 2027. AI-MATTERS is  receiving a total of 60 million euros in funding, half of which provided by the European Union and half by the participating member states. The German offshoot will thus receive 3.95 million euros from the EU and the same amount again from the Baden-Württemberg Ministry of Economic Affairs, Labour and Tourism. The aim is to leverage the potential of AI in the manufacturing sector, strengthen the competitiveness of Baden-Württemberg as a manufacturing location and also to promote digital sovereignty in Europe. 


EU Commission, Grant Agreement No. 101100707
Funded by the Ministry of Economic Affairs, Labour and Tourism Baden-Württemberg.

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