Artificial intelligence (AI) is one of the key forward-looking technologies which will play a decisive role for future prosperity in Germany and Europe. The Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy has increased funding for the tried and tested EXIST Programme and for the German Accelerator by a total of approximately €46.5 million for the period until the end of 2024 to support startups in the field of AI.
Federal Minister Altmaier said: "In the context of the EXIST Programme, we are funding the transfer of research findings into applications and thus getting the horse-power generated by research onto the roads – now also with additional funding for new startups in the field of AI. I am delighted that Science & Startups in Berlin is the first model project. Further model projects in other regions are to follow. The success of the startup CELONIS, which was set up with funding from EXIST and supported by the German Accelerator and was valued at $11 billion last week, shows the great potential of the combination of startup funding and AI."
The funding is to support the establishment of new startups and networking between universities and research institutions, on the one hand, and existing AI companies and the economy as a whole, on the other hand, in selected regions. In addition, it aims to improve the visibility of Germany at international level, e.g. in AI hotspots such as Silicon Valley, Boston and Singapore, through the German Accelerator.
Science & Startups, the cooperation between the startup services of the Freie Universität Berlin, the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, the Technische Universität Berlin and the Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin –, is the first model project to receive €6.85 million to support spin-offs in the field of artificial intelligence (AI). The model project covers the entire innovation chain, from the identification of the startup potential in research and the targeted acceleration of the feasibility phase to an accelerator programme at the new KI Campus Berlin. In addition, it is planned to set up an AI academy for startups and stakeholders.
The Land of Berlin is co-funding the Science & Startups project and ensuring its inclusion in Berlin’s AI strategy. The project is being implemented in close cooperation with the Berlin Institute for the Foundations of Learning and Data (BIFOLD), one of the flagship projects of Germany’s AI research.