Dieter Schwarz Foundation Invests $2Bn in IPAI and Collaborates with Aleph Alpha to Establish Europe's Own OpenAI

“From a company structure level, Aleph Alpha is similar to OpenAI, but it is just not on the same scale”.

SMEBROctober 31, 17:49
Germany planning its own AI

Germany is determined to have its own version of OpenAI. Dieter Schwarz, the billionaire ex-CEO of Lidl supermarket, is leading the effort through his foundation's partnership with homegrown AI firm Aleph Alpha.

The Dieter Schwarz Foundation has invested $2 billion into the new Innovation Park Artificial Intelligence (Ipai) opening in Heilbronn in 2027. Aleph Alpha, known for its extensive language models similar to OpenAI's GPT-4, will collaborate at Ipai as a strategic partner.

Reinhold Geilsdörfer, the foundation’s CEO said, “From a company structure level, Aleph Alpha is similar to OpenAI, but it is just not on the same scale”.

By 2027, this park will be home to 5,000 scientists, including researchers from Aleph Alpha. Located in Heilbronn-Franken, near Heidelberg and Stuttgart, the park will cater to major companies in the automotive, chemical, and logistics sectors, helping them stay competitive by adopting AI technology.

The Dieter Schwarz Foundation is committed to investing in AI, cybersecurity, and quantum computing, as these areas are crucial for Europe's long-term success. By supporting the development of AI technology, they aim to position Europe as a global leader in the field.

This partnership allows Aleph Alpha to advance its research with the resources needed to grow its technology. While not yet at OpenAI's scale, Aleph Alpha's 61 employees have already raised $141 million and developed impressive AI capabilities.

Dieter Schwarz has committed his foundation's funds to areas like AI, cybersecurity, and quantum computing. He believes investing in these emerging technologies is critical for Europe's long-term success.

The German billionaire built his fortune as ex-CEO of Lidl. With an estimated net worth of $29.3 billion, he is Germany's wealthiest citizen as of October 2023. And so, Schwarz's backing of Aleph Alpha and the new AI institute demonstrates his ambition for European innovation. If the partnerships and investments pay off, Germany could be home to AI advancements on par with OpenAI's high-profile models.