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Company July 2024

A spirit of optimism in the AI ecosystem

During the last week of June, the Wohlgelegen Future Park in Heilbronn was all about AI. The opening of the new IPAI SPACES building, where SCHUNK will also be moving into its own premises, marked the start of the celebrations. Representatives of the regional AI network discussed the current status quo and joint educational initiatives at the AI Future Forum. Every facet of this technology of the future was brought to life at the AI festival that took place afterwards.
IPAI SPACES SCHUNK will have its own office in the new IPAI SPACES. AI applications can be experienced in the shared real-world laboratory. Image: SCHUNK

The opening of the first dedicated IPAI building, the IPAI SPACES, represents a significant milestone for Heilbronn and the entire AI ecosystem. As a technology pioneer, SCHUNK is at the very heart of it, actively shaping the future of artificial intelligence together with other member companies and further strengthening innovation in Europe. "With the help of artificial intelligence, we want to offer our customers intelligent and powerful technologies that will increase their productivity even faster. In the IPAI, we are working together with partners who are working on similar tasks to ours. This allows us to gain speed and implement AI solutions in practical applications more quickly," explains Martin May, Director Technology & Innovation Management.

IPAI Business Development Tim Roder, IPAI Business Development, gave the participants of the Future Forum AI exclusive insight into the new IPAI SPACES. Image: SCHUNK

A home for applied AI

The IPAI in Heilbronn describes itself as the "Global Home of Human AI". And it has some ambitious goals: As the future center for AI in Europe, a platform is being created here that is already offering companies a valuable network today. The partner companies, including SCHUNK, can open their own offices in the new building. The physical proximity will further intensify the exchange of information. A laboratory area can also be used. In this real-life laboratory you will find robot systems equipped with technology from SCHUNK among other things. "A great deal of trust has grown between the partners at IPAI and the first projects have already been implemented. The IPAI labs will provide even better support for these kinds of joint customers and partner projects and help bring them to life," says May.

AI festival The programming school 42 Heilbronn organized the AI festival for the third time in the future park Wohlgelegen in Heilbronn. Image: AI Festival/Saeed Kakavand

Dialogue between science and business

In order to further promote the development of AI expertise beyond the IPAI ecosystem, representatives of regional companies and science met the following day at the AI Future Forum, which was organized by the network transformative, and the economic region Heilbronn-Franken. In best practice presentations, SCHUNK and other organizations showed how AI is already being used in products, processes, and services. It became clear that AI is already being used, especially by major players or visionary leaders such as SCHUNK, however, a lot of companies, especially smaller businesses, still lack the necessary know-how. Support is provided primarily by the AI network in the Heilbronn-Franken region, which includes universities and research institutions, the Chamber of Commerce and Industry (IHK), and educational platforms. And the offer is growing. This also became clear at the AI Festival.

 SCHUNK booth at the third AI Festival SCHUNK was once again represented at the third AI Festival and introduced intelligent automation to the visitors in a playful way. Image: SCHUNK

Experiencing artificial intelligence

The young format grew even bigger than the previous year and demonstrated what the future holds with AI. Around 9,000 visitors were able to experience the latest developments and advances first-hand. The 42 Heilbronn programming school hosted the AI Festival for the third time on the grounds of the Wohlgelegen Future Park in Heilbronn and also included the new IPAI Visitor Center, which is located directly opposite of the festival site. The aim is to offer the population a contact point for AI and to get into conversation. As in the previous year, SCHUNK was represented at the AI Festival with its own booth and presented intelligent automation solutions to festival guests in a playful way at its own pavilion.