DFKI: Change in management and supervisory board

DFKI: Change in management and supervisory board

12. November 2019 0 Von Horst Buchwald

DFKI: Change in management and supervisory board

Berlin, 12.11.2019

The German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence (DFKI) GmbH in Saarbrücken has acquired an excellent reputation. Already in the times of the so-called „KI-Winters“ it gained much recognition through its application-strong research. Today, it is one of the world’s leading institutions in the field of AI. More than a thousand employees currently work in the 19 research areas and groups, 8 competence centers and 8 living labs: highly qualified scientists, administrative staff and 460 student employees from 65 nations on 250 research projects. In addition to the main location Saarbrücken there are more in Bremen, Kaiserslautern, Berlin and Lower Saxony. If you want to become something in AI, whether in industry, as a company founder or as a scientist – you know, the DFKI is the right springboard for that.

To run such a house requires everyone’s full power, a great deal of tact as well as first-class knowledge in a dynamic science discipline. The previous CEO Prof. dr. mult. Wolfgang Wahlster has witnessed, suffered and fought for the development of AI in Germany. Due to his highly competent representation of the DFKI, he also made a significant contribution to his success. He has always been a competent and popular conversation partner in industry and politics. Under his leadership, a scientific pearl has emerged that is unparalleled worldwide. It is understandable that it will make everyone queasy, if he should take over this position. Accordingly, it was hard to find a successor.

As Prof. Jana Koehler was brought into the conversation, doubts came up. Nevertheless, she was appointed by the Supervisory Board and asserted as professor at the Saarbrücken site. So your entry was not a good star.

As insiders report, she never found her role: „She wanted to do science and at the same time run the business – that does not fit together.“ Another interlocutor puts it in a nutshell: „The GF must represent the outside, to motivate and enthusiasm awaken. „

As can be heard, Jana Koehler saw her task completely different: „She wanted to lead and install an independent management“, another insider tells. The department heads and site managers did not like this and did not fit into the present time. When a new more democratic leadership concept was developed by the divisional directors, which was unacceptable to them, the board was forced to clarify.

The result: On 07. 11. Jana Koehler was recalled. In a press release states:

„Between Prof. Dr. Jana Koehler, Chief Executive Officer of the German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence GmbH, and the DFKI Supervisory Board yesterday agreed by mutual agreement to lift the appointment as Managing Director of DFKI. Prof. Dr. Koehler will take over the management of the newly created research area „Algorithmic Business and Production“ at DFKI Saarbrücken. The DFKI Supervisory Board appointed Prof. dr. Antonio Krüger to the new DFKI CEO „.

As the message goes, the new boss is a real all-rounder:

„Prof. Dr. Antonio Krüger is an internationally respected expert in man-machine interaction and artificial intelligence. His research interests include Mobile and Ubiquitous Spatial Assistance Systems, which combine the research areas of Intelligent User Interfaces, User Modeling, Cognitive Sciences and Ubiquitous Computing. He has established the Media Informatics degree program at the University of Saarland in 2010 and is responsible for this until today. He is co-founder of the Saarbrücken technology company Eyeled GmbH, which specializes in the development of mobile and ubiquitous information systems. From 2004 to 2009 he was Professor of Computer Science and Geoinformatics at the University of Münster and Managing Director of the Institute of Geoinformatics. Since 2009, he has been the holder of the Globus Endowed Professorship for Computer Science at the University of Saarland, head of the Ubiquitous Media Technology Lab and scientific director of the Innovative Retail Laboratory (IRL) at DFKI. He studied computer science and economics at Saarland University and completed his PhD in computer science in 1999 as part of the graduate program „Cognitive Science“. Antonio Krüger has published more than 200 articles in recognized journals and conferences and is active in international and national expert panels. „

The editors of KI-News.online are both keeping their fingers crossed for Professor Krüger.

At the same meeting, a new Supervisory Board was elected.

The former Chairman of the Supervisory Board, Prof. dr. h.c. Hans A. Aukes was adopted 13 years later and honored as a DFKI Fellow. The press release highlights that

Under his „chairmanship, DFKI was able to increase its financial volume from € 14.1 million in 2006 to € 48.9 million in 2018“. The newly elected chairman of the supervisory board is a Dutch-born. Dr. Gabriël Clemens is CEO of VSE AG. The Saarland-based infrastructure and energy service provider includes innogy SE, Saarland, as well as rural districts, cities and municipalities in the Saarland. Since 2013, VSE AG has been a shareholder of DFKI. The two companies are, among others, partners in the research project Designetz. Here, the DFKI supplies Artificial Intelligence for the power grid of the future.

In his inaugural address, Clemens emphasized: „The DFKI is opening up new solutions for the VSE and thus the energy industry in the increasingly complex organization of energy systems. The DFKI also shapes the future in many other areas of the economy and society. It is a special pleasure and honor for me to be able to accompany the future projects of DFKI as Chairman of the Supervisory Board in the future. „

The following persons are represented in the current supervisory board of DFKI:

Dr.-Ing. Gabriël Clemens, VSE AG (Chairman of the DFKI Supervisory Board)

Dr. Susanne Reichrath, Representative of the Prime Minister of the Saarland for Universities, Science and Technology (Deputy Chairman of the DFKI Supervisory Board)

August Altherr, Deere & Company European Office

Prof. Dr. Stephan Busemann, KIBG GmbH

Dr. Astrid Elbe, Intel Corporation

Dr.-Ing. E. H. Dietmar Harting, Harting Technology Group

Dr. Christine Haupt, Microsoft Germany GmbH

Dr. Carsten Hoff, CLAAS E-System KGaA mbH & Co. KG

Dr. Martin Hofmann, Volkswagen AG

Dr. Wieland Holfelder, Google Germany GmbH

Dr. Raoul Klingner, Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft for the Promotion of Applied Research e.V.

Prof. Dr. Thomas Kropf, Robert Bosch GmbH

Dr. Nils Lenke, Cerence GmbH

Manuela Mackert, Deutsche Telekom AG

Dr. Jürgen Müller, SAP SE

Dr. Klaus Oster, Daimler AG

Prof. Dr. Arnd Poetzsch-Heffter, University of Kaiserslautern

Arno Reich, Deutsche Messe AG

Frank Riemensperger, Accenture

Dr. Volker Saß, Department of Universities and Research at the Senator for Science, Health and Consumer Protection, Bremen

Prof. Dr. Manfred J. Schmitt, Saarland University

Prof. Dr.-Ing. Bernd Scholz-Reiter, University of Bremen

Dr. Stefan Sigg, Software AG

Takashi Totsuka, Ricoh Ltd.

Dr. Achim Weber, Ministry of Education, Science, Further Education and Culture, Rhineland-Palatinate

Dr. Peter Weckesser, Airbus Group

Dr. Stefan Wess, Empolis Information Management GmbH

Dr. Marcus Winter, Munich Reinsurance Company Aktiengesellschaft

Dr. Michael Würtenberger, BMW AG