Why these institutions?

German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence (DFKI)

The German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence (DFKI) was founded in 1988 as a non-profit public-private partnership. It has research facilities in Kaiserslautern, Saarbrücken and Bremen, a project office in Berlin, a Laboratory in Niedersachsen and branch offices in Lübeck and Trier. In the field of innovative commercial software technology using Artificial Intelligence, DFKI is the leading research center in Germany. The DFKI’s focus on application oriented basic research, DFKI develops product functions, prototypes and solutions in the field of information and communication technology.

At present, approx. 800 highly qualified researchers, administrators and 560 graduate students from more than 65 countries are contributing to more than 400 DFKI research projects. DFKI serves as a stepping stone to leading positions in industry and successful careers as founders of spin-off companies. Over the years, more than 160 staff members have been appointed professors at universities in Germany and abroad (more details).

DFKI is known for applied and fundamental research as well as having one of the best robot football teams in the world.

Recent impactful projects:

  • The PlasticObs project (with OPTIMARE Systems), is the first to use an AI system to detect plastic litter along bodies of water operationally and from the air in order to identify the main sources and distribution routes of the plastic (video details).
  • AI for emergency managment - from natural disaster to terror atacks
  • To develop new AI technologies and applications, the European Space Agency (ESA) and the German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence (DFKI) are establishing ESA_Lab@DFKI a joint research laboratory which recently emerged from the DFKI spin-off Vision Impuls among others, to offer solutions that provides solution for slum mapping, forest and farm management with earth observations. Other use cases currently pursued include the reduction in fertializer usage.

Technical University Kaiserslautern

The University of Kaiserslautern has gained high reputation in science, technology and industry in only a short period of time and holds top positions in Germany’s university ranking, for instance ranked 3rd in overall study situation for computer science. DSSG fits well within the university which offers a graduate program in Socioinformatics (deals with the analysis and modelling of the interaction between society and computer science, the co-evolution of social norms and processes and the supporting software).

The city of Kaiserslautern

Kaiserslautern is famous for technology and innovation. The town has gained a reputation in the past few years as a modern centre of science and information technology. It lies in south-western Germany, in the middle of the Palatinate Forest (great outdoors and mountain biking), and is just 50 kilometres from the neighbouring country of France, and 150 kilometres from Luxembourg.

We cannot talk of significantly contributing to changing the lives of millions of people without talking about technology. Kaiserslautern is one of the only cities in its region to have received a prize under the Implementation of the 5G Technology. The company “Herzlich Digital”, established in 2017, is working hard in order to make Kaiserslautern a Smart City. Being a smart city brings many advantages, and researchers agree that the future of cities lies within being a Smart City.

After a competition under “Smart City Pilot Projects” organized by German Federal Ministry of the Interior, Building and Community (BMI), Kaiserslautern became one of the 13 German cities or municipalities selected in the first round. This enabled the city to be funded 15 million euros for the further development of the Smart City Pilot Projects. This is a huge amount of money for a city with population of 100,000 people, but this money can also be more beneficial if great people around the world decide to choose Kaiserslautern as either a place to be or a place to spend some time.