Policy: BMBF Launches New Action Plan for Artificial Intelligence (AI)

The new action plan which was launched by Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung (BMBF – Federal Ministry of Education and Research) in early November, sets out the ministry’s objectives and priority areas for AI research in Germany. 

The action plan confirms the BMBF’s strong commitment to supporting research in the area of artificial intelligence. In addition to the currently, ongoing funding measures in this area, BMBF commits to expanding its AI portfolio by an additional 20 initiatives. The overall budget allocated to research on artificial intelligence in the current parliamentary term is €1.6 billion.

The primary aim of the action plan is to support the competitive position of Germany and its European partners in AI development by building on existing research strength and developing a distinct profile for AI ‘Made in Germany’. At the same time, BMBF intends to drive forward the current discourse around the risks associated with artificial intelligence by supporting the development of legal framework conditions that are based on scientific and empirical evidence. The action plan also includes plans for the necessary preparatory work for the further development of the German government’s overall AI Strategy.  

The document covers plans in the areas of infrastructure development, application and transfer as well as determining key conditions for success. In detail, BMBF sets out the following eleven fields of action:

  1. Consistently strengthen the research base.
  2. Design a research agenda for new perspectives and approaches.
  3. Expand targeted AI infrastructure.
  4. Intensify the development of AI-related expertise and competencies.
  5. Promote AI-related knowledge transfer to support economic growth and future opportunities.
  6. AI in the area of health care: unlock societal benefits for all.
  7. Exploit the social and scientific benefits of AI in a targeted manner.
  8. Investigate and design AI-based technologies for the educational sector.
  9. Seek even closer alliance with European and international partners.
  10. Promote social dialogue and multidisciplinary research.
  11. Enact appropriate, agile, innovation-friendly regulation.

The full 36-page document is available for download via the BMBF website.