An EU delegation at AMO

A delegation of the EU Commission has paid a visit to AMO GmbH, within the broader context of a site-visit at RWTH Aachen University. Theme of the visit was the role of universities in contributing to the competitiveness and prosperity of Europe, and what the EU can do to foster their future development.

© Heike Lachmann

The EU delegation was headed by Peter Dröll, Director for Prosperity of the Directorate-General for Research and Innovation, and formed by Jurgen Tiedje, Head of Unit “Industrial Transformation”,  Liviu Stirbat, Head of Unit “Industry 5.0“, Iiro Eerola, Policy Officer in the Unit “Valorisation Policies and IPR”, and Andrea Ceglia, Policy adviser to Peter Dröll.  The delegation met with the Rector of RWTH Aachen University Professor Ulrich Rüdiger, the Chancellor Manfred Nettekoven, vice-rectors Professor Matthias Wessling and Professor Malte Brettel, Professors Thomas Bergs and Max Lemme, as well as with various scientists active at the locations touched by the visit.

© Heike Lachmann

After the first meetings at the RWTH Collective Incubator and at the Laboratory for Machine Tools and Production Engineering (WZL), the delegation moved to AMO in the afternoon. A major topic of discussion at AMO was ‘Next Generation Computing’.  “Europe is at a critical decision point in the field.” says Prof. Lemme. “There is an increasing need of specific hardware for artificial intelligence applications that is well beyond standard CMOS technology. This represents a chance for Europe to re-gain shares in the global competition and to aim for the technological sovereignty in the crucial field of AI. But for this to happen, we need to improve our ways of cooperation between universities, industry and society. In particular, we need to establish mechanisms for efficient technology transfer and valorisation. That’s what we are trying to do, for example, with the Cluster4Future NeuroSys.”

NeuroSys is a major project funded by the German BMBF, which brings together RWTH Aachen University, Forschungszentrum Jülich, AMO GmbH and companies and start-ups in the Aachen region. Its goal is to develop a viable technology basis for neuromorphic hardware dedicated to artificial intelligence applications. In addition to the obvious scientific aspects, NeuroSys represents the vision to connect and orchestrate very different partners and thus create an innovative ecosystem. “It is time to experiment not only at the technological level, but also to take new steps in terms of partnerships. We need to build collaborations along the whole value chain to create socio-economic impact, i.e. to translate the progresses in research into viable solutions to the challenges faced by our society”, says Lemme.