With more than 900 employees, DFKI is the world’s largest research center in this field. It has spawned more than 80 spin-off companies and has big league partners and shareholders such as Airbus, Nvidia, Intel, Google, Microsoft and Ricoh.
Upcoming AI clusters
Germany’s younger research clusters such as Cyber Valley in southern Germany are also gaining influence and considerable momentum. Founded just two years ago by the Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems (MPII) together with auto groups Bosch, Daimler, BMW and Porsche, the cluster has just secured €1.25m investment from Amazon for a research cooperation. The U.S. giant has also established its own AI research center in Tübingen. “Research into artificial intelligence in Germany clearly focuses on the question: how can AI make internationally successful German industries, services and products even better?” explains the managing director of GTAI Robert Hermann.
This focus on AI applications is one of the key strengths of German research and development (R&D). “With regard to AI, the boundary between basic research, application-oriented research and transfer to industry is fluid,” says Hermann. The development of machine learning technology is progressing so fast that there may only be a few months between the idea stage and a first application. “Many AI applications have what it takes to make a profound change to entire industries and branches once they pass the field test,” he adds.