You are interested in German AI research and want to be up-to-date about our activities? Here you find reports about past and current networking tours as well as news from our network of researchers and project partners and the German AI community at large.
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The German Centre for Research and Innovation (DWIH) New Delhi along with its partners invites you to the Web-Talk Series on Artificial Intelligence (AI) for Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
The series will explore the role of AI for SDGs – Quality Education, Good Health and Well-Being, and Zero Hunger. Experts from India, Germany, Japan, and Switzerland will present research projects and good practices related to AI in agriculture, healthcare and education.
Dates: 19 July 2021 – 21 July 2021 Time: 16.00 – 17.15 IST & 12.30 – 13.45 CET Please visit the following links for registration and more information on the speakers and topics:
Join the Postdoc-NeT-AI „Open Days“ at 24/25 March 2021 (2pm CET).
At the two-days open online event you get to talk to representatives from the main German research and funding institutions and hear from experts about EU funding and industrial AI research in Germany
Day 1 (24 March)
Day 2 (25 March)
If you have already specific questions for our experts, write us before the event at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will take them up during the events.
All applicants to our networking tour 4/2021 are invited automatically.
Between the 23rd and 27th of November 2020, the first AI networking tour took place virtually. Despite the obstacles, the fellows took part in a diverse and intense program. This was not only a unique opportunity to learn more about research and career opportunities in Germany, but especially the many occasions of personal exchange also made this week a unique experience.
Germany is becoming one of the leading destinations for the brightest minds in artificial intelligence (AI). What makes the German research landscape unique are the many local hotspots that are closely interlinked across disciplines and industries and the opportunity for young researchers to pursue ground-breaking basic research while working towards its application to the benefit of society.
DAAD Postdoc-NeT-AI is one of funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) that taps into this potential and helps to forge Germany’s ambition of a globally leading hub for AI. With the AI networking tours, the DAAD aims not only at informing young researchers about the opportunities within the German research system, but at connecting them directly to institutions and experts in their respective field and, therefore, providing targeted access to the resources they are seeking at their respective career stage.
AInet 11/2020: Covid-19 as obstacle and catalyzer
The Damocles sword of the evolving COVID 19 pandemic was already hanging over all kinds of international mobility shortly after the program was launched in January 2020. Nevertheless, hopes were high that by November 2020 international mobility would normalize and that by then our fellows could strengthen their professional networks moving from one modern and well-connected German research facility to the other. Still, in October 2020, it became clear that group traveling would be impossible in Germany, and together with the BMBF and the project partners, the decision was made to move the networking tour to a virtual format. An experiment for all parties involved.
For the , the tour dynamic required a high degree of flexibility and commitment. Nooshin Ghavami, a postdoctoral researcher at Kings College London and AInet Fellow expresses her concerns at the time:
“I was looking forward to being able to spend a week in Germany and getting the chance to visit the various research centers. […] I was quite upset when the real tour was canceled due to Covid-19.
However, the new challenge was also a catalyzer to create more engagement and reach a broader range of people, as Luca Wettlaufer, a senior desk officer at the DAAD, highlights:
“We were quite upset, that our very first networking tour could not take place as planned. However, with great support from our host institutions and thanks to the flexibility of the selected fellows, we were able to harness the advantages of the virtual format. We organized talks by funding institutions and researchers ahead of the tour for a broader audience and spent more time to prepare the fellows for the tour. I don’t know if we would have matched so many people for individual meetings without the flexibility of virtual platforms.
In the last week of November, the candidates participated in an intensive and tailored program, attending several virtual meetings at the leading AI hotspots in Southern Germany: Candidates, in contrast to a physical tour, could join in from all different time zones and, at the same time, pursuing their professional obligations. Participants were welcomed by leading researchers at twelve host institutions like the Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems, the Tübingen AI Center, and the Munich Center for Machin Learning (MCML). In two daily slots, they gained a broad overview of the different research activities through 40 presentations from, inter alia, the MCML directors Prof. Thomas Seidl and Prof. Daniel Cremers, and Prof. Steffen Staab from the University of Stuttgart. Besides, host researchers and participants were matched based on their preferences and they were able to network in close to 100 one-on-one meetings. The combination of thorough preparation and the in-depth exchange is the condition on which to build any lasting exchange, as one AInet fellow underlined after the tour:
“The format encouraged active engagement and participation […] through individual invited talks, open sessions, and small focused discussion groups. This resulted in frequent and valuable scientific exchanges, which provided the basis for follow-up conversations and potential collaborations.
“Bringing together promising researchers from all over the world with like-minded colleagues, science managers, funding experts and leading researchers from German universities and research institutions creates an experience that makes the initiative unique even in times of restricted mobility”, Dr. Christian Schäfer, initiator of the program at the DAAD, is convinced.
And the feedback so far seems to prove him right: Martin Schrimpf, PhD-Candidate at MIT adds that creating the initial connection through different formats and dealing with scheduling removed a lot of the initial barrier to connect. After the tour he did not only consider a move back to Germany, he was also reassured by the broad research network in Germany to tackle diverse questions in the scientific and entrepreneurial AI enterprise.
“In a single week”, Raffaello Camoriano, AInet fellow from the Italian Institute of Technology says, “the program enabled me to form – from scratch – a clear idea of the inner workings of the German research system, and to map and interact first-hand with many of its most relevant AI hot spots.”
Even Nooshin Ghavami, who certainly would have preferred to visit Germany in person
“I was very surprised at how much the virtual tour was beyond what I had expected - having the chance to still hear about so many different institutions and getting to have one-on-ones with those which were most relevant to our work. For me personally, it was great to hear that many of the institutions deploy AI in medical and healthcare applications!”
The good news for her and the other fellows is that their fellowship does not end with the virtual tour. The DAAD will support each of them to realize a weeklong visit to the host institutions in 2021, hoping that traveling will be possible again soon. The good news for all others is that there is more to come: The next virtual networking tour is already in the planning. If you are interested to apply for the tour in April 2021, get more information at daad.de/ainet/apply
The Research in Germany initiative will have a booth at the NeurIPS 2020. Together with the German Research Foundation (DFG) and many German research and funding institutions you will find us there for the whole week and learn more about AI research in Germany.
“Research in Germany” is an initiative of the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research. It presents Germany as a country of research and innovation and provides a forum for international exchange and cooperation.
At NeurIPS, the initiative presents the AI research landscape in Germany. Learn more about research at the Cluster of Excellence “Machine Learning,” Cyber Valley, the German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence (DFKI), and the Max Planck Society as well as about funding programmes for AI researchers with the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, the German Academic Exchange Service, and the German Research Foundation.
Visit us there now at: Research in Germany (neurips.cc).
Bonn, 22.09.2020 - On 15 September around 100 participants from more than 30 countries have joned the first AInet Onlline-Talk, featuring the leading research funding institutions and experts for EU funding as well as representatives from the Postdoc-NeT-AI 11/2020 host institutions. All slides are now available for download.
The slides of the first AInet Online-Talk on Postdoc Funding and Research Opportunities are now available. We want to thank all the participants for the questions and a very interesting discussion. If you have any questions or want to get incontact with one of the speakers, do not hasitate to reach out to us.
Slides (find program here):
Postdoc funding in Germany and the EU
Southern Germany: A Reasearch Hotspot for Artifcial Intelligence and Machine Learning
You want to learn about funding and research opportunities for postdoctoral researchers in AI in Germany? On 15 September we start with the first AInet Online-Talks, featuring the leading research funding institutions and our Postdoc-NeT-AI 11/2020 host institutions, like Siemens, the German Aerospace Center (DLR) and Helmholtz AI. All applicants to this year's networking tour are invited automatically. For everyone else interested: write us an email at .
Munich, 28.07.2020 - Which AI applications are already in use in Germany today? Where is research being conducted into the fundamentals and applications of artificial intelligence? And who supports companies in the introduction of AI in their operations? The continuously expanded AI map of Plattform Lernende Systeme - Germany's Platform for Artificial Intelligence provides an overview of AI applications, research institutions and transfer centres in Germany - now also in the English version.
With its , the Learning Systems platform, initiated by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) and based at acatech, is now also making internationally visible where AI technologies are being researched and tested in Germany or are already in use. In the "Applications" section, almost 800 AI-based solutions can currently be filtered according to field of application and value-added activity, AI technology used, as well as company size, sector and region. The spectrum of AI applications is broad, ranging from learning chatbots for customer service to condition monitoring of machines and assistance systems in healthcare. Detailed reports on selected case studies can be found under the menu item "Applications in focus".
The AI map of the Learning Systems Platform shows where companies are supported free of charge in the introduction of AI and find offers for networking with partners in the section "Strategy and Transfer". In addition to the transfer and SME centres of the federal government, there are numerous digitisation centres of the federal states. The site also provides an overview of the strategic goals and measures of the federal government and the individual states to promote artificial intelligence.
The section "Research Institutions" on the AI map shows which universities and non-university institutions in Germany are conducting research on AI. A filter function allows the user to select key topics, such as image recognition, data management and analysis, human-machine interaction, speech and text comprehension, intelligent robotics or societal questions on the development and use of artificial intelligence. In total, the AI map currently lists almost 200 scientific institutes and facilities throughout Germany, including the German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence (DFKI), which was founded in 1988, the AI competence centers in Berlin, Munich, Dresden/Leipzig, Dortmund/Bonn and Tübingen, which are funded by the BMBF as part of the national artificial intelligence strategy, as well as numerous university institutes and non-university research facilities.
Ongoing expansion of the AI map
AI applications from Germany, which are not yet represented on the AI map of the Learning Systems Platform, can be entered for inclusion by means of an . Research institutions can register with their AI focus by completing another . For information on further transfer centres and general inquiries about the map contact the plafform .
Bonn, 03.2019 - The DAAD’s 2019 Postdoctoral Researchers Networking Tour of Germany gives young international researchers an insight into tomorrow’s world of networked industrial production.
author: Klaus Lüber
In a research lab where networked industrial production is being studied at the University of Potsdam, a robot arm begins moving. Just a second ago a container was transported automatically via a conveyor belt to a large box, only to reappear shortly afterwards – ready for the next work step, which involves a serial number being engraved on an optical lens. Next to the conveyor belt stands Dr. Shraddha Arora Chaudhary, who is keeping a close eye on the machine’s every movement: industrial robots and their optimal control are the main research focus of this young expert from the Indian Institute of Technology in New Delhi.
Basic research and application
Nothing is actually manufactured on this production line – as she and the other young researchers from all over the world who are taking part in the Postdoctoral Researchers Networking Tour 2019 (PostdocNeT) have just learnt from laboratory head Dr. Sander Lass. There are not really any lenses in the containers, and the robot arm is merely simulating its work step by moving back and forth across the box several times. Arora Chaudhary is sceptical because she believes the workflow could still be optimised. But laboratory head Lass dismisses her objections: “It is not a question of achieving a perfect simulation of reality. Our goal is to be able to adapt our test set-up so that we can explore all the possible issues that interest us in the area of Industry 4.0.” It is obvious that this combination of basic research and real-life application is new and exciting, not only for Arora Chaudhary. There was lots to discover for all of the 22 young international researchers who had been invited to Germany by the DAAD to take part in an information tour of the future of industrial production (“The Internet of Things, Cyber-physical Systems, and the Future of Manufacturing: Developing Industry 4.0 in Germany”). “I believe this is what sets the German research system apart, and it’s also the reason why this tour was in such demand”, says Dr. Christian Schäfer, who heads the Research and Studies department at the DAAD. 360 researchers had applied for one of the 22 places on the tour. “Obviously we are delighted that there is so much interest, as it allows us to select those candidates who, based on their profile and career paths, will profit most from contacts in Germany”, says Schäfer.
High degree of networking
One of the applicants whose career path seemed a good fit is Dr. Chao Liu from China, who is currently working as a research associate at Cardiff University in the United Kingdom. An expert in mechanical engineering, Dr. Liu is researching AI-assisted image recognition in the field of additive manufacturing. “For me as a mechanical engineer, Germany was always my first choice for conducting research. The training on offer here is among the best in the world, and I know of no other country that pursues such application-focused research.” Dr. Alvaro Fuentes Lopez from Ecuador, a postdoc research scholarship-holder at the Department of Electrical Engineering at Chonbuk National University in South Korea, is also exploring AI-assisted image recognition. He praises the high degree of networking between the many different actors in the German research landscape: “Researchers in Germany have the opportunity to interact not only with industry but also with society – something that can by no means be taken for granted in other countries.” The group was therefore highly motivated to exchange views and ideas with other experts, and to forge new contacts. They had many opportunities to do this, for example when the Internet of Production (IoP) research cluster was introduced to them at RWTH Aachen University, at the Center of Excellence Logistics and IT at TU Dortmund University, and during a number of company visits, including to the mediumsized firm Beckhoff Automation in Verl and the Siemens Group in Berlin.
The Postdoc-NeT participants also took particular advantage of a meeting at the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), which gave them the chance to meet the major non-university research actors in Germany, as well as research-focused companies, and to learn more about specific funding programmes.
From a German perspective, we take it for granted that the innovation system includes non-university research institutes”, explains Schäfer. “However, we shouldn’t forget that many international researchers aren’t familiar with this set-up.” For example, at the beginning of the tour Chao Liu found it really strange that universities should be linked so closely to nonuniversity research institutes. “But now I think it’s a good system”, he admits. Arora Chaudhary from India succinctly expressed why it is that so many people in the group were well able to imagine embarking on a research career in Germany by the time the tour came to an end: “I am impressed by the interdisciplinarity of the German approach. This makes it easier for engineers and IT experts to connect and work together. This is something that is lacking in other countries, yet I believe it is precisely what we need in the field of artificial intelligence in order to be truly innovative.