The funds will finance the research of ELLIS Fellows at the Tübingen unit, thus serving as a decisive building block for the establishment of an ELLIS Institute.
Tübingen, December 17, 2020 – The Hector Stiftung has agreed to provide an overall funding pool of up to 100 million euros over a period of ten years to expand ELLIS activities in Tübingen. The German foundation, which supports initiatives in research and education, has pledged to use the funding for Hector Endowed ELLIS Fellowships. The Fellowships will serve as a decisive building block for an ELLIS Institute, which will aim to attract the world’s top researchers in machine learning and related fields to Tübingen by creating outstanding research conditions.
The announcement was made on Thursday at the virtual launch of the AI Breakthrough Hub, an AI ecosystem of international appeal that will build on excellence in basic research and promote a culture of entrepreneurship and innovation in the Stuttgart-Tübingen region. The event was attended by German Federal Chancellor Angela Merkel, the European Commission’s Executive Vice-President Margrethe Vestager, Baden-Württemberg’s Minister-President Winfried Kretschmann, the German Federal Minister of Research Anja Karliczek, Baden-Württemberg’s Minister of Science Theresia Bauer, the President of the Max Planck Society Martin Stratmann, and Tübingen University Rector Bernd Engler.
“Connecting the industrial foundation to cutting-edge research in artificial Intelligence is the best way forward,” said Executive Vice-President Vestager. “We also need to increase cooperation, which is the core of this new AI Breakthrough Hub. Our European approach is based on our values and this new hub will be a cornerstone to bring European artificial intelligence forward.“
“The Hector Endowed ELLIS Fellowships will play a central role for ELLIS in Tübingen, and we are grateful to the Hector Foundation for its commitment to helping promote excellence in research and innovation,” said Professor Bernhard Schölkopf, co-founder of ELLIS. “Following the official launch of the first 30 ELLIS research units in September, one of which is in Tübingen, these fellowships are a milestone on the path toward enabling Europe to compete with the world’s AI hotspots. Together with the government-funded Tübingen AI Center and the Max Planck Institute, we will have highly attractive conditions for outstanding AI talent. Personally, I feel it is a privilege to be able to further develop excellence in research and innovation in order to advance Baden-Württemberg, Germany and Europe."
ELLIS was founded with the goal of establishing Europe as a globally competitive location for the research and development of modern AI. At its core, the ELLIS concept is based on the creation and networking of European lighthouses for cutting-edge research, on par with the world's best research institutes and industrial research laboratories. The ELLIS sites are each embedded in strong regional ecosystems that attract research talent as well as founders, and offer outstanding research opportunities, flanked by measures and structures to bring science to broad application.