The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) wants to utilize international cooperation in education and research to provide answers to what jobs will be like in the future when people and machines will work more closely together and robots and artificial intelligence will be part of our working lives in such diverse areas as industry, nursing care and agriculture. Therefore the Federal Minister of Education and Research, Anja Karliczek inagurated, via video message, the first “BMBF Forum International”, which is being launched for the specific purpose of strengthening Germany's international research links.
This first Forum is on the topic “The Future of Work” and features international keynote speakers such as the well-known economist Dr Daniel Susskind of Oxford University and 250 further representatives of academic and research institutions, government and industry. They came together to identify potential synergies and bringing together strategies to develop solutions for the challenges of the digitalized work of the future.
A highlight is the accompanying interactive exhibition with numerous German and international projects and innovations from the areas of digitalization and automation as well as artificial intelligence and robotics., featuring promising products and research projects on the topics of big data, ethical issues, psychology, health, social security and legal aspects in the digital working world.
From now on the Forum will be held every two years to promote synergies in international cooperation on research and development and to bring together the answers of German and international research to pressing issues of relevance for the future.
“The Future of Work” is also the focus of the latest international BMBF campaign, which is marking its start today as well. With the launch of this campaign, Federal Minister Karliczek will send ten top-class German research networks in the field of Work 4.0 on an 18-month world tour to discuss solutions for our future working worlds with renowned colleagues at conferences and other events and also at institutes and robotics laboratories in France, Japan and the United States.
In Japan, German researchers will be finding out, for example, how socially interactive robots help residents and their professional careers and family members in nursing homes; in France virtual reality made in Germany is helping to achieve breakthrough innovations in the plastics-processing industry, and in the USA, automation and artificial intelligence are improving efficiency and environmental protection and worker safety in commercial laundries, for example when robotic arms equipped with sensors automatically remove scalpels from dirty hospital laundry.
Research in Germany – Land of Ideas
The initiative “Research in Germany” is a measure of the Federal Government’s Internationalization Strategy. The goal is to increase Germany's international visibility as an attractive place to study and engage in research and innovation, and to raise awareness of the ways to access Germany as a location for research. The theme of the current campaign is “The Future of Work” and provides a platform for 10 excellent research networks over a period of 18 months to present their innovative projects on the future of work around the world and attract international partners. The campaign is run by the DLR Project Management Agency on behalf of the BMBF.