DPS, Projekte, KI4KL, Mai 2024
istock/ lechatnoir

Application centre for AI in municipalities founded

News from May 08, 2024

The application centre Artificial Intelligence for Municipal Solutions (AZ KI4KL) will be established in the city of Gelsenkirchen by the end of 2025  Fraunhofer FOKUS contributes its scientific and technological expertise.

Artificial intelligence (AI) can facilitate municipal work in many areas and is already being utilised there – from urban, traffic and public transport planning, administrative services and citizen participation to central supply services such as water provision and disposal as well as environmental and climate issues. AI security, data protection and, last but not least, user trust are key prerequisites for this.

In order to bundle, drive forward and implement the development of AI-based solutions for municipalities and municipal companies, the city of Gelsenkirchen founded the “Application Centre for Artificial Intelligence for Municipal Solutions (AZ KI4KL)” in April 2024 as part of its “Networked City” digitalisation and innovation initiative. Leading institutions in the field of artificial intelligence and municipal administration are combining their expertise here: In addition to the Westphalian University of Applied Sciences, which was awarded the contract for the operation and implementation of AZ KI4KL, these include Fraunhofer FOKUS, Fraunhofer IAIS, the Deutsche Forschungszentrum für Künstliche Intelligenz (DKFI) (German Research Centre for Artificial Intelligence) and Prosoz Herten GmbH as a provider of municipal software solutions. The establishment of AZ KI4KL is planned by the end of 2025.

AI-supported smart city applications  as a model for municipalities nationwide

The AZ KI4KL will not only serve as a centre for knowledge exchange and research, but also as a driving force for innovation and progress in the field of local self-government. The objective is to utilise the potential of AI research and development in a targeted manner in order to enable innovative applications in public administration and in municipal companies. The project focuses on services of general interest, in particular the sustainable positioning of AI-supported smart city applications in the economic and ecological transformation process. The aim is to strengthen growth potential and promote future-orientated development. The acquired knowledge and research results will be transferred to the economy and local authorities in a targeted manner.

The Digital Public Services (DPS) division of Fraunhofer FOKUS is contributing its scientific and technological expertise to the development of AZ KI4KL. The field of artificial intelligence is a strategic cross-cutting topic for the business unit, and its importance for all application domains is constantly increasing. In particular, DPS has been conducting application-oriented research and development and developing expertise in AI applications in the areas of public administration, central data spaces and ML platforms since 2019. As a special priority, FOKUS will work together with competent KI4KL partners to test and utilise the promising new technology of generative AI for municipal applications.