For the second time since 2021, the application category of the German AI Prize is awarded to an institution in Heidelberg. The European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL), a leader in biological research, was honored on September 28 at the Axel Springer House in Berlin for its outstanding achievements in the application of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in science.
EMBL's Director General, Professor Edith Heard, expressed her delight at this recognition: “It's fantastic that our contributions to international AI-based research and scientific development are acknowledged with the 'German AI Prize.'” EMBL, known as Europe's hub for life sciences, was established in 1974 and has grown into a network encompassing 28 countries, with its headquarters in Heidelberg.
Professor Patrick Cramer, President of the Max Planck Society and an EMBL alumnus, highlighted in his laudation EMBL’s creation of a publicly accessible protein database encompassing all 200,000 protein structures, praising the institute's practice of open science.
EMBL focuses on deciphering DNA and processing complex biological data sets using AI. Professor Oliver Stegle, a team leader at EMBL Heidelberg, emphasized the importance of AI in understanding and analyzing cellular imagery and genetic data, which are vital for biomedical basic research.
This research has direct implications for medical practice and contributes to the development of new drugs and vaccines. Ewan Birney, Deputy Director-General of EMBL, emphasized the need to bring the importance of basic research closer to a wider audience and to initiate discussions about new technologies and their societal impact.
With its innovative work and focus on ethical aspects and international standards in AI application, EMBL sets benchmarks in the scientific community. The renewed recognition with the German AI Prize underscores the institute's leading role in AI-based biological research.
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