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German Research Institute for Public Administration

Cooperative structures to control embedded systems: Connecting the public administration to intelligent environments of a Industrie 4.0

It is one of the key challenges of Industrie 4.0-ecosystems to define a suitable approach of collaborative control for embedded systems and intelligent environments. "Embedded systems" are involved whenever a participant incorporates hardware and software components into a comprehensive product in order to realize product-specific functional features. Defined interfaces and protocols make it possible for them to interact with the outside world. The smart factories of the future will control and coordinate many processes in real time via embedded networked systems. An industrial data space connects the individual levels of interaction. This interface accomplishes the task of an interpreter for seamless communication between various technical instances as well as that of a data custodian for factually correct and trustworthy allocation of sensitive business and personal data.

These autonomous systems require an appropriate risk management. They are on the one hand risk averse, while on the other hand also particularly open to risk: under their regime the reliability of persons is less critical than the reliability of the system (system stability). They promise maximum gains in efficiency, but at the same time can only be controlled to a certain extent and can therefore prove to be inefficient and dangerous with internal control errors/deficits. Standards for proper output programming have to therefore stand on top of the agenda of an innovation cycle - at least from a regulatory point of view.

The public administration must be effectively, securely and legally connected with the intelligent environments. Otherwise the idea of a state supervision over and malfunction-related intervention in autonomous embedded systems cannot be realized.

The projects asks the scientifically challenging question: What does a cooperative control approach for embedded systems and intelligent environments look like - both in terms of competition and public procurement law? A particular focus is on the questions of data allocation, data sovereignty and open data in the ecosystem of a Smart City.

Note: The text on this home page is copyrighted. It is taken verbatim or based on Martini, "Digitalisierung als Herausforderung und Chance für Staat und Verwaltung" (Digitalisation as Challenge and Chance for State and Administration), FÖV Discussion Paper No. 85, 2016, in particular p. 67 ff. 


Senior Fellow

Prof. Dr. Mario Martini




Tobias Rehorst