Zurich – A group of 30 European research institutes are joining forces under the ELLIS network. Their aim is to create a trustworthy Artificial Intelligence (AI) framework. The Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich (ETH) is a founding member of the network. It is also set to open its own AI center this October.



On Tuesday, the European Lab for Learning and Intelligent Systems (ELLIS) was officially launched. This AI network is bringing together the expertise of 30 European research institutes under one roof. The aim is to promote excellence in research and technology transfer in the field of Artificial Intelligence by way of pan-European exchanges. In this way, it is hoped Europe would be able to compete with AI centers such as the USA or China. To achieve this, the participating research institutes have pledged a total of approximately 300 million euros over a period of five years.

According to a press release, the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich (ETH) is among the founding members of the network. “ELLIS will give us the chance not only to make our economies more dynamic and competitive, but also to develop an AI that meets ethical requirements”, commented Joël Mesot, President of ETH Zurich, in a video message to mark the virtual inauguration of the network.

Alongside ETH, the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Lausanne (EPFL) is also involved in the network. In addition, research institutes such as the Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems and the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge have also opted to cooperate within the framework of ELLIS.

The research groups at ETH involved in ELLIS network projects are also playing an important role in the new ETH AI Center. This is scheduled to be officially opened on October 20 in a virtual inauguration ceremony. The center is home to more than 25 professors from the ETH departments of Mathematics, Computer Science, Information Technology and Electrical Engineering, Mechanical and Process Engineering, Biosystems Science and Engineering in addition to Civil, Environmental and Geomatic Engineering. Its objective is to form a network among AI researchers within ETH Zurich.

“Our ETH AI Center and ELLIS Unit are dedicated to interdisciplinary collaboration in AI research. All our facilities are open to partners and guests from science and industry”, comments Andreas Krause, who heads up the ETH ELLIS Unit and the ETH AI Center. He adds: “We are looking to provide an exciting, integrative and stimulating environment for top talent, to support start-​ups, and to foster dialogue with policymakers and the general public”.

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