SK Sachsen and SMWA: AI in the Free State of Saxony – The potential is great, the challenge is to exploit it

April 16, 2024. Digital Minister Martin Dulig presented the study “Artificial Intelligence in Saxony 2024 / Status quo in business, science and education” on the fringes of the AI Congress in Chemnitz. The study was compiled by the Digital Agency Saxony on behalf of the Saxon State Ministry of Economic Affairs, Labor and Transport. It testifies to the consistently positive development of the AI sector in the Free State. The comprehensive study provides a detailed insight into the dynamic landscape of AI-related companies, research institutions, networks and educational opportunities in the region.

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From "wow" to "how": practical insights for Saxony's Minister President Michael Kretschmer at the 3rd AI Congress of the Free State of Saxony in Chemnitz. Photo: Pawel Sosnowski

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In total, the study looked at four categories: Firstly, it examined which companies in the Free State offer products and services related to artificial intelligence. Secondly, the study examined research and science on AI in Saxony in university and non-university institutions. Thirdly, networks in Saxony that promote the young technology were analyzed. Fourthly, the study examined which study and further education programs and workshops directly related to AI are available in Saxony.

Selected results:

  • Almost 200 AI companies are now based in Saxony. Around three quarters of them also have their headquarters in the state. The clear “AI hotspot” is the state capital Dresden: 43 percent of Saxony’s AI companies are based here. One in five companies is based in rural areas.
  • The companies offer substantial services in the areas of AI hardware, AI software and AI services. Overall, companies are concentrated in six areas: advanced automation of industrial production, autonomous driving, the Internet of Things, medicine and health, optimization of business processes and the development and manufacture of semiconductor products.
  • The AI sector in Saxony is not only strongly positioned in the market, but also widely represented in research. With over 160 professorships, centers, non-university institutes and research associations in 2024, AI research in Saxony is excellently positioned compared to the rest of Germany. Almost 60 percent of these research institutions focus on applied research, in particular on algorithms, data and AI hardware.
  • There are 18 active networks in Saxony that are dedicated to promoting AI. These include four competence centers and three acceleration hubs. In many cases, the networks do not focus on AI alone, but view it as an aspect of digital transformation. The main focus is on exchange formats for networking or knowledge transfer as well as the implementation and initiation of projects.
  • Currently, eight (technical) colleges and universities offer a total of 48 courses with AI content. The basics of AI dominate the bachelor’s degree courses. Specializations such as machine learning and data science can often be found as part of a master’s degree course.

Digital Minister Martin Dulig: “AI is unstoppable, the technology is developing at an incredible speed. It will support us in many areas in the coming years and we will integrate it into our everyday lives – almost imperceptibly. The Free State of Saxony has therefore been promoting the development of AI-based products and services since 2019. The results of the study show that Saxony is excellently positioned to further drive growth and raise its profile in the field of artificial intelligence.

The potential of AI is undoubtedly huge. The challenge for business, science and education is to understand and use AI correctly in order to exploit this great potential.”

Frauke Greven, Head of the Digital Agency Saxony: “The AI Competence Center established in May 2023 at the Digital Agency Saxony supports Saxony’s development as an AI location. In order to achieve this successfully, a reliable database is essential. The AI study published today is the first step in this direction. It enables us to recognize developments, quantify strengths and weaknesses and identify areas where action is needed. In a second step, the AI Competence Center will focus on the application of AI in the Saxon economy. It will investigate the conditions under which AI can be used profitably in local companies.”


The study “Artificial Intelligence – Skills and Innovation Potential in Saxony” by the Fraunhofer Institute for Integrated Circuits IIS (Adaptive Systems Engineering EAS branch in Dresden) from 2019 provided initial findings and forms the reference framework for the present study. The current study is based on quantitative and qualitative surveys (desktop research) by the Digital Agency Saxony as well as the results of a study commissioned by the Fraunhofer Institute for Integrated Circuits IIS.

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Further links

👉 Artificial intelligence in Saxony 2024

Photo: Pawel Sosnowski

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