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

Humans at the center of AI must be more than a guiding theme: it must be our maxim for action.

© 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

Prof. Dr. med. Alena Buyx

In the development of AI technologies, ethical and social challenges must be understood as integral parts and considered from the beginning. That's what I'm advocating for on the AI Council.

© 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

Even in the age of digitalization and AI, a legal framework is needed that safeguards human dignity and human rights and upholds humanistic values.

© 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

My concern is to embed AI methods in socio-technical contexts in such a way that AI systems enhance and promote human competencies but remain controllable.

© 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

From a university perspective, I would also like to network the Bavarian AI players in science and industry in such a way that the Free State achieves a top international position in education and innovation.

© 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

Bavaria has extensive AI expertise, especially in the area of health. I am very pleased that we as the AI Council can bring these from academic, non-academic and industrial research into socially relevant contexts.

© 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

Effective technology transfer as well as safe, certifiable AI for autonomous systems and intelligent robots are the topics I want to advance for Bavaria as an international leader in Embodied AI."

© 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

Trustworthy AI made in Bavaria is a goal I am committed to. The AI Council is an outstanding environment for joining forces and shaping global quality standards for AI systems from Bavaria.

© 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.

Smart policies can further strengthen AI research and AI applications. In developing options for action for an AI policy in Bavaria, the AI Council can play a central role."

© 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

AI is a driving technology of the future and has an enormous impact on society, business and industry. I am very pleased that we in Bavaria are advancing this topic and aiming for a leading role worldwide."

© Fraunhofer IIS; Paul Pulkert

Institute Director of Fraunhofer IIS, Chair of Analytics & Mixed-Integer Optimization at Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-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

Through the AI Council, I want to contribute to strengthening Bavaria as a leading location of the key technology "AI", to increase its worldwide perception and to expand the bridge from research into industrial applications.

© 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

We can and must be the pacesetter for industrial AI. To make this happen, we bring together all relevant stakeholder groups in the AI Council and form a strong ecosystem for the future

© 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

In medicine, AI is improving the diagnosis and treatment of diseases so that patients receive the right medicine at the right time. Cooperation between industry and academia is essential for this.

© 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

Artificial intelligence is changing our world. The Free State of Bavaria already offers excellent conditions both in the field of AI research and in the application of AI in business. I am therefore very pleased to be able to actively shape the strategy and direction of research and development in the field of AI in Bavaria, as well as its concrete implementation in practice, as a member of the Bavarian AI Council.

© 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

We will only make artificial intelligence a success for society, the state and the economy if we discuss it in an interdisciplinary way. This means, on the one hand, a lively exchange between research, business and politics and, on the other hand, an exchange between disciplines, i.e. technology, application industries, sociology, psychology and many more. I would like and expect this exchange, as well as the possibility of shaping and giving impulses that goes with it, in and from the KI Council.

© 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

The discrepancy between research and application is particularly problematic in machine learning. While ML methods can scale close to applications, their application outside of human-machine interfaces is almost nonexistent. Bridging this is an important task that requires cooperation between research, industry and politics.

© 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

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