They are used in industry, in medicine, in construction, in urban development or in simulations for autonomous driving: Digital twins virtually reproduce what happens in reality - often invisibly. They thus replace models and prototypes, enable comprehensive use of data and provide information about the properties or behavior of the real twin. Carinthia is now becoming a hot spot for research on digital twins: JOANNEUM RESEARCH is now setting up a Digital Twin Lab at the Klagenfurt site. Carinthia, which has a stake in the research facility, is funding the initial set-up phase with one million euro.
"Since 2016, we have been continuously expanding the research landscape in Carinthia. In addition to the already established institute ROBOTICS, LIFE and POLICIES, our experts at DIGITAL are now also contributing their know-how," reports Heinz Mayer, Managing Director of JOANNEUM RESEARCH. "Because digitization is the key: we will have to spend much more time in digital spaces in order to remain fit for the future and continue to build expertise to accompany companies with innovations and make them resilient. With the Digital Twin Lab in Carinthia, completely new implementation possibilities can be opened up."
Matthias Rüther, Director at the DIGITAL Institute, is an expert in image processing and has strategically developed the research topic at the Institute. His vision for the Klagenfurt site: "We will further intensify this research topic here and deal with the digital twins of traffic routes, mobility, agriculture, machines, products and services. This will open up new subject areas in simulation, traffic, spatial planning, asset management, building information modeling and education."
Completion by 2027
The establishment of the laboratory will proceed rapidly. In the ramp-up phase until March 2024, a project team will be established. The complete site with ten employees, 100 square meters of laboratory space and 130 square meters of office space will be completed by 2027. Facilities and research equipment worth 1.3 million euros have already been moved to the site. The funds contributed by Carinthia for the start-up phase come from the European Resilience Fund.
JOANNEUM RESEARCH has been operating at the site since 2015, when ROBOTICS, the Institute for Robotics and Flexible Production, was opened. This was followed by the two institutes POLICIES and LIFE. Meanwhile 22 experts are researching current issues and thus support numerous companies in Carinthia with sustainable solutions.
"The participation of the State of Carinthia in JOANNEUM RESEARCH is a particularly important cornerstone of the strong and steadily growing research axis South," emphasizes Carinthia's Governor Peter Kaiser. "The research institutions in the state, like the educational institutions, are among our most important resources, because they produce the raw material of the future: education."
Gaby Schaunig, Research Officer and Deputy Governor of Carinthia, also sees JOANNEUM RESEARCH's location at Klagenfurt's Lakeside Park as being perfectly integrated into Carinthia's vibrant research landscape. "Around the Digital Twin Lab there are numerous links with the University of Klagenfurt, the Lakeside Labs, the Carinthian University of Applied Sciences, Wood K Plus, and also the Digital Innovation Hub DIH Süd."