Over the last two decades, progressive digitisation within society has produced new forms of communication, work, and media use. The next stage in a digitised economy is currently taking shape through the introduction of technologies for the so-called ‘Internet of Things’. This vision of the future draws on systems with embedded software, electronic components, and a data infrastructure (cyber-physical systems). The data provided by cyber-physical systems is suitable for processing in a highly automated cloud environment and for use by smart services.
Smart services use cloud-based platform settings to record and provide environmental information (via sensors), to filter and aggregate data, and to present information in a user-friendly form in particular. Here, the areas in which smart services can be used extend from specific individual functions to support in decision-making processes, and even the control of complex systems. At the moment, Germany is not using the potential of smart services to its full extent.
The DLR Project Management Agency assists the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) and the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi) in their concentrated efforts to support this field. For instance, BMWi launched the ‘Smart World – Internet-based Services for Business’ funding programme with the support of our experts. This project aims to promote research and development activities to create innovative ICT-based services and hence to encourage German technology providers to open up to global markets.