Bavaria is investing in the development of artificial intelligence
In 2018, the Bavarian government decided to invest €280 million into AI research in the coming years through the “Digital Lighthouse Projects” initiative. This is in addition to the existing initiatives such as Digital Bavaria. This initiative will establish an “Artificial Machine Intelligence” competence network at multiple locations across Bavaria. Along with six other scientific institutions, the University of Applied Sciences Würzburg-Schweinfurt (FHWS) is taking part with its “Center for Artificial Intelligence and Robotics (CAIRO)” in Würzburg.
In October 2019, a further reinforcement was added with the launch of the Hightech Agenda Bavaria (HTA), which includes an additional €2 billion to promote digitalization and advanced technologies in Bavaria through 2024. The field of artificial intelligence is prioritized by the Hightech Agenda. It sees Bavaria as an AI district with an AI network in which Munich is a world-class AI center. Further AI nodes are situated in Würzburg, Erlangen, Nuremberg and Ingolstadt. With its Center Robotics and Intelligence (CERI), Schweinfurt is an end node in this network. AI and other highly advanced fields are all being treated as a key competence for Bavaria with an investment volume totalling €600 million.
AI data science node in Würzburg
Würzburg has a special role in both the Hightech Agenda and the Bavarian AI strategy. This is because Würzburg is designated alongside Munich, Ingolstadt and Erlangen-Nuremberg as one of the four “AI nodes” in the Bavarian AI network. These nodes function as anchoring and connecting points in order to allow companies and institutions that are proficient in AI to connect to the Bavarian AI network.
The technical focus for the Würzburg AI node is in the field of “Data Science”. This is represented by the Technical University of Applied Sciences Würzburg-Schweinfurt (THWS) with the Center for Artificial Intelligence and Robotics (CAIRO) as well as the Julius-Maximilians-Universität (JMU) with the Center for Artificial Intelligence and Data Science (CAIDAS).
The Mainfranken high-tech region
As an innovation leader, Mainfranken is one of the top high-tech regions in Europe. Innovative world-class companies are represented here alongside many small and medium-sized companies. A large share of the roughly 92,000 companies in Mainfranken are working in future-oriented sectors. Here, AI is seen as a key technology with enormous economic potential. However, using AI in companies requires a certain level of technical expertise. Due to a shortage of qualified technical personnel for these companies, many AI projects are still in the initial stage.