The Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) is the merger of the former Universität Karlsruhe (TH) and the former Forschungszentrum Karlsruhe. With about 8000 employees and an annual budget of 700 million Euros, KIT is the largest technical research institution within Germany. KIT is both, a state university with research and teaching and, at the same time, a large-scale research institution of the Helmholtz Association. KIT has a strong reputation as one of Germany’s university of excellence, aiming to set the highest standards for education, research and innovation.
The Institute AIFB (Applied Informatics and Formal Description Methods) at KIT is one of the world-leading institutions in Semantic Web technology. Approximately 20 researchers of the knowledge management research group are establishing theoretical results and scalable implementations for the field, closely collaborating with the sister institute KSRI (Karlsruhe Service Research Institute), the start-up company ontoprise GmbH, and the Knowledge Management group at the FZI Research Center for Information Technologies. Particular emphasis is given to areas such as logical foundations, Semantic Web mining, ontology creation engineering and management, RDF data management, semantic web search, and the implementation of interfaces and tools.
The institute is involved in many industry-university co-operations, both on a European and a national level, including a number of intelligent Web systems case studies. Currently, AIFB is participating in several EU-funded projects, related to knowledge representation, reasoning and ontologies, including X-Media, NeOn, ACTIVE, and SOA4All, and several projects funded by other bodies. AIFB is actively participating in many W3C standardization efforts, most notably the OWL working group. In the EU FP6 integrated project SEKT the research group developed the Open Source Semantic MediaWiki (SMW) system which is currently the most widely deployed semantic wiki. Also, two search systems have been developed and actively maintained for supporting semantic search (the Semantic Web Search Engine SWSE) and for search on the Web of open RDF data (the Data Web Search system SearchWebDB). The systems have earned prizes at recent Billion Triple Challenges by demonstrating the scalability and applicability of search on real life Web scenarios.