Jena Triangle of DLR, Max Planck Institute and University in Champions League of AI

November 12, 2021

Artificial intelligence will be of great benefit to people and the environment in the future. The possible applications are manifold. The Max Planck Institute for Biogeochemistry, the Institute of Data Science of the German Aerospace Center (DLR) and the University of Jena will jointly become part of the excellence network "European Laboratory for Learning and Intelligent Systems" (ELLIS), in which diverse theoretical and applied aspects of artificial intelligence will be brought together.

In the ELLIS Unit Jena (AI for Earth System, Climate and Environmental Sciences), the three research institutions will in future bundle their work on artificial intelligence (AI). At the interface between climate and environmental sciences and machine learning (ML), the focus here is on integrating scientific results and developing approaches for machine learning. "The ELLIS Unit Jena is now connected to the best AI expertise in Europe as part of the European ELLIS network. The network offers fantastic new avenues for interdisciplinary collaboration. A wide range of AI topics, for example robust and interpretable AI, causal modeling, or ecologically and physically based machine learning, are extremely relevant for spatiotemporal Earth system, environmental, and climate science and are also the main topic of the research network," explains Prof. Markus Reichstein from the Max Planck Institute for Biogeochemistry and director of the new Unit.

"The ELLIS Unit Jena takes the successful collaboration between the University of Jena, the Max Planck Institute and the DLR Institute of the last ten years in this highly relevant field to a new level. It is a central hub in the ELLIS ecosystem to foster scientific breakthroughs at the interface between AI and Earth system, environmental and climate science, and ultimately to contribute to the sustainable development of our planet through links to policy and industry," adds Prof. Dr. Joachim Denzler from the DLR Institute for Data Science and co-director of the ELLIS Unit Jena.


ELLIS (European Laboratory for Learning and Intelligent Systems) is a European initiative in Artificial Intelligence (AI) focused on scientific excellence, innovation and societal impact. The ELLIS networks, with more than 300 recognized researchers, strive to make a meaningful contribution to ensuring Europe's sovereignty and leadership in the research field of modern AI. Several high-level institutes in 14 European countries and in Israel collaborate in the ELLIS network. The goal of an ELLIS unit is to create an optimal environment for outstanding researchers, especially to connect cutting-edge research with industrial partners and to foster the creation of start-ups. To do this, they bring together the best AI researchers at their sites and meet a set of criteria to ensure excellence and be maximally competitive at the international level.

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