Rolls-Royce to open center for artificial intelligence in Dahlewitz near Berlin

Rolls-Royce already relies on technologies such as VR (Virtual Reality) for engine development | © Rolls-Royce Deutschland Ltd & Co KG | Steffen Weigelt

Rolls-Royce already relies on technologies such as VR (Virtual Reality) for engine development | © Rolls-Royce Deutschland Ltd & Co KG | Steffen Weigelt

Rolls-Royce service network | © Rolls-Royce Deutschland Ltd & Co KG

Rolls-Royce announced today the establishment of a new AI center in Germany. The project is part of the company's plan to invest £100 million in artificial intelligence (AI) and new data technologies over the next five years. The new AI center or Hub will be established in Dahlewitz, Brandenburg, near Potsdam and Berlin. The company has already started to post job openings for a start to operations as early as January 2019. The new AI team will work closely with engineers at the Rolls-Royce site in Dahlewitz that the company opened 25 years ago as well as with academic partners in the region. The company seeks to benefit from Berlin-Brandenburg's well-known expertise in technology and its vibrant digital start-up scene.

The Rolls-Royce AI hubs will be the interface between AI, data engineering, and the company's industry-specific expertise. The AI teams will apply their broad knowledge of AI to take advantage of major, strategically important business opportunities. This typically occurs in three phases: 1. Understand and translate the task; 2. Demonstrate the potential of the AI method; and, 3. Help create value at an early stage of its application. In addition, the AI hubs are assigned the task of finding and using suitable technology expertise from academic partners and on the market for technology innovators. Together, these will form the external ecosystem that will promotes application development and research into new problem-solving techniques for the industry.

A particularly good example of partnerships with research institutions in Germany is that with the Hasso Plattner Institute (HPI), based in Potsdam, Brandenburg. HPI is Germany's leading center of excellence for digital engineering. In April 2018, it agreed to collaborate with Rolls-Royce in several areas; the field of artificial intelligence is the most advanced.

One project underway is the analysis of aircraft engine operating data using type recognition technologies to enable predictive, more accurate maintenance and customer-specific improvements in operational efficiency. Another is the development of chatbots, new intelligent digital assistants that will also help improve service.

Professor Christoph Meinel, Director of the Hasso Plattner Institute and Dean of the Faculty of Digital Engineering at the University of Potsdam, said: "Artificial intelligence plays a role in almost every field at the Hasso Plattner Institute and will have a decisive impact on the economy in the coming years. We are very pleased to be supporting a global player like Rolls-Royce in data analysis and the development of its digital capabilities, thus enabling our students to have a close relationship with real-world applications."

Caroline Gorski, Global Director, Rolls-Royce R2 Data Labs, said: "The German AI hub will show how industrial companies can use artificial intelligence to address business issues and contribute to value creation, at the Dahlewitz site and beyond. The skills developed here will be shared with other Rolls-Royce locations so that our engineers in all divisions can use the AI skills to solve their daily problems. We are privileged to be able to work with HPI from the outset."

Rolls-Royce has already achieved tangible business benefits with R² Data Labs, founded at the end of last year. For example, automated solutions have been developed to process orders and simplify business documents and to analyze engine data to avoid having to perform a costly repeat physical test. In addition, R² Data Labs has contributed to better collaboration and a change in the company culture in line with Rolls-Royce's long-term strategic objectives.

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Frank Martin Hein | Head of Communication - Europe & Africa | Rolls-Royce Deutschland Ltd & Co KG
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