Q&A

Do you have further questions about Knowledge4Retail? Please contact our project manager Andreas Wulfes at k4r@team-neusta.de.

In the Knowledge4Retail project – called K4R for short – partners from the IT, retail and research sectors have joined forces to revolutionise the stationary retail trade. The common goal: to build an AI data platform that connects the digital world with the stationary retail trade – and all of this as open source. In doing so, one challenge must be mastered: the K4R software can only offer new added value on the basis of many, different data. In this area, online shops are far ahead of the stationary trade, because the customer journey is far more transparent for them. However, there is also a willingness on the part of customers in the shops to share personal data, as long as this is associated with personal added value. The best example of this is services like Payback. With the help of the K4R software, shops are to be individually designed to meet customer needs and delivery processes optimised. In this way, the stationary shopping experience will be able to keep pace with online retailing in the long term.

The overall goal of the consortium is to build the open platform Knowledge4Retail (K4R), which serves as a core for both complex AI applications for planning as well as for robotics applications in retail shops. As a powerful database, this open source platform provides “semantic digital twins (semdt)” of retail shops as a basis for various AI and robotics applications from different suppliers. On the one hand, it reduces the set-up and set-up times for retail companies as well as cost barriers when introducing AI solutions. On the other hand, it reduces entry barriers for SMEs in the IT sector, which specialise in individual AI applications. The platform’s open standards give them easy access to the IT infrastructure of the retail companies.

The consortium of Knowledge4Retail consists of 13 partners from different industries. They bring with them the necessary expertise and qualifications in the fields of retail, AI algorithms, platform economics and IT integration. In addition to renowned universities and research institutions as well as large companies, relevant small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) are involved. You can find all consortium partners in our overview.

At K4R, the IT and software service provider team neusta acts as consortium leader and central contact for organisational questions, tasks and external contacts. As a group of companies, team neusta provides know-how in the areas of consulting, development and implementation of complex software, mobile and e-commerce solutions. You can find more information about team neusta at www.team-neusta.de.

The project volume amounts to 13 million euros – part of which is funded by the Federal Ministry of Economics and Energy and the other part is contributed by the consortium partners themselves.

Nowadays, more and more shopping experiences are taking place online, which has a detrimental effect on retail. In order to remain competitive, the retail sector must create the link between the analogue and digital world: The advantages of retail – customer confidence and the advisory skills of employees – are combined with digital services. This requires detailed and comprehensive digital models of shops and sales and operational processes that are not yet available. This is where K4R gets involved.

K4R enables retailers to use AI and robotics technologies in a cost-effective way. In this way, information on the daily setup of the shop as well as all relevant data on the shop, the customers and the goods are collected and bundled. In the long term, time-consuming manual processes, such as putting goods into the shop, can be supported by intelligent systems. This drives the digitalisation of stationary branches and increases their competitiveness.

There are currently four use cases being developed by consortium partners. On the website you will find project reports on Intelligent Intralogistics, Optimal Store Layout, Service Robots and Smart Refrigerators.

You can find all the use cases here

The semantic digital twin is the core of Knowledge4Retail and is currently still under development. In the context of K4R, the semdt maps all trade-relevant physical real-world objects that are relevant to the platform’s use cases and capabilities. Simply explained: It is a virtual, AI-based image of a retail branch. For example, the digital branch shows exactly how the shop and warehouse are structured, where which product is located and what the customers’ buying behaviour looks like. In the long term, this serves to analyse and optimise the branch and to create possible forecasts. The semdt is to be made available to retail companies within the open source platform and will enable them to connect to their own interfaces.
This is only a short summary of the complex topic of “semantic digital twin”. For questions and information on further technical details, please contact us personally.

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Funded by the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy on the basis of a resolution of the German Bundestag.

Funded by the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy on the basis of a resolution of the German Bundestag.

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