KI4KL: “Application Centre for Artificial Intelligence for Municipal Solutions”

Apr. 01, 2024 to Dec. 31, 2025

Baseline Situation & Task

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, promote and implement the development of AI-based solutions for municipalities and municipal companies, the city of Gelsenkirchen is pioneering the funding of a dedicated “Application Centre for Artificial Intelligence for Municipal Solutions (AZ KI4KL)”. As a central hub, this facility will play a key role in advancing the application of AI to optimise municipal services and tackle complex challenges such as climate change, demographic change and digitalisation. The AZ KI4KL will therefore not only act as a centre for knowledge exchange and research, but also as a driver of 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 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 municipalities in a targeted manner.

Solution Approach and Technical Implementation

Leading institutions in the field of artificial intelligence and municipal administration are pooling their expertise under the umbrella of the newly founded application centre: 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) (the German Research Centre for Artificial Intelligence) and Prosoz Herten GmbH as a provider of municipal software solutions. The project team's key strengths include developing, training and applying AI algorithms and models, analysing the resource requirements of AI solutions and integrating and implementing them into existing infrastructures.

The Digital Public Services division of Fraunhofer FOKUS contributes its scientific and technological expertise to 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 with regard to AI applications in the areas of public administration, central data rooms and ML platforms, DPS has been successfully conducting application-oriented research and development for years and has built up expertise in projects such as

As a special focus area, FOKUS will work with competent KI4KL partners to test and utilise the promising new technology of generative AI for municipal applications.