Künstliche Intelligenz für den Mittelstand (Presseinfo vom 4. Juli 2019)

Artificial intelligence for the medium-sized businesses (press release July 4, 2019)

© Nico Niemeyer

KI trainers make small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) fit for the future: Since 1 July 2019, the Hannover 4.0 Competence Centre for SMEs, funded by the Federal Ministry of Economics and Energy (BMWi), has received additional funding. The centre hires three artificial intelligence (AI) trainers.

These trainers go to the companies and give an initial overview of artificial intelligence free of charge and independently in information talks and training courses. In this way, they take the fear of the topic away from specialists and managers. In future, the Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology intends to deploy at least 20 KI trainers throughout Germany, who will achieve at least 1,000 company contacts annually via the Mittelstand 4.0 competence centres and implement SME-specific measures nationwide.

"Artificial intelligence is the turbocharger of digitization. Its use is indispensable in order to fully exploit the flexibility potential of digitization," explains Professor Berend Denkena, head of the Institute of Production Engineering and Machine Tools at Leibniz Universität Hannover and spokesman of the board of "Mit uns digital!"

A study by the Federal Ministry of Economics forecasts additional gross value added in the next five years through the use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) at just under 32 billion euros. Denkena: "Artificial intelligence will boost the economy. It brings the full power of digitization to the streets."

"We are one of the first competence centers to hire AI trainers and provide medium-sized companies with targeted information on artificial intelligence," says Denkena. The centre offers an ideal framework for this. Behind the Mittelstand 4.0-Kompetenzzentrum Hannover are the Produktionstechnische Zentrum (PZH) of Leibniz Universität Hannover and the Institut für Integrierte Produktion Hannover (IPH). To strengthen KI expertise, the L3S Research Centre is included as a partner: The joint research centre of the universities of Hannover and Braunschweig deals with methods of AI and machine learning.

Background to the SME 4.0 Competence Center Hannover:
"With us digital!" is the first of 25 competence centers in Germany. The centres are financed by the Federal Ministry of Economics. Thanks to the funding, the services offered by the centres are free of charge for companies. From December 2015 to June 2019, the Hanover Centre held around 550 on-site discussions with companies and offered more than 200 training courses on various digitisation topics. With around 100 live demonstrations and 70 information events, the "Mit uns digital!" center has sensitized medium-sized companies to the topic of digitization. With its mobile factory, the centre's roadshow bus, it was on the road 40 times in Lower Saxony and neighbouring federal states. To date, the experts have accompanied 24 digitization projects in companies. The topic of artificial intelligence will be integrated into the information and training offers as well as into the company talks of the Mittelstand 4.0-Kompetenzzentrum Hannover. The existing centre structures will be used to provide small and medium-sized enterprises with a low-threshold introduction to the topic. By the end of the project's funding period in November 2020, "Mit uns digital!" aims to provide around 5,000 people with an initial insight into the subject of AI and the further offerings on the subject of AI at the Competence Centre through information events. With AI qualification measures and AI dialogues, approximately 250 further companies will gain an intensive insight into the topic and will be enabled to take their first steps towards the introduction of AI applications in their companies.

Note to the editors:
For further information please contact Gerold Kuiper, Press and Public Relations of the Mittelstand 4.0-Kompetenzzentrums "Mit uns digital!", telephone +49 511 762 18323 or e-mail Translated with