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Information Systems for the Circular Economy


The extraction of raw materials, their processing into products, and the use of products cause impacts on our environment. The impacts’ consequences are manifold, i.a., resource depletion, global warming, and emission-induced health problems. Contrary to this existing, polluting “linear” economy, the idea of a circular economy (CE) developed. However, several studies determined information gaps as one of the significant barriers to why CE is not a reality yet. Hence, information systems (IS) will play a crucial role in the upcoming CE and the transition toward it. On the other hand, IS for the CE are barely studied. The presentation will give some insights into our ongoing research on which requirements the CE introduces to IS and how IS might influence the CE.


René H. Reich is a PhD researcher in Prof. Karel Van Acker’s group on Sustainability Assessments of Materials and Circular Economy at the Department of Materials Engineering of KU Leuven. He joined the team in November 2020 after graduating with his master’s in Materials Engineering and Sustainable Metallurgy from MU Leoben and KU Leuven. René completed research stays at Chalmers University (Sweden), PolyU (Hong Kong), and UC Berkeley (USA). In his master’s thesis, he elaborated on the datafication of material mechanisms in nuclear applications. In addition to his PhD research, he completes a master’s in Artificial Intelligence at JKU Linz.


Visit of the Ambassador of Tajikistan

On February 8, 2023 the ambassador of Tajikistan, Dr. Imomudin Sattorov, visited the DFKI in Saarbrücken. Our research group, SSE, had the opportunity to present current research results on the topic of artificial intelligence, including Nurten Öksüz-Köster´s presentation titeled “Artificial Intelligence for Stationary Retail”.

Doctoral Thesis Defense

We are pleased to announce that our team member, Nurten Öksüz-Köster, successfully defended her doctoral thesis titled “Stress Prediction for Understanding Customer Needs in the Context of Retailing”.

Completion of FDA Project

Our project Future Data Assets – Intelligent Data Accounting for the Determination of Entrepreneurial Data Capital (FDA) which has started on 01.08.2019 officially ended on 31.01.2023. Besides Saarland University, project partners included FIR e.V. at RWTH Aachen University, Deloitte, DMG Mori, and Atlan-Tec, and 8 scientific articles were published based on the project.

Visit of the Korean Winter School

On January 31, 2023, the Korean Winter School visited us at DFKI Saarbrücken. And we had the opportunity to inform them about our different research areas with several lectures including Amin Harig’s presentation about the SPAICER project titled: Sequential Anomaly Detection in Manufacturing.

Presentation at HICSS Conference 2023 

Our team started the year 2023 with Dr. Sabine Janzen’s presentation of the paper ‘Anticipating Energy-driven Crises in Process Industry by AI-based Scenario Planning‘ at HICSS conference 2023 which was nominated for the best paper award.

Article Published in Tagesspiegel

An article by Prof. Maaß titled “How to fix security problems in data trading”, related to the EVAREST project, is published in the Tagesspiegel Background and is available to read online.

Visit of the German Patent and Trademark Office

Members of the German Patent and Trademark Office visited DFKI Saarbrücken. And our team members had the opportunity to present the demonstrator titled “Contract Broker – a legally secure environment for contract-based exchange and processing of sensitive data” from the EVAREST project.

52nd Conference of the German Informatics Society

Our team members attended the 52nd annual conference of the German Informatics Society in Hamburg. Dusan Dokic presented the paper “Towards a Data Quality Index for Data Valuation in the Data Economy”. And Pascal Ahiagble presented the paper “Approaches for Automated Data Quality Analysis: Syntactic and Semantic Assessment”. Both papers are part of the research project “Future Data Assets”.

Visit of Prof. Hideaki Takeda

On September 15, Prof. Hideaki Takeda from the National Institute of Informatics (NII) in Tokyo visited us at the DFKI in Saarbrücken. The focus of the interesting lectures was especially on Knowledge graphs.

PAIRS Consortium Meeting

The first consortium meeting of PAIRS project, funded by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Protection took place in Düsseldorf in September 2022 where we had the opportunity to present the first results of the first year of the project and our demos on the Hidden Problem Detector and the Outage Predictor were very well received by the attendees.

Congress for Digital Technologies 

Our I4SE team attended the Congress for Digital Technologies hosted by the  Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action, and presented our SPAICER, QUASIM, and EVAREST projects. 


We presented prototypes of our PAIRS research project on AI-based crisis management to Saarland’s deputy minister for Economy, Innovation, Digital and Energy, at the ACHEMA world forum of the process industry in Frankfurt.

Best Paper Award in AMCIS

We are proud to announce that the paper ”Data Sharing in the German Food Industry – Empirical Insights” presented by our team member, Hannah Stein in the Americas‘ Conference on Information Systems (AMCIS) was awarded the Kauffman Best Paper Award.

Visit of the Minister President

We had the pleasure of welcoming  Minister President of Saarland, Anke Rehlinger, to our Smart Service Engineering  team at DFKI. The visit was focused on the work of Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Maaß’s research group on the application of KI on anti doping analysis.

IEEE International Conference on Digital Health

Our team member, Maxx Richard Rahman, presented his  paper titled “Detection of Erythropoitin in Blood to Uncover Doping in Sports using Machine Learning” at the IEEE International Conference on Digital Health 2022 (ICDH 22), Barcelona. 

Smart Data Economy Funding Program

We attended the closing event of the Smart Data Economy funding program at the GLS Campus Berlin where we presented  the demo on the eContract Broker from our EVAREST project. 

OH!Talk; Leadership Exchange

The first session of our OH!Talks series was held with the interesting talk by Tobias Gimmler, CEO of LuxTek GmbH, followed by a panel discussion, moderated by Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Maaß.

Our Team’s Win in Hackathon

Our Paris project team won the second place at the interschutz Hannover hackathon. Tthey developed and presented a prototype for outage prediction in crisis management based on the analysis of weather and twitter data. 

Hannover Messe 2022

We attended the Hannover Messe, with our projects SPAICER and EVAREST, which took place at the world’s largest exhibition center with over 6,500 exhibitors.

Global Industry Exhibition in the AI Village

The Smart Service Engineering research group was present in 2022 Global Industry exhibition in the AI Village, Paris, one of the world’s leading trade fairs for the industry, with the projects SPAICER and  EVAREST.

SPAICER Consortium Meeting

Spirit of SPAICER, the 5th SPAICER consortium meeting, took place from April 5th to 6th as a hybrid event at the host SEITEC GmbH in Erfurt. Associated partners and project sponsor came together, enjoyed interesting presentations and demos, and took part in exciting discussions.

Anti-Doping Projects on SR

Our anti-doping projects, which are aimed at using AI technologies to facilitate detection of doping, were broadcasted on Saarländischer Rundfunk, the official radio and television broadcaster in Saarland.

Talk in Forum Digital Technologies

Prof. Maaß shared his ideas on the data economy vision in Forum Digital Technologies, to explain the future of data economy.