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

Chair of Robotics and Systems Intelligence & Executive Director of the Munich Institute of Robotics and Machine Intelligence, TU Munich (Chair of the AI Council)

Research interests and foci

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

Most important awards and memberships:

  • 2024 IEEE Fellow
  • Since 2021 Member German National Academy of Sciences (Leopoldina)
  • 2019 Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Prize of the DFG
  • Since 2019 Member National 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 for Human-Centered Artificial Intelligence, 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:

  • 2024 Member National Academy of Science and Engineering (acatech)
  • 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 German National Academy of Sciences (Leopoldina)

Prof. Dr. med. Alena Buyx

© Klaus Ranger

Chair of Ethics of Medicine and Health Technologies & Director of the Institute for History and Ethics of Medicine, TU Munich

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 National Academy of Science and Engineering (acatech) since 2021
  • Since 2020 Member German National Academy of Sciences (Leopoldina)
  • 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, JMU 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 National Academy of Science and Engineering (acatech)
  • 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, 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. Björn Ommer

©

© Stefanie Loos/re:publica

Chair of AI for Computer Vision and Digital Humanities/the Arts, LMU Munich

Research interests and foci

Computer Vision, Maschine Learning, Generative AI, Deep Metric & Representation Learning, Explainable AI, Interdisciplinary applications in the digital humanities and neuroscience

Most important awards and memberships:

  • Associate Editor IEEE Transactions on Pattern Analysis and Machine Intelligence
  • Fellow of the ELLIS Society
  • ETH Medal for outstanding PhD thesis

Prof. Dr. Ute Schmid

© Jürgen Schabel

Chair of Cognitive Systems, 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.

Non-university research

Prof. Dr. Fabian J. Theis

© Matthias Tunger Photodesign

Director of the Helmholtz Munich Computational Health Center and Director at the Institute of Computational Biology, Helmholtz Munich (Co-Chair AI Council)

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

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

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
  • Member National Academy of Science and Engineering (acatech)
  • 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. Claudia Eckert

© Bernd Müller/Fraunhofer AISEC

Head of the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied and Integrated Security (AISEC), Munich. Chair “Security in Computer Science” at TU Munich

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 National Academy of Science and Engineering (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 Max Planck Institute for Innovation and Competition, 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 Institute for Integrated Circuits (IIS) and Founding Vice President of Research, Innovation and Entrepreneurship at TU Nuremberg (UTN), Head of ADA Lovelace Center, Nuremberg

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. Thomas Seidl

© Private

Chair of Database Systems and Data Mining, LMU Munich, Director of the Munich Center for Machine Learning (MCML), Member of the Board of Directors of the Leibniz Supercomputing Center (LRZ)

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 (BAdW)
  • 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)

Prof. Dr.-Ing. Mario Trapp

© Fraunhofer IKS

Director of the Fraunhofer Institute for Cognitive Systems (IKS). Chair of Engineering Resilient Cognitive Systems, 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

Economy

Thomas Hahn

© Bavarian AI Agency

Chief Expert Software, Corporate Technology, Research in Digitalization and Predevelopment, Siemens AG Erlangen (Co-Chair AI Council)

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

Global Head Analytics (Data&Analytics), Pharma Research and Early Development, Roche

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 & Lead Google Engineering Center, Google Germany

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 National Academy of Science and Engineering (acatech)
  • Member of the Board of Trustees of the Deutsches Museum
  • Awarded by the German Informatics Society as GI Fellow

Andrea Martin

© IBM Corporation 2019

CTO Ecosystem and Associations IBM DACH, Head of IBM Watson Center Munich

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:

  • 2024 Member of the Science Council
  • 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

Portrait des ai councilmember Felix Reinshagen, NavVis

© NavVis GmbH

CEO NavVis GmbH, Munich

Research interests and foci

3D mapping of buildings and facilities; digital twins for industry; visual positioning and persistent augmented reality

Most important awards and memberships:

  • Member of Atlantik Brücke
  • Board member at air-up

Prof. Dr. Patrick van der Smagt

© Volkswagen AG

Chief AI Expert, Volkswagen Group

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.-Ing. Michael Würtenberger

Portrait des ai councilmember Michael Würtenberger, BMW Group

© BMW

Vice President Business Line My Journey, E-Mobility, 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

©Thomas Dashuber Fotografie

© Thomas Dashuber Fotografie

Managing Director of the appliedAI Initiative and the appliedAI Institute for Europe with the aim of “shaping Europe’s innovative strength in AI”

Research interests and foci

Focus on topics related to AI innovation, application of AI and commercialization on a European and global level, regulatory and political frameworks

Most important awards and memberships:

  • Member of the Steering Committee of the Global Partnership on AI (GPAI)
  • Member of the Learning Systems Platform in the area of business model innovation
  • Member of the Board of Trustees of the Heinz and Heide Dürr Foundation
  • Top40under40 of Capital magazine
  • Executive Board of UnternehmerTUM

Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Heckl

© Deutsches Museum

© Deutsches Museum

Director General of Deutsches Museum and holder of the Oskar von Miller Chair of Science Communication School of Social Sciences and Physics Department, TU Munich

Research interests and foci

Molecular self-organization in the field of nanotechnology, science communication

Most important awards and memberships:

  • 2019 Arthur Burkhardt Prize for Science Communication and Reorientation of the German Museum (awarded in 2021)
  • 2017 Golden Hermann Oberth Medal at the Spange for outstanding scientific and technical achievements in the field of space travel
  • 2015 Ring of Honor of the Eduard Rhein Foundation for Science and the Common Good
  • 2011 Elected to the European Academy of Sciences
  • 2008 Federal Cross of Merit on Ribbon of the Federal Republic of Germany
  • 2004 Descartes Prize for Science Communication of the European Union
  • 2002 Communicator Prize of the German Research Foundation
  • 1993 Philip Morris Research Prize

Dr. Rainer Seßner

© Bayern Innovativ GmbH

© Bayern Innovativ GmbH

Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director Bayern Innovativ GmbH

Research interests and foci

Technology and innovation management; roadmapping and trend-scouting; digitization of services and business model innovations focusing on technology and knowledge transfer, consulting and funding of technology and innovation.

Most important awards and memberships:

  • 2023 Nominee Rudolph-Diesel-Medaille, „Beste Innovationsförderung“
  • 2023 FAU-Fellow, member of the elite-alumni network of the Friedrich-Alexander-University Erlangen-Nuremberg
  • since 2021  Advisory board member Fraunhofer IGCV, MULTIMATERIAL-Zentrum Augsburg
  • 2019 – 2021 TOP 100 – Germany’s most innovative SMEs
  • 2017 – 2019 Board member DTI – Deutscher Verband für Technologietransfer und Innovation e.V.
  • 2017 – 2018 Spokesperson for the Bavarian Research and Innovation Agency (BayFIA)

Prof. Dr. Alexander Pretschner

© Kilian Blees

© Kilian Blees

Chairman of the bidt Board of Directors and member of the Executive Committee | Professor of Software & Systems Engineering, TU Munich & Chairman of the Scientific Board of Directors, fortiss

Research interests and foci

Systems & software engineering, security of distributed data and systems, usage control (demo videos), data protection, model-based testing, automated test case generation, model-based development

Most important awards and memberships:

  • 2022 Test-of-Time Runner-Up award at ISSRE
  • 2020 2nd place Supervisory Award of the TUM Graduate Center “Center of Doctoral Studies in Informatics and its Applications” for outstanding supervision of doctoral students
  • 2012, 2013 IBM Faculty Award
  • 2011, 2012 Google Focused Research Award
  • 2008-2013 Fraunhofer Attract
  • 1999 Fulbright Scholarship

International Members

Prof. Dr. Oussama Khatib

Professor of Computer Science and Director of the Robotics Laboratory at Stanford University

Research interests and foci

Robotics, Human-Robot-Interaction, human-friendly designs for advanced capabilities in complex environments

Most important awards and memberships:

  • President of the International Foundation of Robotics Research (IFRR)
  • Fellow of IEEE
  • American Publishers Award for Excellence in Physical Sciences and Mathematics
  • IEEE Robotics and Automation (IEEE/RAS) Pioneering Award
  • IEEE/RAS George Saridis Leadership Award
  • Distinguished Service Award
  • Japan Robot Association (JARA) Award
  • Rudolf Kalman Award
  • IEEE Technical Field Award
  • Engelberger Award
  • Member of the National Academy of Engineering

Dr. Aviv Regev

©Genentech

© Genentech

Head of Research and Early Development, Genentech & Member of the Corporate Executive Committee, Roche

Research interests and foci

Computational and systems biology; Machine learning in biology; Single-cell and spatial genomics

Most important awards and memberships:

  • 2023 L’Oréal-UNESCO for Women in Science International Award
  • 2021 Ernst Schering Prize
  • 2020 Lurie Prize in Biomedical Sciences
  • 2020 Keio Medical Science Prize
  • 2020 National Academy of Medicine USA, Elected Member
  • 2019 National Academy of Sciences, Elected Member

Prof. Dr. Daniela Rus

©

© Daniel Jackson

Andrew (1956) and Erna Viterbi Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, and Director of the Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) at MIT

Research interests and foci

Robotics, artificial intelligence, and machine learning, and their applications toward a better world

Most important awards and memberships:

  • National Academy of Sciences USA 2024
  • Senior visiting fellow at MITRE Corporation
  • MacArthur Fellow
  • Fellow of ACM, AAAI, AAAS, and IEEE
  • Member of the National Academy of Engineering
  • Member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences
  • Engelberger Award for robotics
  • IEEE RAS Technical Award

Prof. Dr. Jürgen Schmidhuber

© Private

Co-Founder & Chief Scientist, NNAISENSE und Director of KAUST AI Initiative; Scientific Director, Swiss AI Lab, IDSIA, Lugano & Professor of Artificial Intelligence, Faculty of Computer Science, University of Lugano

Research interests and foci

Deep learning & neural computer vision; reinforcement learning; neural networks

Most important awards and memberships:

  • 2021 Chief Scientific Advisor of the non-profit AI Research Institute (AIRI)
  • 2019 Steiger Award
  • 2018 Named Top 100 Leader of Switzerland by Swiss economy magazine BILANZ
  • 2017 Appointed to the Swiss Academy of Technical Sciences
  • 2017 First Best Paper Award ever issued by the journal Neural Networks 
  • 2016 NVIDIA Pioneers of AI Research Award 
  • 2016 Swiss ICT Special Award for IDSIA
  • 2016 IEEE CIS Neural Networks Pioneer Award
  • 2013 Helmholtz Award of the International Neural Networks Society
  • 2009 Appointed to the Academia Scientiarum et Artium Europae

Dr. Josef Sivic

© J. Ryszawy, ČVUT

© J. Ryszawy, ČVUT

Distinguished researcher, Czech Institute of Informatics, Robotics, and Cybernetics, Czech Technical University in Prague; Director ELLIS Unit Prague

Research interests and foci

Computer vision, machine learning, robotics

Most important awards and memberships:

  • Longuet-Higgins Prize und Helmholtz Prize for fundamental contributions to computer vision
  • 2023 ERC Advanced Grant
  • 2013 ERC Starting Grant
  • Board member European Laboratory of Learning and Intelligent Systems

Prof. Dr. Manuela Veloso

Head of J.P. Morgan Chase AI Research and Herbert A. Simon University Professor Emerita at Carnegie Mellon University

Research interests and foci

Artificial Intelligence, AI Agents, Symbiotic Human-Robot Autonomy, Planning, Continuous Learning, AI in Finance

Most important awards and memberships:

  • National Science Foundation CAREER Award
  • Allen Newell Medal for Excellence in Research
  • Radcliffe Fellow
  • Einstein Chair Professor of the Chinese Academy of Sciences
  • ACM/SIGART Autonomous Agents Research Award
  • Fellow of AAAI, AAAS, ACM, and IEEE
  • Member of the National Academy of Engineering

Prof. Dr. Max Welling

Research chair in Machine Learning at the University of Amsterdam

Research interests and foci

Machine Learning, Deep Learning, probabilistic graphical models, Bayesian modeling, approximate inference, causal inference, reinforcement learning

Most important awards and memberships:

  • ECCV Koenderink Prize
  • ICML Test of Time Award
  • Fellow Canadian Institute for Advanced Research (CIFAR)
  • ELLIS Fellow
  • Co-director QUVA Lab & DELTA Lab
  • Member Advisory Board NeurIP

Honorary member

Prof. Dr.-Ing. Gerd Hirzinger