Pilot Foundation Projects in AI Invited for New Helmholtz Foundation Model Initiative

The Helmholtz Association is a union of eighteen scientific-technical and biological-medical research centres in Germany. It develops research programmes for six research fields: Energy; Earth and Environment; Health; Aeronautics, Space and Transport; Key Technologies; and Structure of Matter.

The Helmholtz Foundation Model Initiative (HFMI) is a new initiative launched by the Helmholtz Association to harness the recent advancements in Artificial Intelligence (AI) and the rise of ‘Foundation Models’. It aspires to lead in creating generic AI models for a variety of research domains.

The programme aims to establish domain-focused pilot foundation projects with a clear path to transform research data into high-impact tools for scientific discovery. Helmholtz researchers are now invited to submit their pilot foundation projects and take part in the HFMI with their specific existing datasets, related research questions, and unique foundation model approach.

A consortium of at least three Principal Investigators (PIs) will guide each project: one expert from the respective research area (Domain Lead), and one from the AI field (AI Lead). A third PI will contribute HPC expertise.

All Helmholtz researchers in Germany are eligible to apply. External partners can participate in consortia but are not eligible for funding.

Projects should run for up to 36 months, starting May 2024. Central funding will be provided for personnel and equipment in each pilot foundation project up to €1 million in 2024 (May-December) and up to €1.5 million in 2025.

Interested parties are invited to take part in an optional match-making event on 15 February 2024 (10:00-12:00 CET) via Zoom. The event is aimed to bring AI experts, HPC experts and domain scientists together to form consortia.

(This Bulletin article was the subject of a ResearchConnect news alert.)