People  |  12/23/2020

Dietmar Harhoff Appointed as Expert to the Bavarian AI Council

To strengthen research in the field of artificial intelligence, a statewide AI network will be stretched across Bavaria as part of the HighTech Agenda Bavaria. The Bavarian AI Council with leading experts from science and industry will provide scientific and professional advice to the Bavarian AI Agency, which is being set up at the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ) of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences and Humanities (BAdW).

Porträt von Direktor Prof. Dietmar Harhoff, Ph.D.
Dietmar Harhoff was appointed as an expert to the Bavarian AI Council.

In order to bundle existing competencies in science, industry and society, build a tight and synergistic network, and make it internationally visible, a Bavarian AI Agency is being established at the Leibniz Supercomputing Center of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences and Humanities.

The AI agency will link research activities around artificial intelligence, machine learning and automation across the state. To promote AI and large-scale strategic projects, the agency will forge partnerships among research institutions as well as with companies and organizations. Through the resulting network, innovative smart applications and technologies from the scientific environment will be made available for general use. Another important objective of the AI agency is the scouting of specialists in this field. For the implementation of these strategic goals, the AI Agency cooperates closely with the AI Council.

The Bavarian AI Council, which provides expert advice and also represents the network externally, reflects a balanced spectrum of representatives with different research backgrounds from Bavarian universities, universities of applied sciences, and non-university research institutions as well as from the industry. The 21 Bavarian-based members of the AI Council were appointed by the Ministries of Science, Economic Affairs, and Digital Affairs. The inaugural meeting of the Council took place on 22 December 2020.

New Technologies and Projects for AI made in Bavaria

The Bavarian AI Council is chaired by Prof. Dr.-Ing. Sami Haddadin, Director of the Munich School of Robotics and Machine Intelligence, and Chair of Robotics and Systems Intelligence at the Technical University of Munich (TUM).

He emphasizes: “The human being at the center of AI must be more than a leitmotif: It must be our guiding principle for action. AI, used as a tool, should help make our lives better. I am committed to ensuring that, starting from internationally visible cutting-edge research, AI technologies emerge for the benefit of people and society ‒ be it in medicine, the work environment, or mobility. This is especially true when it comes to using AI to tackle the global challenges of our time: demographic change and climate change.”

Co-chairs are Prof. Dr. Dr. Fabian Theis from Helmholtz Zentrum München, representing non-university research, and Thomas Hahn, Chief Expert Software at Siemens AG and President of the Big Data Value Association (BDVA), representing the industry.

Important Impulses for a Targeted Policy

The Bavarian AI Council is also set to provide important impetus to policymakers in the further strategic development of AI activities in Bavaria. Prof. Dietmar Harhoff, Ph.D., Director at the Max Planck Institute for Innovation and Competition, points out: “Artificial intelligence is one of the pivotal technologies for the future. AI research and AI applications can be further strengthened through wise measures ‒ for the benefit of the public. The AI Council can play a central role in developing courses of action for a targeted AI policy.”

The establishment of the Bavarian AI Agency and the AI Council complements the Bavarian AI strategy of the HighTech Agenda Bavaria and the accelerator program HighTech Agenda Plus.