The LIT Law Lab is now part of an Austrian Research Promotion Agency lead project focusing on research to digitalize the mechanical engineering sector.
Companies active in the mechanical and plant engineering sector are increasingly confronted with complex demands and multi-faceted challenges. To continue successful business practices on a global scale, companies need individualized solutions adapted to specific challenges.
An international jury at the Austrian Research Promotion Agency (FFG) has recommended the research study, "TraceMe", be eligible for funding. The scheduled 3-year study involves a total investment of € 2.6 million. The Upper Austrian Office of Economics will provide funding in the amount of € 1.2 million. The Linz Institute of Technology (LIT) Law Lab will join the study and together with five other research institutions and eight companies, the Law Lab will be technologically involved in the study’s interdisciplinary development by providing a so-called “digital thread”. The goal is to connect data and data flow from all of the corresponding technical disciplines and company divisions in an effort to facilitate a more holistic view of a machine or plant during the product’s entire life cycle. The study not only aims to significantly increase data digital consistency in the mechanical engineering sector, but also improve increasing complexities in mechanical and plant engineering by improving methodological expertise, particularly when it comes to utilizing digital technologies.
By bringing different study partners in academia and business together, the study pools key expertise in various disciplines. The content also raises a number of legal questions and together with fellow research partners, the LIT Law Lab intends to address the various issues and support the effort to comprehensively identify the respective legal parameters, ranging from data protection law and civil liability law to antitrust and competition law. This will help to better identifying ways to legally secure implementation. Prof. Michael Mayrhofer, head of the LIT Law Lab, believes the new "TraceMe" study will benefit from the Law Lab’s experience with interdisciplinary research studies: "It’s great to see that legal sciences are becoming more involved in research studies about new technologies. These kinds of interdisciplinary collaboration efforts give us an opportunity to not only develop solutions that take legal parameters into consideration from the start, but also an opportunity to not be bound by limitations that, upon closer examination, do not even exist."
The study’s findings will ultimately result in concrete support services designed to assist companies in Upper Austria, particularly in the field of mechanical and plant engineering. In addition, the study’s findings can be anchored in corresponding degree programs and taught to students in the classroom.