On 28 March 2023, the winning design for the Innovation Park Artificial Intelligence (Ipai) in Heilbronn was presented. Nine internationally renowned architectural firms submitted their ideas for the Innovation Park Artificial Intelligence at the location Heilbronn-Steinäcker. The design by the Rotterdam office MVRDV was selected as the winner.
On 21. December 2022, the funding decision in the amount of 5.4 million euros for the first partial measure of Ipai was handed over to Moritz Gräter, CEO of Ipai, by Minister of Economic Affairs Dr. Nicole Hoffmeister-Kraut.
On 24. November 2022, Dr. Nicole Hoffmeister-Kraut, Minister of Economic Affairs of the State of Baden-Württemberg, invited guests to the Representation of the State of Baden-Württemberg in Berlin for the presentation of Ipai (Innovation Park AI). The event was aimed at national and international companies and talents in the field of AI, investors, capital providers, research institutes, political representatives and nationwide media. Take a look in the aftermath as well.
Important milestone: On 22. September 2022, the foundation stone for the first project component of the AI Innovation Park was laid in the presence of Minister President Winfrid Kretschmann and Economics Minister Dr. Nicole Hoffmeister-Kraut. "Today we are laying an important foundation stone for one of the very great innovation policy visions of the state government to become reality," said the Minister, who at the same time emphasised the importance of the future technology AI: "AI promises enormous growth and value creation potential, of which we want to realise as much as possible in the state." She said she was pleased that with Ipai (Innovation Park AI), the largest ecosystem for artificial intelligence in Europe was being created, from which the entire country would benefit. This sustainable AI value centre is expected to contribute to Europe's digital sovereignty through the creation of ethically responsible AI. A time capsule for the foundation stone was filled during the appointment.
The vision for the Artificial Intelligence Innovation Park in Baden-Württemberg
In order to give the quality seal "Artificial Intelligence (AI) - made in Baden-Württemberg" national and international appeal and make it a global success, the state government took the decision in December 2020 to provide state funding of up to 50 million euros for the realisation of an AI Baden-Württemberg Innovation Park. On 3. December 2020, a transparent, open and non-discriminatory competition process for site selection was launched, which met great interest in all parts of the state.
The AI Innovation Park as a world-class value creation centre is intended to create optimal conditions for realising as much of the global value creation potential in the field of AI as possible in Baden-Württemberg. It is intended to make the state one of the leading development locations for innovative AI products, services and business models. At the same time, it is intended to provide a noticeable economic stimulus to overcome the economic consequences of the Corona pandemic. Speed also plays a central role in view of the strong international competition in the field of AI.
The vision becomes reality: Location Heilbronn
At its meeting on 5. July 2021, the international jury of experts specially appointed as part of the competition process for site selection voted by a large majority to recommend the Heilbronn consortium to the state as the best strategic partner for the realisation of the AI Innovation Park. The Ministry of Economics, Labour and Tourism followed this recommendation after a comprehensive overall consideration. On 27. July 2021, the Council of Ministers finally decided to realise the KI Baden-Württemberg Innovation Park in Heilbronn with funding from the state of up to 50 million euros.
The Heilbronn consortium will contribute at least the same amount of its own funds, so that a three-digit million sum will already be available in the construction phase.
Unveiling of the building plaque on the future site of the KI Baden-Württemberg Innovation Park with Minister of Economics Dr. Nicole Hoffmeister-Kraut, Lord Mayor of the City of Heilbronn Harry Mergel (right) and Prof Reinhold Geilsdörfer, Managing Director of the Dieter Schwarz Foundation (left).
On 30. September 2021, Minister of Economic Affairs Dr. Nicole Hoffmeister-Kraut visited the site of the future KI Baden-Württemberg innovation park in Heilbronn for the first time after the state government's decision on the location and inspected the planned area of around 23 ha in the Steinäcker industrial estate. Construction is currently expected to begin in 2024.
With the issuance of the so-called clearance certificate on 6. December 2021, an important step in project implementation was taken: on this basis, the Heilbronn consortium may - initially at its own risk - begin project implementation about one year after the official start of the competition procedure for site selection.
- Recruitment: filling key positions for the major project
- Leasing of first office spaces at Zukunftspark Wohlgelegen in Heilbronn
- Development of a powerful communication concept that positions the "KI Baden-Württemberg Innovation Park" brand at home and abroad right from the start.
- Start of an urban planning competition for the future main location Steinäcker
- The KI Bundesverband wants to establish its regional office in Baden-Württemberg in Heilbronn.
Short portrait of the Innovation Park KI in Heilbronn:
The aim of the AI Innovation Park is to create an ecosystem in Heilbronn that has international appeal and thus attracts companies, start-ups, research players, specialists, talents and investors in equal measure. The entire AI value chain is to be mapped in the Innovation Park AI - from the qualification of specialists over research to the development, application and commercialisation of ethically responsible AI.
Initially, the focus will be on the areas of production and logistics, trade and distribution as well as public service and services of general interest, whereby there is also a thematic openness for other fields of innovation (e.g. life science).
In addition to the attractive space that is already available and will continue to increase in the future for companies willing to locate in the AI sector, the Innovation Park AI will offer its users further advantages. Planned are, among others:
- a start-up innovation centre with coworking spaces and a comprehensive range of services and advice for business development,
- a visitor and training centre,
- a GAIA-X data centre,
- Real labs and test fields for AI products with the latest infrastructure (5G/6G),
- an AI salon that will bring the spheres of ethics, art, culture, knowledge transfer and the "design" of AI to life and enable an ongoing dialogue with citizens,
- specific support services for "Women in AI".
An ambitious sustainability concept (Green Book) is to be developed so that the Innovation Park KI also sets standards in terms of climate protection and sustainability. This Greenbook is intended to create a conceptual basis so that the KI Innovation Park becomes an outstanding example, both nationally and internationally, that large innovation parks in particular can be built and operated in a climate-friendly manner.
In 2023, the global AI Enterprise Award will also be presented for the first time, targeting the world's best research groups in the field of applied AI research.
The KI Baden-Württemberg /Heilbronn Innovation Park consortium is made up of the City of Heilbronn, Stadtsiedlung Heilbronn GmbH, KI Management GmbH & Co. KG and the Dieter Schwarz Foundation.
Have we aroused your interest? Are you interested in a cooperation with the Innovation Park AI Baden-Württemberg? Do you possibly have any questions? Or do you have ideas and suggestions that you would like to share with us? If so, please feel free to get in touch with the contact persons mentioned above.