Next Level Ecosphere for Intelligent Industrial Production


The digitization of industry and ongoing networking are increasing the performance and complexity of technical systems and the corresponding processes. Intelligent production (industry 4.0) is believed to have disruptive innovation potential in the industrial environment. Artificial intelligence (AI) is considered a key technology here. Expanding intelligent production requires the use of AI at all levels of the product creation process and beyond the boundaries of individual companies.    


The challenge

Artificial intelligence is viewed as a key technology to ensure future competitiveness. SMEs in particular however lack access to technologies, technical expertise, and appropriate business models. Then there are concerns about data sovereignty and nondisclosure. The Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi) announced the innovation contest “Artificial Intelligence as a Driver for Economically Relevant Ecosystems” at the beginning of 2019 to boost innovation in the AI field.


Our contribution

Fraunhofer ISST is active in the project’s “Data” think tank. This think tank examines the potential and challenges associated with the collection, management, evaluation, use, and sharing of data in intelligent production under consideration of the legal framework. Here we contribute our entire expertise from the International Data Spaces project in order to create a data marketplace for the production domain. This is intended for the vertical and horizontal technical linking of production networks and the secure and sovereign exchange of data.



The vision of IIP-Ecosphere is to achieve an innovation leap in the self-optimization of production based on networked, intelligent, autonomous systems to boost productivity, flexibility, robustness, and efficiency. Therefore, the project objective is to establish a novel ecosystem – the Next Level Ecosphere for Intelligent Industrial Production (IIP-Ecosphere) – enabling the next level of intelligent production. For production companies who have not yet grasped the value of AI, IIP-Ecosphere offers low-threshold access to non-proprietary and integrated AI solutions to solve complex problems in production.



  • Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz University Hannover
  • University of Koblenz-Landau
  • University of Hildesheim
  • Siemens Aktiengesellschaft, Corporate Technology
  • Bitmotec GmbH
  • Lenze SE
  • RapidMiner GmbH
  • SALT AND PEPPER Software GmbH & Co. KG
  • KIProtect GmbH
  • Verein Deutscher Werkzeugmaschinenfabriken e.V. (VDW)
  • Volkswagen AG
  • Sennheiser electronic GmbH & Co. KG
  • GILDEMEISTER Drehmaschinen GmbH
  • Marposs Monitoring Solutions GmbH
  • Deutsche Messe Technology Academy GmbH
  • … und weitere 57 assoziierte Partner aus Forschung und Industrie


  • Subsidized by: Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action (BMWK)
  • Term: 01/2020-12/2022