Training AI talents: Saarbrücken Becomes Part of the “Konrad Zuse School of Excellence in Artificial Intelligence

Saarland University, the Max Planck Institute for Informatics and the Max Planck Institute for Software Systems are part of one of only three newly established “Konrad Zuse Schools” for Artificial Intelligence, which are being set up by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) with funding from the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF).

The “Zuse Schools” are intended to establish networks of science and industry in order to attract excellent young AI researchers from all over the world. The BMBF will initially provide 24 million euros for this purpose over the next few years.

The responsible institution of the “Konrad Zuse School of Excellence in Learning and Intelligent Systems (ELIZA)”, to which the three partners at the Saarland Informatics Campus now belong, is the Technical University of Darmstadt. Also involved in the consortium are the University of Tübingen, the University of Heidelberg, the University of Freiburg, the Technical University of Munich, the Technical University of Berlin, the Free University of Berlin, the Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems, the Fraunhofer Heinrich Hertz Institute, the European Molecular Biology Laboratory and the German Cancer Research Center.

The “Konrad Zuse School of Excellence in Learning and Intelligent Systems (ELIZA)” focuses on Machine Learning and Intelligent Systems, the driving force behind the transformation of AI and its sub-disciplines. It draws on the European AI initiative ELLIS, the Laboratory for Learning and Intelligent Systems, and brings together seven German ELLIS units (Berlin, Darmstadt, Freiburg, Heidelberg, Munich, Saarbrücken and Tübingen).

Background Konrad Zuse Schools of Excellence in Artificial Intelligence:

The schools, named after the inventor of the computer Konrad Zuse, are designed to strengthen AI education at the master’s and doctoral level through innovative teaching and learning formats across universities and close ties to the digital economy. To ensure excellent scientific training, various universities and non-university research institutions cooperate with experts from research and development departments in industry in the Schools. The Schools are intended to help attract highly talented German and international graduates to study AI at the master’s or doctoral level in Germany and to bind them to Germany as a research location in the long term. Accordingly, continuous support from the master’s to the doctoral level and a comprehensive support concept are special features of the schools. Each Konrad Zuse School is hosted by a German university. In the medium term, it receives up to three million euros a year in funding for personnel, scholarships, support for the international mobility of participants, the development of innovative forms of teaching and science communication.

Background: ELLIS – European Laboratory for Learning and Intelligent Systems:

ELLIS is an acronym for “European Laboratory for Learning and Intelligent Systems.” The initiative was founded at the end of 2018 to further develop artificial intelligence, especially in the field of machine learning technologies. At the Saarbrücken site, Professor Bernt Schiele, Director at the Max Planck Institute for Informatics, coordinates the activities of the ELLIS Unit SAM (Saarbrücken Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning).

Background Saarland Informatics Campus:

900 scientists (including 400 PhD students) and about 2100 students from more than 80 nations make the Saarland Informatics Campus (SIC) one of the leading locations for computer science in Germany and Europe. Five world-renowned research institutes, namely the German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence (DFKI), the Max Planck Institute for Informatics, the Max Planck Institute for Software Systems, the Center for Bioinformatics and the Cluster for “Multimodal Computing and Interaction” as well as Saarland University with three departments and 24 degree programs cover the entire spectrum of computer science.

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