Smart Data Innovation Lab Challenges Calls

“Research collaborations for rapid AI innovation in practice”


The Smart Data Innovation Challenges (SDI-C) concept adds an important component to the Smart Data Innovation Lab (SDIL). Required faster, innovative research can thus be achieved at a low threshold. On the basis of urgent prototypical questions from the industry, the best data-driven AI approaches should prove themselves. Conversely, researchers should be motivated to apply their approaches to machine learning and big data analytics to real data sets.

The project, funded by the Federal Ministry of Research for three years, aims in particular to promote innovative microprojects. AI projects are to be carried out equally by industry and research, whereby the research partners are 100% funded for the research and application of new algorithms and thus also contribute to the state of research.

The application partners that contribute data and / or systems benefit directly from the prototypical implementation and the external impact promoted by the project. As in the current phase, the industry’s contribution is the provision of data and human resources needed for joint projects. In addition, both sides benefit from the infrastructure.

The basis for this are the cooperation schemes, including the model contracts that have already been tested in the SDIL, as well as the infrastructure that will be further developed to fit the new format within this project. Projects such as the Smart Data Solution Center (SDSC) funded in Baden-Württemberg, impressively demonstrate the attractiveness of such a conveyance architecture for all those involved.


Call for Proposals

2nd Call for proposals for AI microprojects in the BMBF-funded research project SDI-C

Starting in June 2020, 6 AI microprojects will be funded with a maximum of 6 person-months each, which will be selected competitively within all research institutes of the KIT, Fraunhofer Gesellschaft, DFKI and Forschungszentrum Jülich participating in the SDI-C. The goal is to achieve a short time between idea and implementation in cooperation with the Smart Data Innovation Lab (more information about the project at: More about SDI-C.

Funded will be the personnel costs of the applicant for the handling of machine learning and artificial intelligence issues. It is desired that companies be involved as associated partners and data providers and benefit from the results. The subsidized microprojects will be provided with the resources of the Smart Data Innovation Lab for the duration of the project (SDIL Platform). Funding is provided in each case with a clear reference to industrial data and questions:

4 Micro-projects on Optimization with or of AI

**This includes, for example, approaches for automated black-box optimization of process parameters using learned system models. Analogously, AI prediction architectures themselves can be automatically optimized (Auto-ML), which greatly reduces the development effort. We are looking for innovative research projects based on industrially relevant data, which prototypically demonstrate the interaction of optimization and AI in applications.

Translated with (free version)**

2 Open Topic AI Micro-projects with Pilot Character

In addition, new research impulses with high application potential are to be promoted. Priority will be given in particular to projects that open up data or fields of application for subsequent rounds of calls for proposals. Interesting current areas are, for example, the consideration of causality, robustness and uncertainty in industrial AI applications or the real-time analysis of mobile image data using AI models (e.g. in medicine).

Important selection criteria are not only the innovation potential but also the use of new industrial data sources. The SDIL provides a legally and technically secure framework for processing the data within the applied microproject. In particular, the integration of data and issues from small and medium-sized companies is desired, which as unsubsidised partners should benefit from the analysis of their data. (Interested companies are welcome to contact

The filled out two-page applications (preferably in doc, rtf or odt format) must be sent to the office of the consortium leader ( by March 15, 2020. For technical and organizational questions, KIT is pleased to be the operator of the platform ( or

The application for downloading and filling: SDI-C Call and Application Form

You will receive feedback on the success of the evaluation within 4 weeks after the submission deadline. The final release of funds will be applied for immediately by the funded institute on the basis of a joint steering committee decision and will then take place after review by the funding agency, so that the funds can be made available within a few weeks!