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Google hopes to use some products and services developed by German researchers  (Photo: DFKI)

Google has acquired a shareholding in the German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence (DFKI).

The institute said the move will make it easier to transfer the results of research activities to business and society.

Germany's R&D minister, Johanna Wanka, said the tie-up with Google provides opportunities for the further development of the Internet of Things. But she warned that growing masses of data needed to be handled properly, which is both a data protection and a data security issue.

German businesses in particular are concerned that Google's approach to data protection and privacy is much less restrictive than what is common in Europe.

"The dialog between Google and Germany's top research establishment on these important issues can help create reliable solutions that are suitable for daily use in a society that is becoming more digital," Wanka said.

Wieland Holfelder, engineering director at Google Germany, said he wanted to join the other 16 DFKI shareholders in supporting the research conducted there. "We hope that resulting technical developments will find their way into Google services," he said.

The DFKI was founded in 1988 as a public-private partnership. It specializes in developing software technologies based on artificial intelligence. The research institute cooperates with a range of German and foreign high-tech companies.

The DFKI has five locations across the Germany and operates six so-called "living labs," where innovative technologies are tested, evaluated, and demonstrated.