TU Darmstadt is preparing full applications for its Reasonable Artificial Intelligence (RAI), The Adaptive Mind (TAM) and CoM2Life projects in the fields of artificial intelligence, cognitive sciences and biomaterials as part of the prestigious Excellence Strategy of the German federal and state governments – and is thus applying for the Cluster of Excellence funding line.

Professor Dr Tanja Brühl,
President of TU Darmstadt

The selection of three outline proposals in the extremely competitive Excellence Strategy is a fantastic success for TU Darmstadt and above all a team success. We will now work tirelessly together to prepare the full application so that we are also successful in the next stage of the process and can ultimately establish Clusters of Excellence.

Prof. Dr. Tanja Brühl, Präsidentin der Technischen Universität Darmstadt
Picture: Katrin Binner

Reasonable Artificial Intelligence (RAI)

Project partner

Julius-Maximilians-Universität of Würzburg

Goethe University Frankfurt

The Rhenish Friedrich Wilhelm University of Bonn

The planned Cluster of Excellence RAI under the leadership of the Technical University of Darmstadt is dedicated to the development of a new generation of AI systems based on the rational use of resources, data protection and continuous improvement. With four research areas, multidisciplinary teams are working on shaping the future of AI. Over the past decade, deep learning has enabled significant advances in artificial intelligence. Nevertheless, current AI systems have weaknesses, including a lack of logical reasoning, difficulties in dealing with new situations and the need for continuous adaptation. Last but not least, current AI systems require extensive resources. The Cluster of Excellence project “Reasonable Artificial Intelligence” therefore aims to develop the next generation of AI, “Reasonable Artificial Intelligence” (RAI).

The Adaptive Mind (TAM)

Project partner

Project partner

Project partner

Goethe University Frankfurt

Frankfurt Institute for Advanced Studies

Researchers from the Centre for Cognitive Science at TU Darmstadt, among others, are contributing their expertise in the fields of cognitive science and artificial intelligence to this research cluster under the leadership of the University of Giessen. “The Adaptive Mind” investigates human behavior under changing external conditions – in some situations, people react through stability, in others through adaptation. A central question in the cluster is the balance between these strategies in the context of adaptive and learning systems. It is also about new approaches to understanding and computationally modeling human perception, thinking, decision-making, action and learning. The topic is relevant in many sciences – in the cognitive and neurosciences, in psychology, in learning robots or in the training of neural networks.


Project partner

Project partner

CoM2Life is a project within the framework of the Rhine Main Universities

Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research

Fraunhofer Institute for Microengineering and Microsystems

In this project, scientists from Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz, the Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research and TU Darmstadt are researching intelligent biomaterials that will enable innovations in medicine such as tissue repair or the development of artificial organs. “CoM2Life” aims to develop a fundamentally new generation of soft biomaterials that are able to enter into permanent and reciprocal communication with biological systems such as cells and tissues by integrating the principles of living systems. The researchers are following an approach that combines the chemistry-centered design of biomaterials with the design of regulatory circuits in synthetic biology. This enables the development of intelligent biomaterials that are capable of selectively detecting signals from their environment, processing them internally and then controlling actuators and effectors as required.

About the excellence strategy of the federal and state governments

To further strengthen the international competitiveness of research at German universities, the federal and state governments have established the Excellence Strategy as a funding programme. The key objective of the Excellence Strategy is to strengthen top-level research in areas that are internationally competitive, to institutionally strengthen German universities, and to advance the development of the German higher education system.

To this end, the Excellence Strategy comprises two separate but intertwined funding lines. The “Clusters of Excellence” funding line, coordinated by the German Research Foundation (Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft – DFG) provides project-based funding for internationally competitive research areas at German universities. The “Universities of Excellence” funding line, coordinated by the German Science and Humanities Council (Wissenschaftsrat – WR), is designed to fund institutional strategies that promise to strengthen universities as a whole and create outstanding framework conditions for excellent research.

The Rhine-Main science region and the Rhine-Main Universities (RMU), the alliance of TU Darmstadt, Goethe University Frankfurt and Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz, can also benefit from the decision on which new or existing clusters will be funded in the future.

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