Everyone (Institutes, Companies, Students, …) can use the SDIL for non-commercial research on industrial data for free: you decide what you give back. No hidden obligations.

Applications are accepted in the areas of Industry 4.0, Smart Cities, Medicine and Energy can be handed in at any time.

The goal of the Smart Data Innovation Lab is to foster collaboration between industry and research in the context of data engineering/smart data. Thus every SDIL project has free access to the resources of the SDIL lab (i.e. hardware, software and technical/organizational support).

Usually, SDIL projects run 3-6 months. This can be a master’s thesis or experiments within a collaborative research project. They all have in common, that they follow a lightweight 4-steps process:

Discuss and Apply

1. Apply for Access to the SDIL Lab for a Research Project

An application to use the platform is pre-requisite to access the SDIL:

  1. The researcher prepares a project sketch of about 2 pages. Aspects with regards to the content can be sorted out with the help of the Data Innovation Community beforehand. Some hold for the organizational aspects by the help of the Operations Team at KIT. In addition, matchmaking between data analysts and data providers is actively supported.
  2. The SDIL Strategy Board reviews the project proposal in collaboration with the Data Innovation Community. Afterward, the board decides the assignment of lab resources to the project, according to the project sketch.
  3. Applicants and the DICs are notified of the board’s decision the latest 2 weeks after application. Ideally, the project can immediately start at that moment.

Start your SDIL project with a two-page description in 2 weeks: Download and fill-in the project template here.

Prepare and Load

2. Prepare the Project and Load Data Sources

The success of project execution on the SDIL depends on data secured in a local environment in which the data can be collaboratively analyzed by the specific research partners (typically one academic partner and one industry partner).

The offered software and hardware can be used and evaluated without committing to any obligations. To accomplish this, the platform operator KIT provides a template agreement that has been agreed upon by all SDIL core partners from academia and industry.

The template agreement covers any usage of hardware and software in SDIL, confidentiality, liability and exploitation.

We support you in quickly launching a project: Request the project contract template to complete and customize here.

Data Protection

Data protection is one of the highest principles of the Smart Data Innovation Lab. Data protection is ensured based on:

  • Data sources are only accessible to project partners if the access for the specific purpose has been admitted by the data provider.
  • Any data processing is compliant with the German data protection law.
  • The data are exclusively stored and processed at the KIT in Karlsruhe. The operations team gains access to data for administrative purposes only.
  • State of the art technology and security procedures are used for granting access to the platform and uploading data.
  • No results are stored on the platform at any time of which the authorship is not clearly given.

Stay in control of your data: Customize our standardized data protection agreement for your project.

In addition, we offer tools for data anonymization: You can find more on data anonymization here.

Analyze and Research

3. Execution of SDIL Projects

The research work can immediately start when the contract has been finalized. Project launch and execution is supported by the team at KIT. In consequence, SDIL projects can focus on analyzing data and the search for application-specific insights.

Experiences are exchanged with the operations team and in the Data Innovation Communities. This allows continuous improvement of the SDIL.

The SDIL platform is operated by the Steinbuch Centre for Computing (SCC) at the Karlsruhe Institut of Technology (KIT). Users have to register for an account at KIT to use the SDIL platform. Users can access the infrastructure, upload data, and use the provided tools after successful registration. Here you find details on the platform.

You find additional information in the SDIL Platform Documentation and in the SDIL Platform Tutorials.

Contact the operations team anytime if you have questions: Send an e-mail to

Publish and gain value

4. Publication of Results

The following principles are covered by our template contract and apply to the publication of research results that have been gained based on the data sources of the Smart Data Innovation Lab:

  • Publication of results that directly affect the contents of the data of the data provider requires permission of the data provider.
  • Any other research results and insights should be scientifically published and shared with the community.

This “fair share” fosters building up a steadily-growing knowledge base in the area of smart data. The knowledge base consists of the following parts:

  • Best practices derived the work of the Smart Data Innovation Lab, for example, guidelines on data curation.
  • Technical and scientific publications created by the help of the Smart Data Innovation Lab.
  • Code artifacts for quick use in analyses on the SDIL. They are to be stored as open-source in the Smart Data Innovation Lab.
  • “Success stories” which describe the successful partnerships between industry and science to incentivize potential new partners in joining the Smart Data Innovation Lab.

In addition, we a preparing a catalog of public and industrial data sources: You can find more on data curation here.