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Artificial Intelligence Funding Initiative

The DFG has launched a strategic funding initiative in the field of artificial intelligence (AI). Projects from all areas of AI research are to be financed in various funding programmes in the years 2020 to 2022 as part of the initiative.

Artificial intelligence techniques are increasingly becoming an integral part of the research process in many branches of science. In recognition of this, the AI initiative addresses different areas of action: On the one hand, it highlights the need for top-level academic research in this area closely interlinking research on AI methods with basic research in the disciplines in which AI methods are increasingly being used. At the same time, success in the competition for the best researchers in this field plays an important role in terms of positioning Germany’s AI research landscape internationally.

Funding Opportunities

Emmy Noether Independent Junior Research Groups in the Field of Artificial Intelligence Methods

One focus of the initiative is the funding of independent junior research groups in the DFG's Emmy Noether Programme. These groups are expected to draw in the next generation of highly qualified researchers who focus on AI methods by opening up career options with a high level of autonomy at an early stage. Spread across three proposal rounds in successive years, up to 30 independent junior research groups will be established in the course of the initiative.

Research Units and Centres for Advanced Studies in the Field of Artificial Intelligence

The second focus of the initiative is to promote the interlinking of AI methods with areas of research that either use AI techniques to gain scientific insights or that investigate overarching issues related to the use of AI. The call for proposals envisions funding for up to eight Research Units.

The call is geared at teams of outstanding researchers seeking to collaborate on AI methods for the purposes mentioned above. Research projects of exceptional scientific quality and originality are eligible for funding. The cooperation of the participating researchers within the Research Unit or Centre for Advanced Studies must generate a distinct added value that clearly exceeds the possibilities of individual project grants.

Cooperations with Partner Organisations

Cooperation with Alexander von Humboldt Foundation

The DFG intends to create synergies between the projects it funds under its AI initiative and Alexander von Humboldt Professorships, especially those awarded for contributions to the German Federal Government’s Artificial Intelligence Strategy.

To this end, the DFG's call for Research Units and Centres for Advanced Studies is also open specifically to Alexander von Humboldt Professorships, which can perform the important function of a bridge professorship.

Further information on the new Alexander von Humboldt Professorships, including information on filling these professorships in the AI:

Collaboration with “Research in Germany”

“Research in Germany” is an initiative of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF). It presents Germany as a country of research and innovation and creates a forum for international cooperation. The initiative is implemented by the International Office of the BMBF, the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), the DFG and the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft. The Artificial Intelligence Funding Initiative is collaborating with the “Research in Germany” partner organisations to promote AI research and funding opportunities in Germany abroad. 

Further Information

Contact at the DFG Head Office