Global AI and software company Infervision chose Wiesbaden as the site of its European headquarters due to the city’s optimum conditions for the company and its international staff. No less than three German economic development agencies helped with the location process.
For Sun Yipeng, Director of Infervision’s Europe Division, complex artificial intelligence (AI) and advanced applications of innovative medical software are all in a day’s work. All the more reason why the China-born expat enjoys switching off in the evenings in Wiesbaden and the Rhine-Main region. A peaceful walk in the charming vineyards along the Rhine, a game of tennis with colleagues in one of the many sports clubs, or a meal in Frankfurt with its bustling international scene are just some of the options on offer.
“I feel very happy here. The Rhine-Main region offers my colleagues and me a great deal outside our work, too. It has a vibrant international community, food and cultural offerings from all over the world and an amazing range of opportunities for team building and leisure activities,” Sun Yipeng said. “And I haven’t even started on its many business advantages. That’s why Wiesbaden is the best possible location for Infervision’s European headquarters.”
The company, which was founded in Chicago in 2016 and produces innovative AI and software solutions for the medical sector, is now expanding globally. Its roughly 500 staff around the world develop complex yet user-friendly applications for physicians and hospitals. Infervision’s AI-based solutions are a particular help for medical staff diagnosing serious and potentially life-threatening diseases.
“I feel very happy here. The Rhine-Main region offers my colleagues and me a great deal outside our work, too. It has a vibrant international community, food and cultural offerings from all over the world and an amazing range of opportunities for team building and leisure activities. And I haven’t even started on its many business advantages. That’s why Wiesbaden is the best possible location for Infervision’s European headquarters.”
AI detects cancer and COVID infections
Applications such as these permit computer tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans to be evaluated automatically, alerting physicians to potentially important areas more quickly. “This helps avoid misdiagnoses and enables cases of cancer to be detected at an earlier stage, for example – something that can be critical for ensuring the best possible treatment,” Sun Yipeng explained. What is more, one of Infervision’s AI systems was used to accelerate the detection of cases using CT scans during the COVID-19 pandemic, as part of an EU project conducted in selected hospitals throughout Europe.
The benefits of the technologies that Infervision develops don’t stop there, though. For example, surgeons can use complex 3D models to visualize their patients’ bodies during operations. This provides them with a better overview and enhances their accuracy, since they can see things from different angles and pinpoint small veins and arteries precisely. Infervision’s AI solutions can also be used in research: the systems’ user-friendly user interfaces allow physicians to build their own neural networks and hence develop new treatment methods.
“We work closely with our customers, developing tailored solutions together and testing them in practice. While we don’t do basic research, we’re interested in concrete applications for complex technological systems. We constantly incorporate the feedback from the clinics we work with into the ongoing development of our AI and software solutions. This means close customer contact is critical for us,” Sun Yipeng explained.
Located in the heart of Europe
As a result, the company decided back in 2018 to establish a headquarters organization for Europe. “A central location was an important factor here, since this would allow us to rapidly reach our other sites and our customers wherever they are on the continent. And that made the Rhine-Main region, which is home to Frankfurt Airport, our top choice,” reasoned Sun Yipeng. What is more, many international medical and IT companies have a presence in the area, enabling Infervision to establish key networks. This is important since, despite all the advances in digital communications, understanding what exactly customers need depends on local, personal contacts.
However, Infervision’s successful expansion into previously unknown territory naturally posed organizational challenges. “If you have an international team, it is extremely important to know your way around locally and to adapt to customs in other countries and cultures as optimally as possible. This explains why we wanted support – and we found what we wanted with Germany Trade and Invest”, said Sun Yipeng.
The country’s national marketing agency put the firm in contact with two regional partners: Hessen Trade and Invest, and FrankfurtRheinMain GmbH. All three organizations then provided Infervision with a wide range of information on the economic situation in Germany and state-specific issues, tax and legal requirements, bureaucratic details, and the wide range of grants and subsidies available. “What is more, Hessen Trade and Invest went the extra mile to provide us with access to sector-specific clusters and key networks. This is critical for finding your feet in a new environment and moving the company forward,” underlined Sun Yipeng. Conversely, Sun Yipeng has also taken part in a number of FDI and technology events organized by Hessen Trade and Invest for the Chinese market over the last two years.
“Hessen Trade and Invest went the extra mile to provide us with access to sector-specific clusters and key networks. This is critical for finding your feet in a new environment and moving the company forward.”
A optimal all-round package and wide-ranging support
Hessen´s network of economic development also helped with the search for a concrete location. Infervision eventually chose Wiesbaden, the state capital. “This place offers us a wide range of opportunities for partnerships and for discussions with highly interesting firms for us,” said Sun Yipeng. Other advantages were the availability of suitable and reasonably priced office space, and a qualified workforce. “Hessen offers international companies an optimal all-round package and wide-ranging support”, summed up Sun Yipeng.
Nevertheless, it’s often the small things and soft factors that make a location attractive for a company. These add up to a culture in which Infervision’s international staff feel welcome during their time here. “Last week I was invited to a colleague’s Eritrean wedding near Wiesbaden. This combined German beer and wine from Hessen, a wonderful time, and a relaxed and friendly atmosphere,” said Sun Yipeng. “Experiences such as these are extremely important for expats – and an important factor for international companies competing for the best staff.”