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2022 Corporate Responsibility Report

Research and development

As a future-oriented telecommunications business, we support and participate in ongoing research. We collaborate with various universities. For example, we established a professorship for software engineering (with a focus on blockchain) at the CODE University of Applied Sciences in Berlin. We invest in various fields of research such as the Internet of Things img (IoT). We invested a total of 30 million euros in research and development in the Group in 2022.

For the third year in a row, Telekom Deutschland and T-Mobile US teamed up to run the T-Challenge in November 2022 – a competition aimed at startups, researchers, creatives, and developers. This time the focus was on the search for technologies for a human internet. The participants' remit is to develop innovative ideas, including in the areas of sustainability as well as network and infrastructure. Here they are supported by enterprises that help them turn their ideas into reality. The prize-giving ceremony will be held in May 2023. Six selected projects will then receive prize money of 600 000 euros in total, along with the opportunity to have the solutions put on the market in Europe and the United States by Telekom Deutschland and T-Mobile US.

We also promote young, innovative business ideas in our technology incubator hubraum and allow start-ups to benefit from our experience, and provide financial assistance and access to exclusive technologies. We bring young participating companies together with relevant business units within the Group, for the purpose of testing innovative technologies and new business models and bringing them to the market. In 2022, our technology incubator collaborated with about 60 start-ups.

With our Deutsche Telekom hubraum “5G Sustainability Award,” we highlight efforts by industry and start-ups to bring about a sustainable world. The award honors projects with a focus on the sustainability of 5G networks, such as projects in the areas of smart infrastructure and AI-controlled (AI = artificial intelligence) energy management.

In 2021, hubraum, in cooperation with Bundesverband Deutsche Startups (German start-ups association), produced a study of AI-oriented start-ups in Germany that highlights the promise and strengths of the German AI ecosystem. The study's key results include the finding that young AI companies, while enormously ambitious, tend to lack resources and impetus for growth. At the same time, the study also found that women are underrepresented in the AI sector, and that this situation needs to change, in light of the need for participatory, unbiased AI systems – and of the insight that diversity in AI-developer teams reduces bias in the resulting AI systems. In this regard, the study was able to offer a positive outlook, by reporting that 81 percent of AI start-ups believe that AI-technology development needs to take account of ethical issues. Click here to find out more about current hubraum projects.