Wissing launches initiative for AI innovations “Made in Germany”
Berlin, 15 May 2023
Today marks the start of a new federal government initiative that sets out to improve the conditions for AI innovations in Germany: the NITD – National Initiative for AI-based Transformation to the Data Economy. Activities such as the creation of better data networks, the development of uniform testing and quality standards as well as the targeted funding of AI companies in Germany will come under the umbrella of this initiative in future. The initiative is developed by acatech – National Academy of Science and Engineering, with EUR 32 million in funding from the federal government.
I want to further the development of artificial intelligence in Germany. For that reason, I am campaigning at EU level for clear rules that provide scope for innovation and against technology bans. At the same time, we also have to create better conditions for digital innovations in our country. AI developers need easy access to data, clarity on future standards as well as tailored funding programmes. We have a strong research landscape when it comes to AI and data economies. With this new initiative, we want to speed up practical implementation.
Dr. Volker Wissing, Federal Minister for Digital and Transport
In launching the NITD the federal government has created a framework for such important initiatives as the setting up of data spaces, the assurance of quality and testability, and the scaling of AI innovation in the market. The preparation process and successful establishment of a Mobility Data Space has created a blueprint for further data spaces. Companies, research institutions, public bodies and non-profits throughout Germany and Europe are involved in establishing such data spaces. The NITD is paving the way for the next stage of the journey to digital sovereignty, which is characterised by innovative and successful applications that follow and assure European values and rules in the AI-based data economy.
Manfred Rauhmeier, acatech Managing Director
Germany and the European Union must achieve strategic sovereignty by equally strengthening security, resilience and sustainability. This in turn requires digital change that is economically successful and beneficial to society. Our continent has a strong research base, a diverse industrial landscape and highly educated people brimming with ideas. Data spaces are creating infrastructures for a fair exchange of data. We want to build on that. We want to create trust and foster cooperation so that we get quicker at the utilisation of data and at the scaling of new business models.
Jan Wörner, acatech President
The NITD is one of the flagship projects of the federal government’s digital strategy. It aims to create, between now and the end of 2025, a basis for trustworthy and marketable AI applications that focus on the human. As a neutral actor, the initiative aims to drive forward the shared use of data and the scaling of business models in the data economy. The more than 100 members of the acatech Senate will be involved in putting the initiative into practice. The project connects the many good approaches and findings of existing initiatives in Germany and Europe.
The three focal points of its work are:
Cross-sector networking of data spaces
Future-fit business models are based on data that can be shared across sectoral boundaries. To that end, the NITD will create a prototypical network of the data spaces in various sectors and create the necessary impetus for standardisations. The aim is to facilitate the use of data across sectors and borders, bringing stakeholders together so as to create new, innovative business models and added value for society.
Ensuring AI quality; building trust
For AI to gain acceptance, the quality and transparency of applications are essential. The NITD aims to develop and trial interdisciplinary testing methods for AI applications with the objective of developing uniform quality and testing standards as a framework for AI innovations “Made in Germany”. To this end, the NITD is planning to set up an AI quality and innovation centre. Its purpose will be to support the testing and implementation of the AI testing methods as well as to enable citizens and companies to see and experience the possibilities of AI.
Targeted funding of AI innovation
Germany is a leader in AI basic research; however, most successful AI-based products come from large US companies. The NITD wants to improve the conditions for setting up successful AI companies and develop complementary concepts for tailored funding.