Frankfurt is to become a leading location for artificial intelligence (AI). „We have all the prerequisites to develop Frankfurt into an international AI hotspot: The world’s largest Internet node, state-of-the-art data centers, leading IT security research,“ said Minister of Economic Affairs Tarek Al-Wazir on Wednesday in the TechQuartier in Frankfurt. „We will therefore build a KI hub in Frankfurt, bringing together technology companies, universities and public institutions and serving as a springboard to commercialize new products and services.“ The basis for this is a Cabinet decision taken by the Hessian state government for an AI strategy for the financial center.

AI will fundamentally change many areas of life and industry. In the financial sector, these changes will be particularly early and particularly comprehensive. Hesse is the financial center of Frankfurt, home to the leading financial center in continental Europe and Europe’s central supervisory and regulatory center. The financial industry in Frankfurt and the region plays a central role in the national, European and global economic system. Through the provision of payments and loans, as well as through the financing of investment projects, the sector forms the financing base for economic activity as a whole.

The immense potential of the Frankfurt financial center in the field of artificial intelligence is also underlined by a recent study by the consulting company Accenture, which specializes in new digital technologies and commissioned by the Hesse Ministry of Economic Affairs. „Germany is at the same time a pioneer and latecomer in artificial intelligence. We are a world leader in research, lagging behind in using our data with AI in business and the public sector. Germany must resolutely make its own data usable. This requires a new understanding of all stakeholders – politics, economics, science and public opinion. All these players must pull together for the benefit of the location and set ambitious goals, „said Frank Riemensperger. CEO of Accenture Germany to publish the study. „With world-class research facilities, a strong financial sector and a thriving FinTech scene, Hessen is in an excellent position to become a beacon of global excellence in the application of AI.“

The main results of the study at a glance:

_KI is increasingly becoming the engine of digital value creation. The study predicts that the targeted use of AI will double the growth rate of the German economy to 3% by 2035.

_The federal states can expand and bundle existing regional competences in the field of AI. AI plays a key role in the financial industry, as technology can help reduce costs and develop new business models. Thus, the high potential for change of KI means both chance and challenge for Hesse.

_The study finds that Frankfurt is the heart chamber of the German financial services sector. Reference is made among other things to the Frankfurt stock exchange as one of the 10 most important trading centers in the world, the financial center based over 200 domestic and foreign banks, the KfW, the German Bundesbank, the ECB and BaFin.

_The Internet node DE-CIX, with which the region forms an important backbone of the digital economy in Germany, is also emphasized. For the provision of real-time data, criteria such as latency, data throughput and scalability are of particular importance.

_The study finds that Hessen already has substantial structures to create a nationwide ecosystem for AI, but it lacks an overarching facility to network and expand existing competences, as well as to specifically transfer research into applications.

In order to establish Frankfurt as a top region, the TechQuartier begins immediately with the establishment of an AI hub, which should coordinate and develop existing activities and actors.

Dr. Thomas Funke, Co-Director of the TechQuartier: „Worldwide, huge investments are being made in this technology. The technological developments of the next decades will certainly fade the previous achievements. The TechQuartier can and will therefore take targeted steps to act as a central hub for AI in Hessen and to actively help shape this technological revolution. „

These objectives will be addressed with short- and medium-term measures. As a first step, the KI Hub will build on existing structures. With increasing size, the KI Hub can build its own structures in the medium term. Through the gradual implementation of the individual modules of the KI Hub, initial activities can start early and promote the implementation of the subsequent modules.

1. Community Building

The hub is intended to serve as an interface and hub between AI-based start-ups and AI-using companies, between AI-relevant research and teaching at leading universities and research institutions in Germany, and public institutions such as supervisory and statistical authorities. The KI Hub networks AI activities in the financial center from research to commercialization. Measures for this will be formats such as network events, conferences, workshops, scholarships, internships, continuing education formats for digital talent.

2. Universities and AI

The topic of AI is increasingly relevant in research as well as training. Together with universities and research institutes, the KI Hub can thus contribute to promoting application-oriented AI research through projects, events, programs and a dedicated Entrepreneurship Professorship, to promote and expand the training of specialists for AI developments and the spin-off programs To support universities in the AI ​​field.

3. DataLab

With the European Central Bank, EIOPA, Deutsche Bundesbank and BaFin, the central European and national financial supervisory and regulatory authorities are located in Frankfurt, where all information relevant to the financial market converges. In addition, the Federal Statistical Office in Wiesbaden is Germany’s central federal agency for the collection, collection and analysis of statistical information on the economy, society and the environment. The KI Hub will work with these facilities to harness this data for science and application. In addition, m Rhein Main Area companies with orientation of data business are active, which are to be integrated into this process.

4. Financing of projects and AI-related product development

The new fields of research and the bundling of existing competencies will also create numerous new business opportunities. One of the basic principles of the KI Hub will be to bridge the gap between research and teaching on the one hand, and innovation, business and regulators, and entrepreneurship on the other.

Dr. Sebastian Schäfer, Managing Director of the TechQuartier: „The TechQuartier will make a contribution to anchoring the topic of AI application-oriented and permanently in the Hessian economy with new startup and innovation programs, such as the Growth Alliance AI.“

Gemma Ferst, the new Ecosystem Manager of the state of Hesse, will accompany the development of the KI Hub in close cooperation with the Startup Initiative Hessen and the Master Plan Startup Region Frankfurt Rhein-Main.

AI Initiative of the Federal Government

The Federal Government has already taken up the issue of AI. It is currently working on the basis of the KI summit held in the Chancellery in May this year on a national AI strategy. The Federal Government is determined to bring both research and development as well as application of AI in Germany and Europe to a world-leading level and to keep there. „Artificial Intelligence (AI) made in Germany“ is to become a globally recognized seal of approval. The Federal Government presented a first key issues paper in July 2018. Through the intended inclusion in the national master plan, the KI-Hub at the Frankfurt financial center can achieve the size and relevance required for the challenges and tasks outlined above.

Credits of the translation of the PR to TechObeserver and credits of the photo to HMWEVL