German AI Award: Westphalia DataLab awarded first prize in the category of AI – Technology of the Future for Germany’s Key Industry

Berlin, 2 October 2020. The Münster-based start-up, Westphalia DataLab (WDL) has received the German AI Award in the category of AI – Technology of the Future for Germany’s Key Industry. Germany’s Minister for Economic Affairs, Peter Altmaier presented the award hosted at the Journalist Club of Axel Springer Verlag in Berlin on 1 October 2020. Fiege partnered with academics from Münster’s University of Applied Sciences to form Westphalia DataLab in 2017. WDL provides data analytics services for business purposes.

This year’s second instalment of the German AI Award by WELT was presented for outstanding services to the development and research of Artificial Intelligence. The three categories – AI Innovations Award, AI User Award, and Special Award – nominated start-ups and businesses from within the sector. An international jury comprised of researchers and practitioners decided on the placements.

“We are thrilled to receive this award and see it as an acknowledgement of our path”, Prof. Dr. Reiner Kurzhals, founder and partner of Westphalia DataLab, says. “The goal and the original idea of WDL focuses on the demanding productification of AI applications. Building automated scalable AI products from AI projects is a time-consuming and capital-intensive venture. This puts us currently in a unique position in Germany from a business perspective, at least at this level of maturity”, Kurzhals adds.

“We owe Westphalia DataLab’s win of the German AI Award to the strong performance by the entire team”, says Felix Fiege, member of the Executive Board of the Fiege Group, who attended the ceremony in Berlin. “As a co-founder, supporter, and strategic investor we are very excited about the outstanding development which WDL has achieved in such a short period of time – a development that was recognised by this prestigious distinction.”

Westphalia DataLab prevailed in the AI User Award category with its DeepEye project against major German companies like Bosch, Lufthansa and BMW. The project consists of an algorithm which helps ophthalmologists to decide on a respective recommended treatment and was a collaboration between WDL and the eye clinic of Franziskus Hospital in Münster.

Next to Westphalia DataLab, the Berlin start-up Merantix won the Special Award, while Professor Dr. Bernhard Schölkopf, Director of the Department for Empirical Inference at the Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems received the main award.


The FIEGE Group, headquartered in Greven in Westphalia (Germany), is one of Europe’s most innovative logistics companies. A workforce of over 23,000 employed at 133 locations based in 16 countries back FIEGE and its international operations in core markets across all of Europe, and all the way to Asia. FIEGE is a fifth-generation family business that is regarded as a pioneer of contract logistics. Its modular solutions in Logistics, Digital Services, Real Estate and Ventures form the essence of its business activities. In 2021, the FIEGE Group generated 1.8 billion euros in turnover while overseeing more than four million square metres of logistics space.