State Research Center OPTIMAS

HANNOVER MESSE 2022: ACCELERATING COMPUTATIONALLY INTENSIVE PROCESSES IN RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT PROJECTS VIA THE CLOUD

(from left to right) Milan Ender, Pascal Frey and Jan Morbach founded the start-up Aithericon. Photo: Aithericon

Once a prototype has been developed, a time-consuming testing and analysis phase usually follows in research and development. Vast amounts of data from distributed sources flow through complex, repetitive computing processes. The Kaiserslautern-based start-up Aithericon has taken on the task of accelerating this phase. The founders are working on a cloud-based platform that brings together the necessary infrastructure in a central environment and thus automates computer-based research and development processes. The founders will present their project at the research stand of the state of Rhineland-Palatinate (Hall 2, Stand B40) at the Hannover Messe from May 30 to June 3. 

Milan Ender, one of the Aithericon founders, has experienced first-hand how time-consuming data processing is in research projects. He brought the idea for the start-up with him from his work as a research assistant in the magnetism working group at the Technical University of Kaiserslautern (TUK). "In our research group, we often use numerical simulations as development tools," explains the physicist. "In this context, research data, in particular, are very complex, originate from different sources, and are available in various formats. Development and research processes, which are always iterative over several cycles, therefore involve a lot of merging, interpretation, and computational work. The additional challenge: Over a wide variety of projects and over the years, huge amounts of data are thus generated in institutes or research departments that can no longer be precisely assigned retrospectively." 

After graduating, Ender shifted his scientific focus from research to research infrastructure. "What companies have been doing for a long time to centralize their data landscape, we now want to enable for scientific purposes," says the founder. The idea: a cloud platform as an environment for all development work, including data management, in the spirit of the "platform-as-a-service" concept. Users can compile access-protected applications for their specific development project and link them to form a virtual computing assembly line. Users place their simulation model, code, or program on this assembly line, and the automated computing work can start. All input and output data are also stored in the associated digital workspace. This also ensures traceability in the sense of the increasingly demanded careful and transparent handling of research data. 

Ender comments: "We integrate existing open source and commercial applications into our platform. Everything is specially adapted to scientific computing tasks. In addition to the computational tools, AI methods are also available, so that not only analysis processes, but also optimization processes linked to them are possible." For example, virtual prototypes can be designed and improved automatically in simulations. Such processes require enormous computing capacities, which the Aithericon platform can automatically switch on thanks to cloud providers. This allows institutions and companies to adapt their hardware resources to demand dynamically. 

The founders will demonstrate how the cloud platform works in detail to interested visitors at the Hannover Messe using a test access to the live system. 

The start-up project Aithericon is funded by an EXIST start-up grant as part of the start-up support program of the German Federal Ministry of Economics and Climate Protection. It supports students, graduates, and scientists from universities and non-university research institutions who want to realize their start-up idea and implement it in a business plan. The program's goal is to realize a research transfer from the university into the economy. 

In addition, the start-up office of the TU Kaiserslautern and the University of Kaiserslautern is available to advise the three founders. In addition to Milan Ender, these are Pascal Frey, also a physicist, and the business expert Jan Morbach. Jun.-Prof. Philipp Pirro provides technical support for the start-up. In his research group under the umbrella of the AG Magnetismus, Ender and Frey completed their scientific training and started work on the cloud platform.Contact for questions:  
Milan Ender 
Aithericon 
Tel.: 0631 205-2382 
E-mail: contact@aithericon.com 

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The appearance of the Kaiserslautern start-ups is coordinated and organized by the project "IDEENWALD-Ökosystem" of the TU Kaiserslautern and the Kaiserslautern University of Applied Sciences. The aim of the project is, among other things, to create a close-knit network of people interested in founding a company, start-ups, and established companies, as well as to provide meeting places, workshops, and creative spaces. In addition, there are various seminars and workshops for interested parties, such as summer camps, which focus on the methods that can be used to turn one's ideas into reality. In addition, start-up ambassadors help spread the start-up spirit on campus. The German Federal Ministry of Economics and Climate Protection is funding the project for four years with two million euros. 

Contact persons at the fair are: Bernhard Lorig (0631 205-2833; lorig(at)gruendungsbuero.info) and Nina Bernhart (0631 205-5178; bernhart(at)gruendungsbuero.info). 

Klaus Dosch from the Department of Technology and Innovation at the TU Kaiserslautern is also the contact person for companies and, among other things, arranges contacts with science. 

Contact: Klaus Dosch, email: dosch(at)rti.uni-kl.de, Tel.: 0631 205-3001 

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