“Cyber Valley is a prime example of Germany’s attractiveness of Germany as a location for AI. Science and business are working hand in hand and showing how excellent research can be successfully transferred into innovative applications and business models,” said German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Wednesday, following a virtual tour of Cyber Valley facilities with Winfried Kretschmann, Minister-President of Baden-Württemberg. “The Federal Government will continue to support AI research and technology transfer. With the ‘Future Package’, we are providing an additional two billion euros for AI ecosystems of international appeal, attractive conditions for talent, and state-of-the-art computing infrastructures.”
The virtual conference was also attended by the Federal Minister of Science Anja Karliczek, Baden-Württemberg’s Minister of Science Theresia Bauer, State Secretary Florian Stegmann, the directors of the Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems Bernhard Schölkopf and Michael Black, and the Managing Director of Technology of Robert Bosch GmbH Michael Bolle, among others. In a mixture of film clips and live contributions, the Cyber Valley research consortium presented its evolution since it was founded at the end of 2016, as well as concise examples of its research results. In addition, selected start-ups from the Cyber Valley Start-up Network presented their projects, and Cyber Valley leadership highlighted the initiative’s important for the German economy.
“AI is one of the most important topics for the future of Germany and Europe. For this reason, we must now find answers to urgent questions and jointly develop solutions. We must use the COVID-19 pandemic to accelerate tangible technological successes. And this is where AI is the ideal tool,” said Kretschmann. The idea of ‘strengthening strengths’ should be the guiding principle, and existing AI hotspots should be developed further. With Cyber Valley, Baden-Württemberg already has one of the largest research consortia in Europe in the field of AI, with partners from science, industry, and society.
“The state of Baden-Württemberg has so far invested around 180 million euros in Cyber Valley. We would like to further expand this important research cooperation, preferably in close cooperation with the Federal government. With joint funding from the federal, state, and private sectors, a European center for artificial intelligence could be realized that would also be perceived internationally as a relevant player,” Kretschmann said. “The consolidation of the AI competence centers planned by the Federal Government and the establishment of AI application hubs in Germany are important steps in this direction. In Baden-Württemberg, we are clearly focusing on excellence instead of quantity.”
“We see that many scientists from Europe are still being poached. If we want to help shape AI development from the European continent, we need an attractive and agile environment,” said Minister Theresia Bauer. “The close international networking of top AI research is a central component of this. That is why we now need an impetus in the direction of Europe.”
“We are delighted that Chancellor Merkel and Prime Minister Kretschmann have visited us,” said Bernhard Schölkopf. “Our virtual working meeting was a good opportunity not only to present the current status of AI research in Cyber Valley, but also to discuss the national and European AI strategy. It is important for us to remain competitive in the future to develop AI that is in line with the values of Europe’s open societies. We are thus very pleased about the interest and support of the German and Baden-Württemberg governments, as we can create research conditions that attract the best minds from Germany and abroad.”
“It is the primary goal of Cyber Valley to create the jobs of the future – right here in the Stuttgart-Tübingen region, which boasts the highest density of world-class AI researchers in Germany,” said Michael Black. “Furthermore, the Cyber Valley ecosystem with the universities of Stuttgart and Tübingen, as well as the Max-Planck-Institute for Intelligent Systems, provides first-class education to the world’s top young scientists in the broad field of intelligent systems, preparing them for careers in academia and industry. Last but not least, the strong economic infrastructure in Baden-Württemberg provides an ideal breeding ground for AI start-ups.”