The Bavarian AI Council

The AI Council consists of 21 internationally renowned AI experts from science and industry. Its members set impulses for baiosphere activities and advise the Bavarian State Government on AI topics.

In addition, 7 internationally renowned experts from abroad act as ambassadors for AI made in Bavaria and support the baiosphere with their expertise from an international point of view.

Universities and universities of applied sciences

Prof. Dr.-Ing. Sami Haddadin

© Andreas Heddergott / TUM

Executive Director of the Munich Institute of Robotics and Machine Intelligence (MIRMI), Chair of Robotics and Systems Intelligence, Technical University of Munich (TUM)

Research interests and foci

Robotics; embodied AI; collective intelligence; machine learning; modeling the human body.

Most important awards and memberships:

  • Since 2021 Member National Academy of Sciences (Leopoldina)
  • 2019 Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Prize of the DFG
  • Since 2019 Member German Academy of Science and Engineering (acatech)
  • 2017 German Future Prize of the Federal President
  • Multiple Best Paper Award from IEEE Transactions on Robotics and IEEE Conferences

Prof. Dr. Elisabeth André

AI Councilmember Prof. Elisabeth André

© University of Augsburg

Chair of Multimodal Human-Technology Interaction, University of Augsburg

Research interests and foci

Human-technology interaction; multimodal analysis (physiological data, eye movements, speech, gestures); tangible and haptic user interfaces; interaction techniques for augmented realities; social-interactive virtual characters and robots

Most important awards and memberships:

  • 2021 Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Prize
  • Selected in 2019 by the German Informatics Society as one of the “Ten Formative Minds in German AI History”
  • Since 2017 member of the CHI Academy (SIGCHI)
  • Since 2014 Fellow of the European Association for Artificial Intelligence (EurAI).
  • Since 2010 Member of the German Academy of Sciences Leopoldina – National Academy of Sciences

Prof. Dr. med. Alena Buyx

© Klaus Ranger

Director of the Institute for History and Ethics of Medicine, Chair of Ethics of Medicine and Health Technologies, Technical University of Munich (TUM)

Research interests and foci

Biomedical and public health ethics, with special emphasis on the ethics of medical innovation and health technologies; research ethics, issues of solidarity and justice in contexts such as public health and health care, novel participatory approaches in biomedicine.

Most important awards and memberships:

  • 2021 German National Award
  • 2021 Bavarian Constitutional Order
  • Member of acatech Academy of Science and Engineering since 2021
  • Since 2020 Member of the National Academy of Sciences
  • Since 2020 Chair of the German Ethics Council, of which she has been a member since 2016

Prof. Dr. Dr. Eric Hilgendorf

© Private

Chair of Criminal Law, Criminal Procedure Law, Legal Theory, Information Law and Legal Informatics, Head of the RobotLaw Research Unit, Julius-Maximilians-Universität Würzburg

Research interests and foci

Legal framework for autonomous systems and artificial intelligence; technology and media criminal law, in particular computer and Internet criminal law; medical and bio-criminal law; basic criminal law problems; international harmonization of law

Most important awards and memberships:

  • Director at the Bavarian Research Institute for Digital Transformation (bidt), Munich
  • Member of the European High Level Expert Group on AI
  • Member of the German Academy of Science and Engineering
  • Member of the Global Faculty of Peking Law School
  • 2016-2017 Member of the Ethics Committee on Automated and Connected Driving.

Prof. Dr.-Ing. Dirk Jacob

© Kempten University of Applied Sciences – Ralf Lienert

Professor of Automation Technology and Robotics, Vice President Teaching and Continuing Education, Kempten University of Applied Sciences

Research interests and foci

Factory automation and robotics, application of industrial robots, human-robot cooperation, AI application for industrial robots.

Most important awards and memberships:

  • Best Machine House 2017 – VDMA
  • Award for outstanding teaching 2020 – STMWK Bayern

Prof. Dr. Ute Schmid

© Jürgen Schabel

Chair of Cognitive Systems, Otto-Friedrich-University Bamberg

Research interests and foci

Hybrid artificial intelligence; Interpretable machine learning approaches, especially inductive programming; Explanatory interactive machine learning; Intelligent tutoring systems; AI in medical diagnostics.

Most important awards and memberships:

  • Fellow of the European Association of AI (EurAI)
  • 2020 Winner of the Rainer Markgraf Prize
  • Since 2020 Head of the Fraunhofer IIS Project Group Explainable AI (Compehensible Artificial Intelligence).
  • Since 2020 Member of the Board of Directors of the Bavarian Institute for Digital Transformation (bidt)
  • 2018 Minerva Informatics Equality Award from Informatics Europe for faculty as first German university.

Prof. Dr. Thomas Seidl

© Private

Holder of the Chair of Database Systems and Data Mining, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München (LMU)

Research interests and foci

Data Mining; Machine Learning; Data Science and Database Technology for AI; Process Mining.

Most important awards and memberships:

  • Since 2018 Speaker of the Munich Center for Machine Learning (MCML), National Competence Center for AI.
  • Since 2019 Member of the Board of Directors of the Leibniz Computing Center of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences and Humanities
  • Since 2018 member of the management of the Fraunhofer IIS ADA Lovelace Center at LMU Munich.
  • Since 2016, co-spokesperson of the elite Master in Data Science program, sponsored by Elitenetzwerk Bayern.
  • 2019-2020 Member of the Expert Commission EK|KI.BY2020 of the Bavarian Ministry of Science and the Arts (StMWK)

Non-university research

Prof. Dr. Dr. Fabian J. Theis

© Matthias Tunger Photodesign

Director of the Helmholtz Munich Computational Health Center Professor of Mathematical Modeling of Biological Systems at the School of Computation, Information and Technology CIT , TUM; Scientific Director of HelmholtzAI Associate Faculty at the Wellcome Sanger Institute, Hinxton, UK

Research interests and foci

Development of machine and deep learning methods for the analysis and modeling of biomedical data, especially from single cell genomics.

Most important awards and memberships:

  • 2023 Leibniz Prize of the German Research Foundation
    Since 2022 Member of the European Molecular Biology Organization (EMBO)
    Since 2020 Director of the ELLIS Unit Munich
    Since 2019 Coordinator of the Munich School for Data Science (MUDS)
    Since 2018 Founder and Coordinator of the Single Cell Omics Germany (SCOG) Network.

Prof. Dr.-Ing. Alin Albu-Schäffer

© German Aerospace Center

Director of the Institute of Robotics and Mechatronics, German Aerospace Center (DLR), Oberpfaffenhofen, holder of the Chair for Sensor-Based Robot Systems and Intelligent Assistance Systems at the TU Munich

Research interests and foci

High-performance mechatronic systems, esp. Robots; AI methods for their intelligent operation; AI methods for natural, safe and efficient human-machine interfaces; application areas: Space, medicine, rehabilitation and care, automated and networked production, mobile autonomous systems for logistics, inspection and maintenance.

Most important awards and memberships:

  • IEEE Fellow
  • Acatech member
  • Member of the euRobotics Board of Directors and founding member of euRobotics
  • AdCom Member IEEE Robotics and Automation Society
  • 2019 ERC Advanced Grant Award

Prof. Dr. rer. nat. Dr. habil. Claudia Eckert

© Bernd Müller/Fraunhofer AISEC

Head of the Chair “Security in Computer Science” at the Technical University of Munich, Head of the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied and Integrated Security AISEC in Garching

Research interests and foci

Technologies to assess and improve the cybersecurity of products, networked systems, and infrastructures; technologies to increase the resilience and robustness of systems against attacks.

Most important awards and memberships:

  • Member of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences and Humanities (BAdW)
  • Member of the Presidium of the Academy of Engineering Sciences (acatech)
  • Inclusion in the Hall of Fame of German Research
  • Awarded the State Medal for special services to the Bavarian economy

Prof. Dietmar Harhoff, Ph.D.

© David Ausserhofer

Director at the Max Planck Institute for Innovation and Competition, Honorary Professor for Entrepreneurship and Innovation at the LMU Munich

Research interests and foci

Innovation; Entrepreneurship; Digitalization; Venture capital; Corporate strategies; Economic policy

Most important awards and memberships:

  • 2019 Chairman of the founding commission of the Federal Agency for Leap Innovations (SPRIND), member of the Supervisory Board since 2020
  • 2019 Federal Cross of Merit 1st Class for Services to the Federal Republic of Germany
  • 2019-2021 Member of the Board of Directors of the Bavarian Research Institute for Digital Transformation (bidt)
  • Since 2015 Member of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences and Humanities (BAdW)
  • 2010 Co-Founder, German Accelerator

Prof. Dr. Alexander Martin

© Fraunhofer IIS; Paul Pulkert

Institute Director of Fraunhofer IIS, Chair of Analytics & Mixed-Integer Optimization at Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg and Founding Vice President of Research, Innovation and Entrepreneurship at Technical University Nürnberg

Research interests and foci

Data analytics; AI algorithms, especially mathematical optimization with applications in energy management as well as production and logistics.

Most important awards and memberships:

  • Since 2019 Member of the DFG Senate and Grants Committee for Research Training Groups.
  • 2016 EURO Excellence in Practice Award
  • Member of the Executive Board of the Society for Operations Research since 2019, Chairman of the Executive Board since 2023
  • Director of the ADA Lovelace Center for Analytics, Data and Applications
  • Spokesman of the DFG Collaborative Research Center TRR 154 “Mathematical modeling, simulation and optimization using the example of gas networks”.

Prof. Dr. habil. Mario Trapp

© Fraunhofer IKS

Director of the Fraunhofer Institute for Cognitive Systems IKS and Chair of “Engineering Resilient Cognitive Systems” at the TU Munich

Research interests and foci

Cognitive Systems: Technical systems, machines and processes that use artificial intelligence to realize their functionality; Resilience: Technical systems that continue to function reliably even in the face of massive internal and external disturbances or influences; “Safe Intelligence”: Development of cognitive systems with guaranteed, safe functionality (e.g. autonomous driving, intelligent automated production, medical technology); Software Systems Engineering for Cognitive Systems


Thomas Hahn

© Bavarian AI Agency

Chief Expert Software Siemens AG

Research interests and foci

Enterprise technology (automation, digitalization), especially software, data, AI and robotics in research and application; scaling via new business opportunities (platforms and ecosystems) and involvement especially of SMEs; standardization (automation, digitalization).

Most important awards and memberships:

  • Member Steering Committee Platform Industry 4.0
  • Chairman Lab Network Industry 4.0
  • Board member GAIA-X
  • Vice President OPC Foundation
  • Member HLEG Standardization of the EC. Focus: Digitization

Dr. Anna Bauer-Mehren

© Roche

Head of Analytics at pRED D&A (Pharma Research and Early Development Data & Analytics) Roche Penzberg, AI expert in setting up the Fraunhofer site for immunology, infection and pandemic research in Penzberg.

Research interests and foci

Data analytics using AI to improve research and development of personalized medicine; analysis of high-dimensional data e.g. genomic data, electronic health record data, image data and sensor data; innovative healthcare solutions; companion diagnostics.

Dr. Wieland Holfelder

© Bavarian AI Agency

Vice President Engineering and Site Lead Google Engineering Center Munich, Google Germany GmbH

Research interests and foci

Privacy and Data Security; Sovereign Cloud and Cloud Security; Artificial Intelligence; Open Platforms and Ecosystems; Sustainability

Most important awards and memberships:

  • Member of the Supervisory Board of the German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence (DFKI)
  • Member of the Supervisory Board of Universitätsklinikum München Rechts der Isar (MRI)
  • Member of the Senate of acatech (German Academy of Science and Engineering)
  • Member of the Board of Trustees of the Deutsches Museum
  • Awarded by the German Informatics Society as GI Fellow

Andrea Martin

© IBM Corporation 2019

Head of IBM Watson Center Munich and IBM Innovation Studio EMEA, IBM Distinguished Engineer

Research interests and foci

Artificial Intelligence (AI) – especially AI & ethics, Human Friendly Automation; Digital Transformation; future IT trends and innovation; speaker and panelist at events, especially on the above topics; mentoring of (technical) employees inside and outside IBM.

Most important awards and memberships:

  • 2018-2020 Member of the Enquete Commission “Artificial Intelligence” of the German Bundestag
  • Member or advisory board of Society of Women Engineers, Initiative D21, #SheTransformsIT, bidt, Wertekommission e.V.
  • 2014-2015 President of the IBM Academy of Technology
  • IT Woman of the Year 2017 for Technical Innovation and 2020 for Leadership – Executive Manager / CxO
  • Manager of the Year “AI & Robotics” 2020

Dr. Felix Reinshagen

Prof. Dr. Patrick van der Smagt

© Volkswagen AG

Director AI Research and Head of Machine Learning Research Lab, Volkswagen Group, Munich; Research Professor, Eötvös Loránd University, Budapest

Research interests and foci

probabilistic deep learning; robotics; optimal control and reinforcement learning; computational neuroscience

Most important awards and memberships:

  • Director and initiator of etami (ethical and trustworthy artificial and machine intelligence).
  • 2018 Webit Best Implementation of AI Award
  • 2014 King Sun Fu Memorial Prize
  • 2013 Harvard Medical School/MGH Martin Research Prize
  • 2012 Erwin Schrödinger Prize of the Helmholtz Society

Dr. Michael Würtenberger

Portrait des ai councilmember Michael Würtenberger, BMW Group


Vice President Business Line My Journey & Head of projectAI BMW Group

Research interests and foci

Connected Company: development and operation of geo-based services, services for electromobility; technologies: computer vision, machine learning, processing of geospatial information, natural language understanding, software development

Most important awards and memberships:

  • Member of the Supervisory Board of DFKI
  • Representative in the appliedAI
  • Representative in CyberValley
  • Member of the jury for the German AI Prize
  • Member of the industry representation of EURECOM

Permanent Guests

Dr. Andreas Liebl

Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Heckl

Dr. Rainer Seßner

Prof. Dr. Alexander Pretschner

International Members

Prof. Dr. Oussama Khatib

Dr. Aviv Regev

Prof. Dr. Daniela Rus

Prof. Dr. Jürgen Schmidhuber

Dr. Josef Sivic

Prof. Dr. Manuela Veloso

Prof. Dr. Max Welling

Honorary member

Prof. Dr.-Ing. Gerd Hirzinger