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Around 80 AI providers in Saxony, but need to catch up in knowledge transfer and application laboratories

Current study by Fraunhofer IIS/EAS analyzes the status quo and the prospects for artificial intelligence (AI) as a research topic and technology for business solutions in Saxony.

The Fraunhofer institute branch Development Adaptive Systems IIS/EAS has published the study "Artificial Intelligence - Competences and Innovation Potential in Saxony". It sheds light on how companies and research are positioned when it comes to AI and what hurdles they face. In addition, options for action are shown that support the declared goal of the Free State of becoming a leading AI region in Germany. The study is available immediately as a digital version free of charge available and as a printed brochure from the end of February.

AI companies mainly in and around the big cities
As part of the study, around 80 companies were identified in Saxony that have AI offerings in their portfolio. They are mainly based in the metropolitan areas of Dresden, Leipzig and Chemnitz. The spectrum ranges from 1-person GmbHs to large companies with 500 and more employees. A large proportion of the companies were only founded in 2010 or later as part of the global AI boom.

Need for AI test fields and laboratories
In addition, 24 university faculties and institutes as well as 23 other research institutions are working on AI methods. They are primarily dedicated to methods based on artificial neural networks and supervised and unsupervised learning. However, the human resources for research on or with AI technologies are currently still too low in the institutions in many cases. In addition, according to Saxon economic experts, the transfer of knowledge from research to companies can still be expanded, which is reflected, among other things, in the lack of jointly usable AI test fields and laboratories.

The greatest challenge remains the shortage of skilled workers
Both business and science representatives currently see the shortage of skilled workers as the greatest challenge in the development and use of AI. In addition, the reliability of AI decisions, employee qualification and access to large amounts of data also play an important role. But the comparatively small-scale structure of the economy in Saxony and the start-up culture also have an influence on the speed of AI developments in the state.

The study is based, among other things, on the results of a project of the same name from 2019, on which Fraunhofer IIS/EAS worked together with the TU Dresden. In this context, the partners conducted expert interviews, workshops and roadshow events with AI providers, users and researchers. The project was funded as part of technology funding by the Saxon State Ministry for Economics, Labor and Transport.

Source: Press release from Fraunhofer IIS, Department of Development of Adaptive Systems EAS, February 03, 2020

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