Partner Logo – Cyber Valley, Square Enix, IT-Farm Coporation

research meets gaming

Europe’s first research-driven competition to enhance game technology – for AI scientists and start-ups

Thursday, December 2, 2021, at 10AM (CET)

Cyber Valley, Square Enix, and IT-Farm are launching AI GameDev, a competition for start-ups and scientists who feel their ideas could contribute to or whose work focuses on developing the most exciting AI technologies for the entertainment and gaming industry.

The AI GameDev award ceremony will be streamed live on this website on December 2, 2021, from 10:00 to 12:00 CET.


Scientific Award

Scientific Award

powered by Cyber Valley for the most promising scientific performance

win an exclusive Cyber Valley tour and meet top AI researcher,  including a visit to MPI-IS Stuttgart and Tübingen, Germany*

conditions: up to three people, incl. travel within Europe and two overnight stays; individual program for winners

Main Award

Main Award

powered by Square Enix for the most innovative AI solution

win a visit to Tokyo, Japan, where you will examine a potential cooperation with Square Enix on practical use of your technology in production

conditions: up to three people, incl. flights and accommodation (length of journey tbd)

Audience Award

Audience Award

powered by IT-Farm for best promotion

win an exclusive business/fundraising mentorship by IT-Farm covering topics such as fundraising advice, sales pitch review, or business plan development

conditions: online mentorship sessions by a partner at IT-Farm for the founder(s) of your team.

*MPG e.V. is not obliged to guarantee the award if doing so is prevented by any impediments arising out of national or international foreign trade or customs requirements or any embargoes or other sanctions.

Call for Applications

We are looking for motivated and creative minds who want to bring AI and gaming together...

no previous experience in the entertainment and gaming industry required

... to discover new approaches based on AI that can make digital content creation more efficient.


Creativity IllustrationCreativity IllustrationCreativity Illustration

... to come up with technologies that enhance real-time digital worlds, simulations, and customer interaction.


Interaction IllustrationInteraction IllustrationInteraction Illustration

What’s in it for you?


Have you got great ideas that no one knows about? Join our competition so that others get to see your work.


Looking for new talents to join your team? Identify like-minded people in the scientific community and start collaborating.


This competition has the potential to be a stage on which you can shine and find relevant contacts in the industry in terms of funding.


Take the chance to see what your peers are working on and find ways to connect your teams.

Michael J. Black

“AI can help improve video games in many ways, for instance by creating better, more realistic virtual environments or scenarios. We want to make the full potential of the European AI research and start-up scene visible and reward the best ideas.”

Michael J. Black

Spokesperson Cyber Valley and Director at the Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems

Maria Wirzberger

“Including game elements in learning contexts makes learning a fun experience that can turn hard subjects into exciting adventures. With AI, we can tailor this experience even better to learners’ individual preferences and motivate them to keep on track.”

Maria Wirzberger

Tenure-Track Professor at the University of Stuttgart and Spokesperson of the SRF IRIS

Johanna	Pirker

“There are so many exciting use cases for AI in games. From creating responsive game content like enemies or environments, to automatic testing, or fully adaptive optimized game experiences for players. The potential is far from exhausted and we are only at the beginning of this research area. I am already excited about the creativity of the projects.”

Johanna Pirker

Assistant Professor, Institute of Interactive Systems and Data Science, Graz University of Technology

Lee, Hojin

“A game is a useful tool showing how human intelligence works for fun and thrill! As a researcher, I am interested in how intelligent technology can directly influence and benefit our society, especially by entertaining ourselves via games. Joining AI GameDev will be a unique and enjoyable experience to show how our research can brighten our future lives.”

Hojin Lee

Postdoctoral Researcher in Haptic Intelligence (HI) Department, Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems (MPI-IS)

Halt, Lorenz

“In a virtual world, we can overcome real-world challenges through play while letting our imaginations run wild. So I encourage all AI and robotics researchers to participate in Cyber Valley's AI GameDev.”

Lorenz Halt

Senior Expert, Fraunhofer IPA

Youichiro Miyake

“In the realm of gaming, AI technologies show great promise and could potentially lead to fundamental changes in terms of game design. Combining AI technologies with game design is the key to the future of digital games. I hope many young people and new companies will rise to this challenge.”

Youichiro Miyake

Lead AI Researcher, Square Enix Co., Ltd. Advanced Technology Division

Remi Driancourt

“It is the mission of SQUARE ENIX to spread happiness across the globe by providing unforgettable experiences. We are thrilled to participate in the AI GameDev contest and explore with the participants how intelligent technologies can improve upon these experiences, or possibly make entirely new unique ones possible. We are glad we can contribute this way to the development of startups and the industry at large. Let's spread happiness together !”

Remi Driancourt

GM and Director of Research, Square Enix Co., Ltd. Advanced Technology Division

Shinya Kasuga

“Gaming and interactive entertainment are the frontier markets for technologies that capture, model, discover, enhance, and render the interaction between human and the world. It's all about the "world"; automotive, smart city, healthcare, manufacturing, agriculture, education, and many large sectors are now leveraging the gaming and entertainment technologies to innovate their core business. In the AI GameDev contest, we are truly excited to meet with and support the AI entrepreneurs addressing the world's leading-edge challenges.”

Shinya Kasuga

Partner, IT-Farm Corporation


To secure one of the spots at AI GameDev, please send your application via email, and make sure it contains the following three:

1. a link to the video in which you present your idea or your solution (hosted onYouTube, Wetransfer, Dailymotion, Google Drive, etc.)

2. a pitch deck OR a scientific paper / an abstract

3. the filled out questionnaire.



pick one of your ideas


submit your idea in form of a link to your video and support it with either a pitch deck or a scientific paper / an abstract by October 10, 2021


fill out our questionnaire by October 10, 2021


wait until November 5, 2021 for your nomination to the finals


have your idea recorded professionally


participate in the Award Ceremony on December 2, 2021


Who is organizing this competition?
What types of ideas is AI GameDev looking for?
Do I need a finished product?
Who can apply?
Is a team/person allowed to submit multiple ideas?
Can I participate alone/as an individual?
Is there a maximum length for the video and pitch deck?
In which language should I write my application?
What happens to my documents once I have submitted them?
Who evaluates the ideas?
How will the intellectual property / my idea be protected?
Do I have to pitch my idea live at the event?
Do I need to be able to attend in person?
Can I withdraw my submission?
Who do I contact if I have further questions?


Logo Cyber Valley

Cyber Valley is Europe’s largest research consortium in the field of artificial intelligence with partners from science and industry. The state of Baden-Württemberg, the Max Planck Society with the Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems, the Universities of Stuttgart and Tübingen, as well as Amazon, BMW AG, Daimler AG, IAV GmbH, Dr. Ing. h.c. F. Porsche AG, Robert Bosch GmbH, and ZF Friedrichshafen AG are the founding partners of this initiative. Moreover, Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft joined Cyber Valley as a partner in November 2019. Cyber Valley also receives support from the Christian Bürkert Foundation, the Gips-Schüle Foundation, the Vector Foundation, and the Carl Zeiss Foundation.

Logo Square Enix

Square Enix Co., Ltd. develops, publishes, distributes and licenses SQUARE ENIX®, EIDOS® and TAITO® branded entertainment content around the world. The Square Enix group of companies includes a global network of leading development studios and boasts a valuable portfolio of intellectual property, including: FINAL FANTASY®, which has sold over 161 million units worldwide; and DRAGON QUEST®, which has sold over 82 million units worldwide; TOMB RAIDER®, which has sold over 82 million units worldwide; and the legendary SPACE INVADERS®. Square Enix Co., Ltd. is a Japan-based, wholly owned subsidiary of Square Enix Holdings Co., Ltd.

Logo IT-Farm Corporation

IT-Farm, a founding member of Cyber Valley Investor Network, is a Venture Capital based in Tokyo and San Jose, supporting 100+ international startups over 20+ years through mentorship, business development, and investment. Its core investment targets are among early-stage disruptive tech startups in AI, entertainment, mobility, energy, healthcare, manufacturing, construction, fintech, proptech, and any deep-techs across the world without geographic limitation.

Media Partners:

Game Logo
Get Started Logo