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Estonia and Germany start cooperation in the field of artificial intelligence

Enterprise Estonia and Artificial Intelligence Center (ARIC) Hamburg signed a memorandum of cooperation this week to enhance collaboration between Estonian and German companies in the fields of AI, robots, smart cities and digitalization.

Christian Pfromm, Chief Digital Officer of the City of Hamburg, welcomed the closer cooperation between Estonia and Germany. “Estonia is a digital pathfinder in the world, showing the way in using digital technologies for the benefit of citizens. We are delighted that the artificial intelligence communities of Estonia and Hamburg will work more closely together in the future and that all parties concerned will benefit from each-other’s know-how. This is a great opportunity to identify applications for artificial intelligence and for purposeful use of technology in business and science,” said Pfromm.

“By exchanging knowledge with digitally advantaged Estonia, and leading common projects together, we are creating high added value,” said Alois Krtil, CEO of ARIC Hamburg. “Innovations in key technologies such as artificial intelligence are the result of smart connections and interdisciplinary collaboration. Both Estonia and Hamburg already have effective communication between business, science and politics,” added Krtil.

Several large German companies have confirmed to ARIC Hamburg their interest in working together with Estonia, including Ströer, Airbus, Lufthansa Group, Otto, Nexperia, and Bosch.

“I believe, there are a lot of opportunities for cooperation [with Estonia] for IT companies in Hamburg because many of the things we are actively talking about here, such as e-government, smart services and artificial intelligence, have already been implemented there,” Krtil told ERR.  

“This time the cooperation  was initiated by Hamburg,” said Riina Leminsky, Enterprise Estonia’s Director of Business Development in Germany. “Their leaders have visited Estonia several times, and have been very pleased with the visits,” Leminsky confirmed.

According to Ando Leppiman, the Secretary General of Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications of Estonia, this is an important step in the development of Estonian-German cooperation in the fields of IT and innovation. “ARIC brings together all the major technology companies and research institutions operating in Northern Germany, providing our companies with great opportunities for developing and sharing artificial intelligence knowledge and skills. As a result of the cooperation and in the interests of both regions, we can move up the value chain towards higher value-added products and services, in order to remain competitive and increase productivity,” Leppiman noted.

The trade cooperation between the two old Hanseatic cities of Hamburg and Tallinn goes back centuries, now it’s time to renew the ties it in the development of modern technology. As a part of a business delegation of the Secretary General of the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications of Estonia, 13 Estonian companies (Icefire, Flowit, Helmes, Bikeep, Goswift, Nortal, STACC OÜ, Optimist Digital, Eesti Lennundusklaster, Skeleton Technologies, Nordica, Axinom, Magnetic MRO) and the business and innovation centre Mektory are visiting Hamburg this week.

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