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Successful with Artificial Intelligence - Free Online Course On AI Competence for your SME

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31 May 2022
Applied Artificial Intelligence (AI)

The appliedAI Initiative, together with the "Mittelstand-Digital" funding priority of the German Federal Ministry of Economics and Climate Protection, has developed the first and only free online course on the introduction of artificial intelligence specifically for small and medium-sized enterprises. It offers a unique, interactive package of online course combined with a use case library and an exercise book for direct use in the company.

The AI application course perfectly complements the existing support offering for AI at Mittelstand-Digital. The course builds on an initial awareness of the topic of AI and offers SMEs support assistance with the decisions that need to be made as part of an implementation of AI solutions in their own company.

Christian Märkel, Coordinator of Mittelstand-Digital's AI Trainer Program

More and more companies are becoming interested in artificial intelligence (AI). However, they often face implementation hurdles, such as a lack of AI expertise or profitable AI use cases. To help SMEs implement AI in their business, the course „KI-Kompetenz für Ihr KMU” also includes an interactive AI use case library and exercise booklet for use in your own business.

Small and medium-sized enterprises benefit from building AI expertise, identifying promising AI use cases for their business, and improving their competitive position through strategic and sustainable use of AI technology. You will learn step by step how to successfully introduce AI in your own company: From potentials of AI for companies to the identification, evaluation and prioritization of AI use cases to the make-or-buy decision to systematically weigh up whether AI solutions should be developed internally or purchased externally.

With this application guide, SMEs learn how to start using AI in their business in a holistic way. It outlines an approach that companies won't stop at experiments or thought constructs. Whether the SME wants to buy in an AI solution or develop it themselves, there is a guide for both.

Dr. Johanna Farnhammer, Senior Project Manager of appliedAI Academy

In addition, the implementation of AI systems and long-term considerations for the sustainable and profitable use of AI are important components of the course. Depending on the needs of the company, the focus will be on AI "buying" or "making". The accompanying exercise book contains many templates and checklists, as well as space for learners to take their own notes, so they can shape the application of AI in their own organizations. The complementary use case library serves as a source of inspiration for SMEs and provides insight into over 100 AI use cases from industry, which are sorted by business function and different industries.

Educational Opportunities Included:

AI Online Course:

The online course helps organizations identify AI use cases, make-or-buy decisions, implement AI solutions, and consider ways to use AI profitably over the long term. The course consists of 4 chapters.


Part 1: Preparing added value of AI in the enterprise, AI goal definition, identifying AI use cases & make-or-buy decision.

Part 2, Path 1: Building an AI Team & Developing an AI Solution: Developing an AI Solution by yourself.

Part 2, Path 2: Buying an AI Solution Building Internal Experts, Choosing Third-Party Vendors & Implementing the AI Solution

Part 3: Long-term perspective: AI journey and maturity & organizational requirements for successful AI adoption

Exercise Booklet:

The exercise book is an application-oriented supplement to the online course with practical templates and checklists to bridge the gap between theory and practice and transfer to your own company. The exercise booklet is available to participants for download free of charge after registration.

Use case library:

The use case library contains over 100 examples of AI applications from industry and serves as a source of inspiration for AI applications in your own company. The use cases are presented on an interactive website and help SMEs that want to get started with AI but do not yet know how to use AI in their company.

About Mittelstand-Digital:

The Mittelstand-Digital network offers comprehensive support for digitization with the Mittelstand-Digital Centers, the IT Security in Business initiative and Digital Now. Small and medium-sized enterprises benefit from concrete practical examples and tailored, provider-neutral offers for qualification and IT security. The Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Protection enables free use and provides financial subsidies. For more information, visit

About appliedAI:

appliedAI is Europe's largest trusted AI technology application initiative with a vision to shape Europe's innovation in AI. appliedAI was founded as a trusted initiative that acts as both enabler and innovator. The initiative offers a wide range of expertise from AI engineering and MLOps, to AI strategy development and transformation, to advanced education and training. Together with more than 50 partner organizations from academia, technology and industry, the public sector and selected startups, appliedAI accelerates the application of Artificial Intelligence. Based on its strong ecosystem, appliedAI drives value creation, builds global AI champions, and helps companies navigate the AI journey.

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