The Baden-Württemberg AI Alliance: a lighthouse project for artificial intelligence

The Baden-Württemberg AI Alliance networks business, science and politics in order to make the potential of AI technologies accessible to everyone. We spoke to some of the people behind the project.

In March of this year, the AI Alliance Baden-Württemberg officially launched its activities with a major kick-off event in Karlsruhe. “After three years of preparatory work, we are delighted to be able to fully launch this unique approach in Germany with our partners,” says David Hermanns, CEO of KI-Allianz eG. “With the cooperative, we want to offer an alternative concept within the framework of a so-called PPP model, in which we do not want to leave the playing field to the monopolists in such an important key technology as artificial intelligence, but rather build a platform on an equal footing. So that AI solutions for people can be developed and applied here in a trustworthy manner and for the benefit of our society.”

David Hermanns at the AI Allians launch event at #SmartProductionPark. Photo: CyberFourm
David Hermanns at the AI Allians launch event at #SmartProductionPark. Photo: CyberFourm

The Baden-Württemberg AI Alliance, an initiative of the regions of Karlsruhe, Stuttgart, Neckar-Alb, Freiburg, Northern Black Forest and Ostalbkreis, has set itself the goal of establishing an internationally competitive and visible ecosystem for artificial intelligence. This ambitious goal is supported by extensive funding of 11.5 million euros from the Baden-Württemberg Ministry of Economic Affairs, Labor and Tourism.

Ingo Hoffmann at the AI Alliance kick-off event in the #SmartProductionPark. Photo: CyberFourm
Ingo Hoffmann at the AI Alliance kick-off event in the #SmartProductionPark. Photo: CyberFourm

Ingo Hoffman, Managing Director of KI-Allianz eG, explains the role of the alliance: “As KI-Allianz Baden-Württemberg, we see ourselves as a connecting element between business, science and politics, with the aim of securing and expanding economic success. Targeted networking of stakeholders, knowledge transfer and transparency make the potential of AI technologies accessible to everyone.”

AI Alliance: driving force for artificial intelligence

Akiza Hagami, Community Manager Region Karlsruhe

The long-term vision of the Baden-Württemberg AI Alliance is to make the potential of AI technologies accessible to everyone through the targeted networking of expertise in the region and beyond, the transfer of knowledge and transparency.

“As a recognized contact point and driving force for AI, we strive to jointly lead Baden-Württemberg into the future, increase value creation and promote sustainable growth. This will make a significant contribution to the further development and efficient use of artificial intelligence and strengthen us together at national and European level,” emphasizes Akiza Hagami, Community Manager Region Karlsruhe.

AI alliance: promoting innovation

Lennart Schleifer, Community Manager Region Karlsruhe.

A central aspect of the initiative is the promotion of innovation, especially for SMEs. “To support innovations in the field of artificial intelligence, especially for small and medium-sized enterprises, we rely on targeted innovation projects and regional community management – this enables the necessary local accessibility,” explains Lennart Schleifer, Community Manager Region Karlsruhe.

Meanwhile, innovation projects for SMEs, such as the AI Innovations Lab, the AI Challenge and the FRAI Accelerator, focus on bridging the gap between theoretical knowledge and practical application in order to enable SMEs to successfully implement AI solutions.

AI Alliance: Effective cooperation and networking

The structure of the KI-Allianz is based on close networking between the member regions of Freiburg, Karlsruhe, Neckar-Alb, Northern Black Forest, Ostalbkreis and Stuttgart. All locations have community managers who ensure efficient collaboration and a profitable exchange within the network.

There is a lot of interest in the KI-Allianz Baden Würrtember. Photo: KI-Allianz Baden-Würrtemberg
There is a lot of interest in the KI-Allianz Baden Würrtember. Photo: KI-Allianz Baden-Würrtemberg

“Because in order to promote the application of AI innovations between research, business and society, everyone needs access and sound information – including about the technologies and use cases that already exist,” explains Hagami. “We promote this knowledge transfer through events and workshops and targeted networking. The events aim to make it easier for all participants to access AI technologies, to convey the basics through to expert knowledge and to develop practical solutions for use in the context of different industries and use cases.”

In this context, cooperation with the project partners also plays an important role, including DIZ | Digital Innovation Center, Fraunhofer IPA, Fraunhofer IOSB, FZI Research Center for Information Technology, Aalen University, KIT (Karlsruhe Institute of Technology), the City of Freiburg, Freiburg University Hospital, the University of Stuttgart, the University of Tübingen and the business development agencies,
cities, regions, chambers of industry and commerce and administrations of the participating regions.

AI alliance focuses on inclusivity

Info Hoffmann explains the AI Alliance at the InnovationFestival @karlsruhe.digital 2023. Photo: Netzoptimisten
Info Hoffmann explains the AI Alliance at the InnovationFestival @karlsruhe.digital 2023. Photo: Netzoptimisten

The AI Alliance also attaches great importance to the accessibility and inclusivity of the technologies. “As an open network, we promote sustainable change and growth – and play an active role in shaping it. In addition to the active roles of the community managers in the local regions, we will keep all interested parties up to date on current events, workshops, use cases and cooperation opportunities via various channels such as our newsletter and social media from the second half of the year,” adds Schleifer. “We pay particular attention to SMEs, small businesses, start-ups and small and medium-sized enterprises.
interested regions to ensure that everyone benefits from the potential of AI development.”

The Baden-Württemberg AI Alliance therefore not only stands for the promotion of artificial intelligence, but also for the responsible use of this key technology. Close cooperation between different players creates an ecosystem that promotes innovation while ensuring that it is used for the benefit of society.