Kurpfalz, an artificial intelligence (AI) laboratory in Heidelberg, which is an initiative of the Heidelberg Technology Park in collaboration with leading business initiative Baden Württemberg: Connected e.V. (bwcon GmbH), gets out of the blocks: On December 27, 2019, the Baden Württemberg Ministry of Economic Affairs, Employment and Housing announced that it will provide 2.3 million euro in funding for the use of AI in small and medium-sized companies (SMEs) based on models derived from regional AI labs. The Kurpfalz AI lab is one of 19 regional AI labs funded by the state government within the scope of the “Aktionsprogramm KI für den Mittelstand” (AI for SMEs action program).
The mission of the Kurpfalz AI lab is to make innovative AI technology easily accessible to SMEs while also providing the option of advanced training as well as hardware and software resources.
“We are very pleased to have received funding approval,” says Dr. André Domin, Managing Director of Technologiepark Heidelberg GmbH. “AI has proven to be an outstanding methodology for knowledge acquisition and competitiveness in research and development, production, and process optimization. However, due to a lack of experts and tools, its use, particularly in SMEs, is still rudimentary,” he proceeds to explain. “And we have established the Kurpfalz AI lab in collaboration with bwcon GmbH to change this and provide smaller companies in the Heidelberg area with better access to AI.”
In collaboration with UC Berkeley, the initiators of the Kurpfalz AI lab will open a test and experimental space to discuss ideas and scopes of application with consummate experts in Heidelberg. High-tech company HD Vision Systems GmbH, also located at the technology park, will be one of the first users of the AI lab. “We use AI to ‘teach’ robots how to accomplish various tasks in modern industrial production using our LumiScan sensors. This enables us to optimize manufacturing processes and prepare companies for Industry 4.0,” explains Dr. Christoph Garbe, founder and Managing Director of HD Vision Systems. “For companies like ours, the Kurpfalz AI lab provides a unique opportunity to network. We look forward to engaging with other companies to discuss artificial intelligence with them.”
The Kurpfalz AI lab will host a kick-off event at the Business Development Center Heidelberg on April 22, 2020.
More information about events and offers will be released in the coming weeks.