The German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy is funding a four-year model project by Science & Startups with 6.85 million euros. This is intended to create significantly more start-ups in the field of AI from science.
No 107/2021 from Jun 10, 2021
Joint press release issued by Freie Universität Berlin, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Technische Universität Berlin along with Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin
Science & Startups, the alliance of start-up services from Freie Universität Berlin, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Technische Universität Berlin, and Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin is receiving 6.85 million euros to fund spin-offs in the field of artificial intelligence (AI). The focus of the nationwide model project will be on expansion of the entire innovation chain geared toward AI, from the identification of start-up potentials in research to the targeted acceleration of the feasibility phase to an accelerator program on the new Artificial Intelligence (AI) Campus Berlin. The integration of a strong industrial network in all innovation phases will be just as much a core element as the establishment of an AI academy for start-ups and stakeholders. The model project is being set up like a company and with company building approaches from the start. Science & Startups enables access to the most important research potential in Berlin.
The model project financed by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy for four years is intended to specifically promote the establishment of startups in the field of artificial intelligence in the federal capital. "With the EXIST program, we are promoting the transfer of research into practice thus putting horsepower on the road - now also with additional funding for start-ups in the field of artificial intelligence. I am pleased that Science & Startups is the first model project to be launched here in Berlin; further model projects in other regions are to follow this example. Just how much potential there is in the combination of start-up funding and AI is demonstrated by the success of the startup CELONIS, which was valued at 11 billion dollars last week, founded with the help of EXIST and funded by the German Accelerator," says German Federal Minister for Economic Affairs and Energy Peter Altmaier.
The State of Berlin is co-financing the project and integrating it into the further development of the Berlin AI strategy. "I am very pleased that the model project from the Berlin University Alliance has been awarded the contract. This success underlines the considerable innovation potential of our excellence alliance and is also an important building block for the strategic further development of the AI ecosystem in the startup metropolis of Berlin. The students and researchers of the Berlin University Alliance play a central role in this," emphasizes Berlin’s governing mayor Michael Müller.
For the start-up services of the Berlin universities, the project offers the opportunity to bring the cross-cutting theme of AI even more into the mainstream of Berlin research in order to initiate as many start-up ideas as possible from science. "The successful acquisition underscores the outstanding capacities of the Berlin University Alliance in the area of knowledge and technology transfer," says Prof. Dr.-Ing. Dr. Sabine Kunst, spokesperson for the Berlin University Alliance and president of Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin. "The great application potential of AI can be seen across the alliance, for example, in the research areas of health, linguistics, materials, or quantum technologies. In the model project, we are also addressing ethical aspects of AI and their acceptance in economy and society," emphasizes Sabine Kunst.
The project is based on the existing structures of the innovation and start-up services. "With the funds we will be able to significantly increase the quantity of science-based start-ups in the field of AI and their scalability," explains Volker Hofmann, member of Science & Startups and managing director of Humboldt-Innovation GmbH. "To this end, we are developing and testing a topic-focused and entrepreneurial model for promoting innovation that will give rise to start-ups that will tackle and solve the challenges of today and the future."