Earth observation (EO) is enjoying an ever-widening field of application, from crop yield forecasting and land cover detection to urban planning and disaster management. With the sheer volume of data generated however, simple manual analysis is often no longer practicable, giving rise to the need for automatic tools such as AI or, more specific, Machine Learning (ML).
In order to provide such tools for commercial customers, DFKI is creating the AI4EO Solution Factory. Co-funded by the ESA InCubed programme and initially scheduled to run for three years, the Solution Factory will combine the market knowledge of industry partners with DFKI’s AI expertise to provide customised algorithms for a wide range of applications based on satellite data. The funding contract for the initiative was confirmed at this year’s ESA Φ-week event.
The AI4EO Solution Factory also expands the partner network to include the DFKI Transferlabs. ESA and DFKI had founded such a lab, the ESA_Lab@DFKI, at the beginning of the year. The Transferlabs are a still young, successful cooperation model of the DFKI, with which concrete AI solutions are developed in close cooperation with industry partners, from the research ecosystem. For this purpose, the partners send personnel to DFKI to work in the research areas. The sustainable transfer of innovative AI technologies to industry and society is thus closely linked to scientific progress.