The FashionBrain Consortium

Zalando SE

Founded in 2008 in Berlin, Zalando SE is Europe’s leading online fashion platform and connects customers, brands and partners.
We offer our customers a one-stop, convenient shopping experience with an extensive selection of fashion articles including shoes, apparel and accessories, with free delivery and returns. Our assortment of over 2,000 international brands ranges from popular global brands, fast fashion and local brands, and is complemented by our private label products. Our localized offering addresses the distinct preferences of our customers in each of the 17 European markets we serve: Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Poland and the United Kingdom. Our logistics network with three centrally located fulfillment centers in Germany allows us to efficiently serve our customers throughout Europe.
We believe that our integration of fashion, operations and online technology give us the capability to deliver a compelling value proposition to both our customers and fashion brand partners. Our artificial intelligence research lab, Zalando Research, plays an important role in this vision. Our research goals include developing novel methods that allow machines to “understand” visual, natural language and other types of data to enable new and compelling services and applications for our customers. Through Zalando Research we are involved in the FashionBrain project; together with other researchers around Europe, we strive to create innovative, state-of-the-art technologies for text-to-image search and natural language understanding.

Beuth University

Beuth University of Applied Sciences Berlin (Beuth HS) belongs to the ten biggest universities of applied sciences in Germany and is one of Berlin’s old-established universities for applied sciences. Nearly 300 professors conduct teaching and research with 13.000 students at the university in Europe’s startup metropolis Berlin. The university also has a long history in commercial exploitations of scientific results with more than 80 spin-offs.

The research group “Data Science”, lead by Alexander Löser, exists since 2014. Main focus areas are NLP/Machine Understanding, Deep Learning on GPUs and CPUs, Massive Parallel Processing (MPP) Engines, Spatial Databases and Learning Analytics. Professors Stefan Edlich, Patrick Erdelt, Felix Gers, Kristian Hildebrand, Alexander Löser (Speaker), Agathe Merceron and Petra Sauer work on both, fundamental and applied research problems. In 2016 the spinoff “Pyramics” received seed funding from BMWi (EXIST SEED) for an optical sensor and a data analysis platform for analyzing buying behavior at the point-of-sale. INDREX is another prototype currently tested with various industrial partners for managing text data in a relational DBMS, such as Cloudera IMPALA. The data science master’s program in English language will start in 2017 and will focus on the specific needs of startups and major industrial partners in Berlin.

The University of Sheffield

The University of Sheffield has a strong track record in EU funding. Since 2007, the institution has participated in 353 FP7 and Horizon 2020 projects with a total value (for all partners) of €1,087M of which we received £164.5M. The above projects have had 1695 collaborators in 38 countries.

These projects span all funding instruments, and include many collaborative projects where the University of Sheffield is the coordinator.

The University of Sheffield is one of the UK’s leading research-led Universities with an international reputation and provides a high quality physical, intellectual and cultural environment. Close links exist with industry, commerce and the professions, and the University achieves consistent success in attracting research grants and funding from regional, national and international organisations. Additionally, the University is a founding member of the World Wide University (WUN) network, a partnership of 17 research led universities that helps to build global research communities by supporting collaboration. In 201516, the University has over 27,000 students (undergraduate and postgraduate), 26% of whom are from overseas. The QS World University Rankings 201516 placed Sheffield as the 80th university worldwide and 16th in the UK.

The University of Fribourg

The eXascale Infolab at the University of Fribourg (Switzerland) was established in 2011 by Prof. Dr. Philippe Cudré Mauroux.
The laboratory specializes in research tackling big data challenges with a focus on textual, social, and linked data, as well as its
infrastructures. The research activities carried at the laboratory include:

● Large scale information management (semantic web, linked data, scientific data).
● Stream processing and anomaly detection (social media and smart cities).
● Knowledge extraction and discovery from large corpuses of unstructured (i.e., textual) data.
● Leveraging Human intelligence for completing complex tasks that cannot be handled effectively by a computer.

The key personnel from the eXascale Infolab  group involved in the FashionBrain project are
Prof. Philippe Cudré-Mauroux and Dr. Mourad Khayati


Fashwell automatically recognizes products in images. Company’s vision is to make every image instantly shoppable. Fashwell achieves this by powering SaaS product recognition tools – like AI-powered search by image and recommendation engines – for fashion and furniture brands, retailers and eCommerce players across the globe. Easy to integrate into any platform, Fashwell’s products drive conversions, create new revenue channels and seriously boost user engagement.

MonetDB Solutions

MonetDB Solutions, a spin-off company of the Dutch national research institute for mathematics and computer science (CWI), is the official technical consulting company of the open-source analytical database system MonetDB, specialised in database technologies for Business Intelligence and Big Data Analytics. In MonetDB Solutions world-leading database researchers and engineers support software companies in developing leading edge applications addressing vertical markets, such as telecom, health care and education. For more information, visit

Since 2011, column-store technology as pioneered in MonetDB has found its way into the product offerings of all major commercial database vendors in relational database systems