Especially SMEs are underrepresented among AI adopters in Europe, and there exists little to no formal exploration into understanding the challenges with AI adoption from an SME perspective.

Therefore, it is important to learn from existing and successful support structures and formats to replicate and adapt successful mechanisms into different types of organizations and businesses. The aim is to facilitate the adoption of AI and to increase the innovative strength, especially within the SME sector.

In this microproject we focus on the identification of existing support structures and formats for innovation and assess if they are suitable for an implementation in the respective organizations’ innovation strategy.

To achieve the intended objective of the microproject, intensive research, and interviews with experts will be conducted.

The outcome of the project will be a report of applicable mechanisms and formats for AI-innovation as well as an initial workshop to test the applicability.


Report of applicable mechanisms and formats for AI-innovation

Report of the initial workshop

Project Partners:

  • fortiss GmbH, Dr. Wolfgang Köhler
  • German Entrepreneurship GmbH, Andreas Keilhacker

Primary Contact: Wolfgang Köhler, Fortiss

A central challenge is to bring the people together to create innovations. Traditionally this works only with a high density of experts, entrepreneurs, and customers, e.g. silicon valley. In distributed settings on a European scale this does not work, despite the existence of matching platforms.

We take a different approach that is inspired by matching people in online dating. Individuals and companies often don't know what they can offer or what they need. Hence we suggest a more holistic approach. Based questions asking about skills, interest, values, approaches, existing collaborations and digital artifacts (code, images, algorithms) we envision an intelligent matching platform.

We will run a workshop to understand the right questions, what artifacts are telling, and what good indicators for potential collaborations are. We also want to run a workshop to identify AI techniques for making the matches and for identifying the system architecture of the platform.


catalog of questions as the basis for the matching platform

a system architecture for the platform

set of candidate algorithms for matching


Project Partners:

  • German Entrepreneurship GmbH, Jan Alpmann
  • Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München (LMU), Albrecht Schmidt
  • Volkswagen AG, Gülce Cesur

Primary Contact: Jan Alpmann, German Entrepreneurship

Main results of micro project:

The main results of the micro project include a detailed questionnaire based on qualitative interviews with different matching experts. The questionnaire is tailored to different user groups and represents a key building block for the development of future matching platforms. In addition, we conducted a live matching event entitled “AI Idea Prize: Show, Pitch and Match“ that brought together students in the field of AI and business experts. This event further informed our concept of a future matching platform and helped to finalize the questionnaire.

Contribution to the objectives of HumaneAI-net WPs

The elaborated questionnaire and the developed concept of the matching platform both pursue the aim of bringing the different players in the AI ecosystem together, which are normally not in contact. The overarching goal is to strengthen the EU AI Community in order to increase the knowledge transfer between startups, academia and industry and therefore enable organizations that are compatible with European and Humane values.

Tangible outputs

  • Other: Event documentation of the AI Idea Price – Jan Alpmann
  • Other: Video recording of qualitative interviews – Jan Alpmann / Dennis Elflein
  • Other: Questionnaire of the matching platform – Jan Alpmann / Dennis Elflein