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Author's profile photo Tomasz Janasz

How AI distributes 3.5 billion euros: the case of the City of Hamburg

In this blog post I would like to share how the German federal government has been utilizing the SAP Business Technology Platform and its AI capabilities during the recent disruptive times.

The city state of Hamburg was entrusted by the German federal government with creating and managing an aid-application platform for artists who were negatively impacted by the pandemic restrictions in Germany. This central federal platform has gone live for all sixteen German states and has proven to be successful by distributing federal funds of 2.5 billion euros to cultural events and institutions since 2021. You can read more about this great success story in the official customer reference material.

As of earlier this week there has been an official and very insightful video available which describes SAP’s cooperation with the City of Hamburg. The full version you can watch on the official website. I attach a short teaser in this blog post for direct access:

Now, that the general framework of the federal platform is in place it can provide a real boost for digitalization, agility, and resilience for other funding programs appointed by the German government. The Federal Energy Fund for Culture (Ger: Kulturfonds Energie des Bundes) amounts to an amazing 1 billion euros and has started its scale-out since February. Here you can find the link to the fund to learn more about the program.

The AI capabilities are implemented in eight different scenarios. The processing of any kind of fund request is done automatically with AI capabilities offered by standard cloud services on the BTP: Document Information Extraction (DOX) and Business Entity Recognition (BER). They automate and speed up the processing of incoming requests.

Documents and unstructured forms that arrive with every aid-request are evaluated and automatically scanned for proof points, such as energy consumption, location, bills and receipts for the request compliance verification. Having the process powered by pretrained ML models that are managed by SAP supports the administrative staffs throughout Germany by offloading exhaustive manual tasks, allowing to scale out the fund program nationwide in an agile and timely manner.

Since the go-live in February, the platform has processed approximately 60’000 aid requests, with over 300’000 request-related documents. The overall processing time has been reduced by as much as 20%.


It is important to mention, that the SAP platform has also provided flexibility to cover non-functional governmental requirements – the distribution of billions of euros of federal funds to people and organizations needs to happen in a secure and compliant fashion. SAP is playing a key role in this scenario, serving the public sector with a strong basis regarding the DPP regulations and the “EU access only” policy.

Building up a stable, compliant, and secure AI-powered platform is a very important step to provide resilience in times of high-paced global changes, constant technological disruption, and strict regulations. We believe that SAP is an important anchor for the digital transformation of traditional governmental processes in Germany. In that sense we are proud to provide a pioneering support for the federal programs with ethical and trustworthy AI, being motivated by the truthful intention of generating high social value to the overall society.


What are Document Information Extraction and Business Entity Recognition?

Document Information Extraction and Business Entity Recognition are part of the portfolio of SAP AI Business Services on the SAP Business Technology Platform (SAP BTP). These AI-enabled services are available through the Cloud Platform Enterprise Agreement (CPEA) and also via the Pay-As-You-Go (PAYGO) model.

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      Author's profile photo Pierre COL
      Pierre COL

      Great example of how AI improves businesses and public administrations, on a daily basis! 👍🏻

      Author's profile photo Paul PINARD
      Paul PINARD

      So proud to work in this team!