© Hector Fellow Academy
1. February 2022
Bernhard Schölkopf Direc­tor of the ELLIS Institute

Hector Fellow Bernhard Schölkopf becomes found­ing direc­tor of the ELLIS Insti­tute in Tübingen

With the ceremo­nial signing of a funding agree­ment in Stuttgart’s Neues Schloss on Thurs­day, Baden-Württemberg’s Minis­ter-Presi­dent Winfried Kretschmann, Science Minis­ter There­sia Bauer, Dr. h. c. Hans-Werner Hector, Prof. Bernhard Schölkopf and Prof. Bernd Engler, Presi­dent of the Univer­sity of Tübin­gen, gave the official go-ahead for the estab­lish­ment of Europe’s first ELLIS Insti­tute at the Cyber Valley campus in Tübingen.

The European Labora­tory for Learn­ing and Intel­li­gent Systems (ELLIS) aims to secure the lasting compet­i­tive­ness of European AI by pooling the exper­tise of top researchers in machine learn­ing and related fields across the conti­nent.
The ELLIS Insti­tute in Tübin­gen will be funded by the Hector Founda­tion with a total of 100 million euros over the next ten years. The state of Baden-Württem­berg is contribut­ing an additional 25 million euros.

The research focus in Tübin­gen is on build­ing learn­ing systems that approach the versa­til­ity and robust­ness of natural intel­li­gent systems. Many AI-based appli­ca­tions are locked into a specific problem, but stop working when that problem changes. They cannot recog­nize causal relation­ships. Research is under­way in Tübin­gen on approaches to close this gap.

“Future systems will deal with the complex­ity of the world by learn­ing from obser­va­tions – from astron­omy to climate research to medicine. We created Cyber Valley and the ELLIS initia­tive to help shape them,” notes Bernhard Schölkopf.