7. April 2021

Five research foundations join forces to establish one of Denmark’s first large research centers in artificial intelligence

PRESS RELEASE: The Danish National Research Foundation, the Carlsberg Foundation, the Novo Nordisk Foundation, the Lundbeck Foundation, and the VILLUM Foundation will initiate contractual negotiations with an American professor and top researcher to establish one of the first large research centers in Denmark to study artificial intelligence. If all parties reach an agreement, the center will be established in collaboration with five Danish universities (the University of Copenhagen; the Technical University of Denmark; the IT University of Denmark; Aarhus University; and Aalborg University) and will be part of the national initiative to establish Pioneer Centers in important research areas. The five foundations will grant up to 352 million DKK.

After a thorough application process, the five foundations are now ready to initiate negotiations for a contract to establish the first Pioneer Center for artificial intelligence with the American professor and top researcher Serge Belongie as the head of center. Belongie is a professor of computer science and an associate dean at the Cornell Tech University. He is one of the world’s leading researchers within artificial intelligence.

The center will study artificial intelligence, also known as AI, and its application to different societal challenges such as the prediction and prevention of diseases, the surveillance of climate change and biodiversity as well as energy and infrastructure, among others. In addition to studying the classical “heavy” AI disciplines such as machine learning and virtual reality, the new center will also explore the ethical aspects of artificial intelligence.

The establishment of the Pioneer Centers is an ambitious national undertaking initiated by the Ministry of Higher Education and Science and developed in close cooperation (and co-financing) between the Minister, the five foundations, as well as the universities. The goal is to attract the very best individual researchers from around the world and to establish two or three co-funded world-class research centers that carry out basic research aimed at transformative solutions to major societal challenges.

The Pioneer Centers will be given considerable freedom in terms of their research, financial continuity, and a long-term grant period. Using these resources, the Pioneer Centers, during the grant period, are expected to continuously carry out well-defined, high-risk sub-projects that have a particularly high potential to pioneer the research area at the highest international level.

You can read more about the Pioneer Centers here.


For more information please contact:

Professor Jens Kehlet Nørskov
Chair of the DNRF
E-mail: jkno@dtu.dk 

Professor Søren-Peter Olesen
CEO at the DNRF
E-mail: spo@dg.dk

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