Tübingen – During a visit to the Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems (MPI-IS) in Tübingen on 15th April 2019, Dr. Nicole Hoffmeister-Kraut, Baden-Württemberg's Minister of Economic Affairs, Labour and Housing, once again emphasised the state's support for Cyber Valley, Europe's largest research cooperation in the field of artificial intelligence (AI) with partners from politics, science and industry.
"Cyber Valley is already one of the world's top locations for AI research and thus a flagship for Baden-Württemberg as a high-tech hot spot. We want to further develop this potential. It is also a question of bringing the already existing excellence even more specifically to small and medium-sized companies," said Minister Hoffmeister-Kraut.
During several lab visits and talks with leading AI scientists from the Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems and the University of Tübingen, Minister Hoffmeister-Kraut and a delegation from the Ministry of Economic Affairs discussed research topics as well as milestones and developments of the Cyber Valley Initiative.
"We are delighted to have this opportunity to introduce our activities to Minister Hoffmeister-Kraut," said Professor Bernhard Schölkopf, Managing Director of the Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems and one of the world's leading researchers in the field of machine learning. "Machine learning and artificial intelligence will change the world. We want Europe to play a leading role in this. The support from policymakers will be crucial." He also stressed that the key motivation behind the Cyber Valley was to create an ecosystem for spin-offs, i.e. to offer doctoral students the opportunity to found start-ups in order to harness knowledge. This will boost the domestic economy and strengthen southern Germany as a business location. "In addition, we want the Cyber Valley to create a radiance and attract more companies and top talents. It works, as the current figures for our doctoral program show. In just two years, we have attracted over 100 doctoral students from all over the world to our International Max Planck Research School for Intelligent Systems. That's just the beginning."
On 26th March 2019, the State Cabinet approved a €20 million package of measures to further strengthen artificial intelligence, in addition to the €100 million already earmarked in 2018 for co-financing federal projects on artificial intelligence and battery research. The goal is to make Baden-Württemberg a pioneer in the field of AI. Cyber Valley is expected to play an important role in this.
The research network was founded at the end of 2016. The founding partners are the MPI-IS, the University of Stuttgart, the University of Tübingen, the State of Baden-Württemberg and the following seven industrial partners: Amazon, the BMW Group, IAV GmbH, Daimler AG, Porsche AG, Robert Bosch GmbH and ZF Friedrichshafen AG. Cyber Valley is also supported by the Christian Bürkert Foundation, the Gips-Schüle Foundation, the Vector Foundation and the Carl Zeiss Foundation. Together, the partners want to support the region by strengthening research activities, creating an ecosystem for start-ups and technology transfer and increasing the visibility of Baden-Württemberg as a global hotspot for AI research and development.
As core elements of the Cyber Valley initiative, new research groups have been established at the Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems (MPI-IS), the University of Stuttgart and the University of Tübingen. The Cyber Valley Partners and the foundations finance these groups.
In addition to the three existing Cyber Valley professorships, additional chairs will be established at the universities in the coming years.
Another focus of the project is the promotion of young researchers with an internationally renowned, interdisciplinary doctoral programme: the International Max Planck Research School for Intelligent Systems. The IMPRS-IS is a key element of the Cyber Valley research cooperation, which aims, among other things, to offer the world's best young researchers in the field of artificial intelligence a first-class education.