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German Expert on Industry 4.0 will lead RICAIP Centre of Excellence at CIIRC CTU in Prague with a budget of EUR 48,2 mil.

From January 2020, the newly established RICAIP Centre (Research and Innovation Centre on Advanced Industrial Production) at the Czech Institute of Informatics, Robotics, and Cybernetics of CTU in Prague (CIIRC CTU) will be led by German scientist Tilman Becker. He comes to the Czech Republic from the German DFKI, one of the most important research institutions focused on artificial intelligence, where he has been working for 25 years. Within the RICAIP Project, he will lead the RICAIP Centre, which is built to manage and use testbed research infrastructures not only among partners but later also within the entire Europe. At RICAIP, he wants to further develop the latest technologies targeting the use of AI in industrial robotics with direct applications in production. Dr. Becker has been recommended as RICAIP Director by an international selection committee in 2019.

Foto: CIIRC CTU / Roman Sejkot

Tilman Becker graduated in computer science at RWTH Aachen in Germany. He defended his doctorate at the University of Saarland in Saarbrücken, Germany, after studying also at the University of Pennsylvania. After working in the Mercedes-Benz Research Lab and the Institute for Research in Cognitive Science in Philadelphia (IRCS UPENN), he linked his further career with DFKI, the German Research Centre for Artificial Intelligence in Saarbrücken, where he has been working since 1995 and collaborated closely with Professor Wolfgang Wahlster, the scientific father of INDUSTRIE 4.0, who has formed the concept in 2011 together with the industrial father Professor Henning Kagermann and the political father Professor Wolf-Dieter Lukas. “Human-Robot-Collaboration in hybrid teams is one of the core concepts of INDUSTRIE 4.0 in combination with service-oriented architectures (SOA), cyber-physical systems (CPS) and multi-agent systems (MAS): in all these fields both CIIRC and DFKI are leading academic hotspots. Since in the Czech Republic and in Germany industrial production is a very significant sector of the economy this is an ideal partnership boosting industrial AI as an innovation motor for both countries”, says Professor Wahlster, Founding Scientific Director and CEA of DFKI.

In recent years, Tilman Becker has become an important figure in the interconnection of CIIRC research teams with DFKI. “With hiring of Tilman Becker, both the RICAIP research team and CIIRC as a whole are gaining a significant reinforcement – a person with an international reputation, great experience and knowledge,” says Professor Vladimír Mařík, Scientific Director of CIIRC CTU, who has just appointed Dr. Becker as the RICAIP director after a successful selection procedure. “It is also very important that he knows our key partner DFKI very well, which will greatly help linking research activities not only in the RICAIP project. Cooperation with German partners in the field of automation and robotization of industrial production is strategically important for our institute as well as for the economy of this country. RICAIP Centre, built under the leadership of Tilman Becker, will have a European dimension and will allow the use of research infrastructures across Europe."
“Working in Prague for RICAIP means a great challenge and commitment to me at the same time”, admits Tilman Becker and emphasizes: “To build up a true centre of excellence from its very inception to the ambitious goals as defined for RICAIP – it is an opportunity that does not repeat itself. I will be delighted to play a central role in this endeavour, well aware that it can only be achieved as a team effort. Personally, I am happy I can build on fruitful years of cooperation between our teams in DFKI and CIIRC – this gives me a great confidence that such a team is in place at CIIRC.”

Tilman Becker has personally been involved in formulating the main ideas of the RICAIP project. His aim is to link the RICAIP testbeds with other European research institutes and move them to the world level. He will benefit from the broad knowledge and experience of digital transformation, machine learning, cyber-physical production systems and human-machine interaction, as well as the active links he has to both major research networks in artificial intelligence and Big Data (e.g. CLAIRE or BDVA), and large industrial corporations. Tilman Becker wants to strengthen the interdisciplinary cooperation at RICAIP and to focus on the social impact of new technologies.

RICAIP – Research and Innovation Centre on Advanced Industrial Production is a project based on a strategic partnership between four leading Czech and German research institutions. The founding partners are CIIRC CTU together with CEITEC BUT (Central European Institute of Technology Brno University of Technology), DFKI (German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence) and ZeMA (Zentrum für Mechatronik und Automatisierungstechnik), both seated in Saarbrücken. RICAIP aims to build a unique distributed research and experimental workstation “RICAIP Industrial Testbed Core”, the first of its kind in Europe to develop and test innovative solutions for advanced and fully integrated industrial production, constantly optimizing to the changing environment. RICAIP was prepared in two phases within the European Union's Horizon 2020 WIDESPREAD Teaming Calls and finally received support in the amount of almost EUR 15 mil. in Teaming Phase 2 Call. Success in this evaluation means for RICAIP additional resources from the EU Structural Funds under the Czech national OP RDE program in the amount of almost EUR 32 million for both Czech partners, that will be mainly used for fitting of testbeds with new technological equipment.

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Czech Institute of Informatics, Robotics and Cybernetics is a modern scientific and research institute of the Czech Technical University in Prague (CIIRC CTU), which brings together excellent research teams, young talents and unique know-how to push technological boundaries and build on the best of Czech tradition in technical education. The focus of CIIRC CTU's research work focuses on four basic pillars: industry, energy, smart cities and a healthy society, both in basic and applied research. CIIRC CTU was founded in 2013 starting its full operation in newly built facility in 2017. The Institute currently has more than 260 employees working in 8 research departments complemented by Center and Testbed units for Industry 4.0. It aims to concentrate an excellent research in the fields of robotics, intelligent, distributed and complex systems, automatic control, computer-aided manufacturing, bioinformatics, biomedicine and assistive technologies. CIIRC CTU supports horizontal collaboration among all parts (faculties and institutes) of CTU and opens the space for mutually beneficial cooperation with other universities, with the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic, with industrial companies and international institutions. CIIRC CTU creates a unique ecosystem of academic-industrial cooperation in which it uses diversified forms of project financing from national, European and private sources. More information at

Czech Technical University in Prague (CTU) was founded in 1707 and is one of the oldest technical universities in Europe and currently the major technical university in the Czech Republic. Offering high quality education and long tradition of cutting edge science and engineering, CTU counts approx. 1.7K members of academic staff, 18.5K students, 8 faculties (civil engineering, mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, nuclear and physical engineering, architecture, transport, biomedical engineering, information technology), and 5 institutes (incl. CIIRC CTU). For the academic year 2019/20, CTU offers its students 170 accredited degree programs, including 53 in foreign languages. CTU in Prague is currently in the 498th position according to the QS World University Rankings ranking, which rated 1,620 universities around the world, and 9th in the regional ranking of “Emerging Europe and Central Asia”; in the area of “Computer Science and Information Systems” at 251 – 300th place. More information is available at


Dr. Tilman Becker

Leiter RICAIP-Zentrum (Research and Innovation Centre on Advanced Industrial Production) am tschechischen Institut für Informatik, Robotik und Kybernetik der Technischen Universität in Prag (CIIRC CTU), DFKI

Foto: CIIRC CTU / Roman Sejkot