Language assistance made in Germany

Fraunhofer SPEAKER project wins award at BMWi KI innovation competition

Press release /

The SPEAKER project for the development of a language assistance platform "made in Germany" was awarded in the innovation competition "Artificial intelligence as a driver for economically relevant ecosystems" of the Federal Ministry of Economics and Energy (BMWi). This makes the Fraunhofer project one of 16 outstanding concepts that were able to assert themselves against the competition of over 130 submissions. The award ceremony took place on September 19, 2019 during the opening ceremony of the Digital Technologies Forum in Berlin.

© BMWi/Bildkraftwerk Kurc
From left to right: Prof. Dr. Jens Lehmann (Fraunhofer IAIS), Prof. Dr. Andreas Both (Datev eG), Dr. Bernhard Grill (Fraunhofer IIS), Dr. Joachim Köhler (Fraunhofer IAIS), Oliver Hellmuth (Fraunhofer IIS), Johannes Fischer (Fraunhofer IIS), David Laqua (Fraunhofer IAIS)

The demand for language assistance solutions in German industry and commerce is enormous, but European data security standards have not yet been implemented with solutions from abroad. Together, the Fraunhofer Institute for Intelligent Analysis and Information Systems IAIS and the Fraunhofer Institute for Integrated Circuits IIS are pursuing the goal of establishing a leading language assistance platform "made in Germany" for business-to-business applications. The idea: Companies can use individual technology modules and adapt them to their needs. A German language assistance solution will make it possible to guarantee the data sovereignty of personal and company-relevant information.

The planned SPEAKER platform is embedded in a comprehensive ecosystem consisting of large-scale industry, medium-sized companies, start-ups and research partners that ensure a high degree of innovation and transfer from research to practice. Already in the concept phase, the SPEAKER project attracted numerous renowned partners from industry and research. Other interested companies can join the consortium for the planned implementation and contribute their requirements to the project.

Experts from the fields of speech signal processing, speech understanding, artificial intelligence and software engineering have joined forces with Fraunhofer IIS and Fraunhofer IAIS. Fraunhofer IIS is already a world market leader in the field of acoustic signal processing. The technology is the basis for high reliability and robustness of speech processing. Fraunhofer IAIS is one of the leading scientific institutes in the fields of artificial intelligence and machine learning and has developed proven and robust solutions in the field of speech recognition ("audio mining") and automated answering of questions ("Question Answering"), which are successfully used by numerous companies and institutions.

Over 130 consortia from science and industry have submitted concept ideas for the KI Innovation Competition of the BMWi. In the subsequent competition phase, the 35 best participants were able to work out detailed roadmaps to implement their concept idea and form powerful consortia. The 16 most promising proposals were awarded prizes at the end of the competition and are to be supported in the subsequent three-year implementation phase in order to realise their concept.

Within the framework of the KI-Innovationswettbewerb, the BMWi wants to promote outstanding approaches for the application of KI in important sectors of the German economy. The SPEAKER concept entered the race in the Retail category, and other ideas submitted came from various sectors such as mobility, health care, industry, smart living, agriculture and construction.


More information


Consortium leader
Fraunhofer IAIS
Fraunhofer IIS

Consortium partners
Comma Soft AG
Deutsche Bahn AG
Grundig Business Systems GmbH
iAV GmbH
Innovo Cloud GmbH
International Data Spaces Association
Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München
Onsei GmbH
Retresco GmbH
Scopevisio AG
TU Braunschweig
Universität Paderborn

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Dr. Joachim Köhler (Fraunhofer IAIS) nimmt Urkunde entgegen.
© BMWi/Bildkraftwerk Kurc
© BMWi/Bildkraftwerk Kurc