Representatives of DFKI had previously convinced themselves of the profile and performance of Lübeck's Computer Science department on-site. The contact was made with the support of Lübeck-based Prof. Dr. Claudia Schmidtke, a member of the German Bundestag and Federal Government's Commissioner for Patients' Affairs. The decision to choose Lübeck is not least due to the great success of the university in the AI innovation competition of the German federal government and the recently founded "AI-Space for Intelligent Health Systems" (KI-SIGS), a North German research association for the use of AI methods in medicine under the leadership of Lübeck. The new location's thematic focus in the area of "Artificial Intelligence in Medicine and Medical Technology" thus perfectly fits the university's profile and, at the same time, perfectly complements the profile of DFKI.
Over the next three years, two to three working groups will be set up on different sub-areas of artificial intelligence in medicine and medical technology. The state of Schleswig-Holstein will primarily finance the necessary scientific personnel, while the University of Lübeck will mainly provide the rooms and working hours of professors. After three years, an evaluation will take place to determine whether the approach was successful and whether the location will be established permanently.
The President of the University of Lübeck, Prof. Dr. Gabriele Gillessen-Kaesbach, commented on the decision of the DFKI Supervisory Board: "The University is very pleased about the decision of DFKI to establish a new site for artificial intelligence (AI) in Lübeck. Our thanks also go to the state of Schleswig-Holstein and our member of the Bundestag, Professor Claudia Schmidtke, for their support. In addition to the acquisition of the KI-SIGS project and the Laboratory for AI, the location decision for Lübeck represents a further success that will positively promote the development into a center of excellence for AI."
"For the Lübeck-based Computer Science department and the physicians involved, the decision made by DFKI is, on the one hand, a great confirmation of our previous achievements and successes in building a comprehensive AI portfolio. On the other hand, this is also an important component of this strategy and a fantastic opportunity to further expand our competence and our services in the field of artificial intelligence applications in medicine and medical technology. We are very much looking forward to the cooperation and will put the plans into concrete terms in the next few weeks," added Prof. Dr. Stefan Fischer, Vice President of the University for Transfer and Digitalization.
"Our goal is to bring Schleswig-Holstein forward in the use and application of artificial intelligence technologies. That is why we, as the state government, together with DFKI and the University of Lübeck, have set out to make the University of Lübeck a site for the German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence. To this end, we will invest three million euros over the next three years. The whole of Schleswig-Holstein will benefit from this project," said the head of the State Chancellery, State Secretary Dirk Schrödter. As early as 2019, the state government had adopted a strategy for artificial intelligence in order to play a leading role in this field nationwide. Today's decision confirms this intention once again.
Prof. Dr. Antonio Krüger, Technical and Scientific Director and CEO of DFKI, said: "The application of AI results and the development of AI tools for medicine and health obviously corresponds to DFKI's mission of 'Human-centric AI' and is an affair of the heart. We are extremely pleased that the new DFKI branch office, thanks to its cooperation with the University of Lübeck and its proximity to world market leaders in medical technology, will jointly develop, adapt, and evaluate AI procedures in future that can have a direct impact on people's health and lives."
Prof. Dr. Claudia Schmidtke, Member of the German Bundestag and Patient Rep-resentative of the Federal Government, said: "A DFKI in Lübeck – this is where what belongs together comes together. Artificial intelligence can change medical research; in any case, it will enrich it considerably. At no other location are research, teaching, and in-patient care from the fields of medicine, computer science, and life sciences as closely interlinked as on the Lübeck campus, with the university and the neighborhood of the Technical University, Fraunhofer, and a medical industry that is not only currently attracting worldwide attention. On the occasion of the Enquete Commission on Artificial Intelligence of the German Bundestag, I was therefore able to develop an idea with Prof. Dr. Antonio Krüger that has become reality today. Thanks to the active support of the state government and the University of Lübeck, which always is up to date."
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