Last week, Estonia’s Minister of Entrepreneurship and IT Andres Sutt visited Germany to open an artificial intelligence showroom of ARIC in Hamburg and further develop business and innovation ties between the two countries. The showroom for the artificial intelligence (AI) was opened by Hamburg’s Senator for Economics, Transport and Innovation Michael Westhagemann, Minister Sutt, and the VP of Lufthansa Industry Solutions Susan Wegner.
“I am pleased that by opening the showroom today we have taken another step further in our German-Estonian cooperation. The showroom contains exhibits from Estonia and Hamburg, thus connecting the two AI ecosystems. It shows how international cooperation works,” Minister Andres Sutt said.
Inspired by the e-Estonia Briefing Centre in Tallinn
The initial idea of creating an AI showroom in Hamburg was inspired by the e-Estonia Briefing Centre in Tallinn. Furthermore, a number of Estonian technology companies operating in Germany such as AuveTech, Starship, Flowit are presented at the AI showroom.
According to Riina Leminsky, Invest Estonia’s Head of Global Network and Director of Business Development in DACH region (Germany, Austria and Switzerland), Germans have been impressed by how Estonia is promoting the country and how it has made its e-solutions visible. The e-Estonia Briefing Centre is built in public-private partnership based on different milestones of its success story. “In the past, when Estonian companies sold their solutions, they tended to be understated. The e-Estonia Briefing Centre has helped them to display their solutions and be more easily understood by users,” said Leminsky. “It is not actually the technology that blocks people from benefiting from the solutions we have in Estonia or building them themselves. It is an issue of mindset, and culture of driving change. We hope that AI showroom in Hamburg will help people to get a better understanding of AI,” Leminsky stated.
AI display room and laboratory under the same roof
The showroom in Hamburg consists of two parts – the equipment based on artificial intelligence is displayed in a public area, and in the other area there is a laboratory dedicated to the development of AI.
“With a key technology like AI, we need strong partners and a common basis to be successful. In places like this showroom, new ideas, projects and international exchange are created,” Michael Westhagemann believes.
In the fields of innovation, hydrogen, and drones Sutt and Westhagemann see the rise of several specific cooperation projects between Estonia and Germany.
Cooperation accelerates innovation
During the investor breakfast on February 8, Minister Sutt, Invest Estonia’s representative Riina Leminsky and Estonian companies met German investors to discuss ways to accelerate innovation. Martin Kolbe, CIO of Kühne + Nagel Group; Henning Fehrmann, CEO of Fehrmann Tech Group; Damir Tomicic, co-founder and CFO of Axinom; Alois Krtil, CEO of ARIC; Christian von den Brincken, General Manager of Ströer & Ströer Core; Thomas Preuss, Partner at DTCP participated in the discussion.
According to Riina Leminsky, the cooperation between ARIC and Invest Estonia has become a bridge between Estonia and Germany. “ARIC Hamburg has set itself the goal of shedding light not only on the economic and scientific aspects, but also on the perspective of society’s adaptation to further development of AI,” she said. “Estonia creates great added value here – innovations in the key technology fields, such as AI, stem from smart connections and interdisciplinary cooperation,” Leminsky explained.
Invest Estonia has opened doors for several Estonian technology companies to cooperate with ARIC. The fruitful partnership with ARIC has resulted in Estonian companies signing contracts with companies among Germany’s absolute business elite and helped Estonia’s businesses enter the German market.
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