DFKI is the leading German research institute in the field of innovative software technology. In the international scientific community, DFKI ranks among the most recognized "Centres of Excellence" and currently is the biggest research centre worldwide in the area of Artificial Intelligence and its application in terms of number of employees and the volume of external funds. DFKI has 5 sites across Germany, integrates 18 Research departments and living labs. The presence among DFKI’s shareholders largest German and international companies (BMW, Volkswagen, SAP, Deutsche Telekom, Microsoft, Intel, Google, etc.) determines the focus of its research and innovation activities, as well as close relations with industrial partners.
DFKI was one of the German research organizations behind the national Industry 4.0 Strategy; the CEO of DFKI, Prof. Wahlster, is a chairman of one of five Working Groups of this initiative. Several departments of DFKI pursue research contributing to the implementation of the Industry 4.0 vision (e.g. Intelligent User Interfaces, Robotics Innovation Centre, Innovative Factory Systems, etc.). DFKI participates in dozens of national (funded by e.g. BMBF, BMWi) and international (funded by H2020, EIT Digital, EU Structural funds, etc.) research and innovation projects. Importantly, the industry (e.g. the shareholders) provides substantial direct support to the research in this field.