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UniTransferKlinik Lübeck GmbH. (6/16/20). "Press Release: Launch of Northern German Flagship Project on Artificial Intelligence in Medicine". Lübeck.

Region Region Lübeck
  Country Germany
Organisations Organisation KI-SIGS –Space für Intelligente Gesundheitssystem project
  Organisation 2 University of Lübeck (Universität zu Lübeck, UzL)
Products Product AI-based healthcare/medical product
  Product 2 business development (state/region)
Index term Index term KI-SIGS project–Germany (govt): grant, 202005– funding €10m from German federal government
Persons Person Fischer, Stefan (Univ Lübeck 202006 Professor at Institute for Telematics + Vice President of Transfer + Digitalisation)
  Person 2 Leucker, Martin (Univ Lübeck 202006 Prof + Head of KI-SIGS project)

Artificial intelligence and healthcare are two essential growth industries for the future that are also well represented in northern Germany. The KI-SIGS (‘KI-Space für intelligente Gesundheitssysteme’ – AI Space for Intelligent Healthcare Systems) Project brings together companies, universities and research institutes across northern Germany so that they can pool their expertise in these fields and work together to open up new areas of growth potential. The project, which has received ten million euros in funding from the German federal government, was officially launched at a kick-off event on 27 May 2020 hosted by its participating partners.

The goal of the KI-SIGS Project is to demonstrate how medical AI technology can be better developed and put to use more quickly, taking the region of northern Germany as a model. The project’s ‘beating heart’ is the AI Space – a platform to organise the general transfer of knowledge, coordinate planned development projects, and process regulatory and ethical requirements. Yet the question of how to get AI-based technologies approved by supervisory authorities remains largely unanswered. And it will be impossible to answer until more scientific research has been conducted – as is the case, too, for the potential ethical consequences of these technologies. Beyond this, nine application projects have been set up to study concrete, true-to-life examples of medical issues involving AI technology; these include improving X-ray image quality, optimising respiratory treatment and recognising crisis situations in intensive care units.

KI-SIGS takes into account the structural transformation of the world’s economies, labour markets and societies caused by digitalisation. The project was launched last year with around ten million euros in funding from the German government and the support of the state governments of Schleswig-Holstein, Hamburg and Bremen. It is also one of the sixteen winners of the ‘Artificial Intelligence’ Innovation Contest created by the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi), standing out among the field of 130 contestants. This accomplishment was only made possible through mutual teamwork and intensive preparatory work in advance of the competition phase.

Dirk Schrödter (head of the State Chancellery of Schleswig-Holstein) touched on this idea in his welcome speech at the kick-off event, emphasising that ‘the pooling of expertise is more than just the sum of its parts’. He went on to praise the spirit of optimism he sees in the project and pledged continued political support for the project on behalf of the state government of Schleswig-Holstein.

Prof. Stefan Fischer, spokesperson for the project and vice president of the University of Lübeck, and Prof. Martin Leucker, who has been appointed as head of the KI-SIGS consortium at UniTransferKlink Lübeck GmbH, thanked all the initiators and participants for their outstanding work during the competition phase. ‘The task we face now is to continue to combine all of these individual interests and areas of expertise to create and maintain a unified and stable ecosystem,’ Leucker noted on the subject of motivation. Fischer highlighted the significance of the political support from all three state governments in northern Germany and from the Cluster Management organisation Life Science Nord (LSN).

More information:

Management of the consortium:

UniTransferKlinik Lübeck GmbH (UTK) has had success both as a key initiator of this project and in implementing other innovative projects in the common areas of interest of the UKSH clinics and research institutes in Kiel and Lübeck. UTK’s expertise in the areas of ‘Hospital 4.0’, interoperability and networking, IoT, artificial intelligence, robotics and digitalization plays a key role in its activities. UTK is currently working with the Kiel Expertise Centre for Medium-Sized Companies 4.0 (Mittelstand 4.0- Kompetenzzentrum Kiel) and also has access to the AI Lab ( and extensive medical data from the HiGHmed Project ( thanks to its proximity to the University of Lübeck and UKSH.

Contact at the KI-SIGS office:

Dr.-Ing. Tim Suthau
UniTransferKlinik Lübeck GmbH
Maria-Goeppert-Straße 1, D-23562 Lübeck

Spokesperson for KI-SIGS:

Prof. Dr. Stefan Fischer
Vizepräsident für Transfer und Digitalisierung
Universität zu Lübeck, Institut für Telematik
Ratzeburger Allee 160, 23562 Lübeck
Tel +49 451 3101 6400

Record changed: 2020-07-03


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