Deepening the French-German Technology Partnership

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Inria and DFKI extend their strategic partnership and add an innovation layer, in which Triathlon, DFKI, and Inria agree on cooperation in the field of startup development. Paris, May 22, 2024 — In a significant step towards intensifying the French-German technology partnership, the German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence (DFKI) and the leading French national institute for research in digital science and technology (Inria) have decided to extend their strategic Partnership for three more years.

Together with Triathlon, Saarland University’s technology transfer unit, they also signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for strategic cooperation today at Vivatechnology 2024 in Paris. This MoU aims to accelerate and facilitate technology transfer and the development of AI start-ups in both countries.

Acceleration of technology transfer and access to new markets
Today’s agreement lays the foundation for increased cooperation in the field of artificial intelligence (AI) and offers German and French AI startups simplified access to the markets of the respective neighboring country.

“This partnership not only creates ideal conditions for startups to benefit from an expanded cross-border network but also strengthens our capacity to provide innovative companies with important insights and direct contacts to potential investors, partners, and customers,” explains Ralf Zastrau, Managing Director of Triathlon.

Expansion of the startup ecosystem through strategic alliances
The collaboration between Inria, Triathlon, and DFKI further deepens the commitment to a robust and dynamic startup ecosystem that supports French and German innovation

Strengthening international competitiveness and innovative strength
The agreement signed today underlines the need for close cooperation between science and industry to meet the international challenges in the field of artificial intelligence.

“The cooperation between Triathlon, DFKI, and Inria creates a unique ecosystem that not only promotes the development of disruptive technologies but also intensifies technology transfer between our countries and beyond,” said Philipp Slusallek, Executive Director of DFKI.

State Secretary David Lindemann, Head of the Saarland State Chancellery and Plenipotentiary for European Affairs, emphasizes the importance of the agreement for the Greater Region:

“We have set ourselves the common goal of creating a cross-border ecosystem for start-ups in the fields of AI and cyber security, in which start-ups feel at home, can exchange ideas, and share knowledge but also where young and innovative collaborations can emerge and grow. This benefits not only companies but also entire sectors of the economy in Germany and France. Today we have reached another milestone on this path.”


Further information
Liane Stieler-Joachim | Communication Triathlon
Tel.: 0681 302- 4095 | E-Mail:

About Triathlon
Triathlon is the central unit for entrepreneurship, innovation, and technology transfer at Saarland University. It plays a key role in supporting the founding and development of start-ups, with a particular focus on technology-based innovations. As an integral part of the university ecosystem, Triathlon actively contributes to the structural strengthening of the region and acts as a catalyst for social and economic transformation.

About VivaTech
Every year, Europe’s largest technology and startup event takes place in Paris over four exciting days, exploring the most disruptive topics in technology with world premieres, launches and conferences in a collaborative ecosystem. VivaTech aims to accelerate innovation by bringing together startups, technology leaders, large corporations and investors who are responding to our world’s biggest challenges. At VivaTech, business meets innovation. The eighth and latest edition of VivaTech will take place in Paris from May 22-25, 2024.

About Inria
Inria is the French national institute for research in digital science and technology and since January 2024 has been responsible for the Agence de programmes dans le numérique (Digital Programs Agency), designed to strengthen the collective dynamics of higher education and research. Its DNA is based on world-class research, technological innovation, and entrepreneurial risk. Within 220 project teams, most of which are shared with major research universities, more than 3,800 scientists are exploring new avenues, often in interdisciplinary collaboration with industrial partners, to meet ambitious challenges. As a technology institute, Inria supports a wide range of innovation paths, from open-source software publishing to the creation of technology startups (Deeptech).

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