Cognitive Internet Technologies

Fraunhofer-Cluster of Excellence »Cognitive Internet Technologies CIT«

The cognitive Internet of Things (IoT), a combination of Machine Learning and the existing status quo of networked devices, promises an exciting technological future. In the Fraunhofer-Cluster Cognitive Internet Technologies (CIT), 13 Fraunhofer Institutes are jointly researching cognitive technologies and the industrial Internet. The long-term goal is to build a new Internet for industry by researching cognitive technologies - from sensors, intelligent learning processes in data processing up to the cloud.

The progressing digitalization makes it clear: the mere orientation towards classical web-based, digital processes does not go far enough. Competitive applications, products and services require the trustworthy use of the diverse sensor data of the Internet of Things, their cross-company semantic integration and the provision of intelligent, learning services in order to create a »Cognitive Internet«.

The research is divided into three centers:

  • »IoT-COMMs«
  • »Fraunhofer Data Spaces«
  • »Machine Learning«

The cluster brings together these three fields of technology to bridge the gap between physical, digital and social worlds. Cognitive Internet technologies are the key to digital sovereignty and economic competitiveness.

Advantages for Companies

The CIT cluster enables companies to shape their business for the future by opening up market access with cognitive solutions and products. These intelligent solutions and products are intended to preserve the competitiveness of German companies, intensify their innovative strength and secure digital sovereignty. The CIT cluster provides cognitive solutions for every phase of the transformation process through expert knowledge.

Bundled Competence – The Research Centers

The research work in the CIT cluster takes place in the research centers focusing on IoT communication, data rooms and Machine Learning. As an institute, we are active in the center Machine Learning. Our High Performance Center Simulation and Software Based Innovation furthermore belongs to the research facilities of the CIT Cluster.

Machine Learning

In this center we are working on the development of a new generation of reliable Machine Learning methods. »Informed Machine Learning« expands the application spectrum of Machine Learning. The focus is on the following fields:

  • »Informed Learning – Hybrid Learning«: integration of data- and knowledge-driven methods and use of »a-priori« knowledge
  • »Informed Learning – Simulation-Based Learning«: automatic generation of plausible training data for thin data scenarios
  • »Resource-Aware Learning«: approaches to the optimal use of existing infrastructures, such as high performance computing and IoT edge solutions


The Center combines research in the basic technologies of networking, localization and information security to focus development for the Internet of Things on two key industries: agile and mobile production systems in the industrial environment as well as mobility applications and autonomous driving.


The focus is on robustness, interference immunity and short delay times as well as information security and authenticity.

Data Spaces

The focus here is on work at the data infrastructure level. This represents the link between physical communication and the application level. Particular focus is placed on data sovereignty and economics, which provide the basis for data-driven value chains.


The »Industrial Data Spaces« initiative has already created a reference architecture model that is currently being used as a blueprint in other initiatives such as Medical and Mobility Data Space.