University of Tübingen and Boehringer Ingelheim Join Forces to Lead AI and Data Science R&D for New Medical Breakthroughs

University of Tübingen, a leading member of Cyber Valley, Europe's largest Artificial Intelligence (AI) research consortium and Boehringer Ingelheim launch an AI and data science fellowship program for top talents from around the world. Three to five fellowships will be awarded per year for up to three years with a target of nine to fifteen fellows in the program after five years.

The partners will define cutting-edge research topics at the intersection of health and applications of AI, which will be selected by a joint steering committee. First fellowships have been published here and interested post-doctoral candidates are invited to submit their applications.

The partnership is founded in Boehringer Ingelheim’s and the University of Tübingen's joint vision to harness the power of AI and data science to improve human and animal health. The aim is to transform patient’s lives through the discovery of new medical breakthroughs, by accelerating timelines, improving scientific and clinical success and further elevating patient centricity. Application areas will reach across the whole biopharmaceutical value chain, from research and development via production and supply chain management to marketing and sales.

Jan Nygaard Jensen, Global Head of Computational Biology and Digital Sciences at Boehringer Ingelheim said, "The partnership with University of Tübingen, will boost our AI and data science research and give us the opportunity to develop and recruit the next generation of AI and data scientists. These talents will be key in achieving our goal to accelerate development of novel treatments and transform the lives of millions of humans and animals."

"Only if we leverage the potential of new digital technologies will we achieve our goal of bringing the future of healthcare to people around the globe. This is why digital innovation transcends all areas at Boehringer Ingelheim under one consistent strategy to maximize this opportunity. We are very excited to work with the fellows to extend our leadership in the development of next-gen AI and data science solutions," added Brigitte Fuhr, Head of Central Data Science at Boehringer Ingelheim.

"This collaboration with a research-driven biopharmaceutical company like Boehringer-Ingelheim is a partnership of mutual interest and could pave the way for further initiatives," says Professor Dr. Peter Grathwohl, Vice-president for Research and Innovation at the University of Tübingen. "The University establishes yet another interface between basic research and practical application here. It also sharpens its profile in a research area of increasing importance: the use of AI in medicine and the life sciences."

"Particularly in the combination of AI with relevant healthcare and pharmaceutical data, there is great potential to noticeably improve the wellbeing of many people," says Nico Pfeifer, professor of Methods in Medical Informatics at the University of Tübingen and project director. "Methods research is able to identify problems in the healthcare sector which require new AI approaches and can develop tailored solutions for them."

Fellows will do their research onsite at University of Tübingen. They will benefit from the University's extensive expertise, rapid growth in AI and data science and highly reputed medical research. In addition, they will have the opportunity to work closely with scientists, domain experts, and executives from Boehringer Ingelheim globally and locally. Furthermore, it is planned that fellows will be invited to participate in visits at the company's sites, networking events and annual symposia.

The University of Tübingen is committed to the transfer of innovations and research results to application and to maintaining a continuous exchange with industry and society. In the field of AI, it is a founding member of the Cyber Valley research network and conducts applied basic research in a wide range of collaborations. It focuses on applications for science itself - for example in the Cluster of Excellence "Machine Learning: New Perspectives for Science" -, life sciences and medicine, but also ethical aspects.

Boehringer Ingelheim's digital strategy aims to establish a leading data science ecosystem by collaborating with top-notch academic research institutions in the field, by nourishing and developing future talent and by partnering with data initiatives globally to build a comprehensive global data base of genomic and patient data. The company is collaborating with innovative digital startups across the whole value chain and is investing in early digital entrepreneurs via the company's venture fund BIVF.

With the newly established collaboration with the University of Tübingen Boehringer Ingelheim continues to foster AI and data science partnerships in multiple innovation spots in Europe, the USA and Asia. Last year a similar fellowship program was established with Yale University together with Boehringer Ingelheim's Ridgefield R&D site.

About The University of Tübingen

The University of Tübingen is one of eleven universities judged excellent under the German government's Excellence Initiative, and ranks well in international comparisons. Tübingen is one of the world’s foremost locations for neuroscientific research. Along with translational immunology and cancer research, microbiology and infection research, and molecular plant biology, it makes Tübingen a cutting-edge center of research in the Life Sciences. Further areas of core research are in Machine Learning, Geoscience and Environmental Science; Archaeology and Anthropology; Language and Cognition; and Education and the Media. More than 27,000 students from Germany and around the world are currently enrolled at the University of Tübingen, enjoying a broad spectrum of some 200 different study programs.

About Boehringer Ingelheim

Boehringer Ingelheim is working on breakthrough therapies that transform lives, today and for generations to come. As a leading research-driven biopharmaceutical company, the company creates value through innovation in areas of high unmet medical need. Founded in 1885 and family-owned ever since, Boehringer Ingelheim takes a long-term perspective. More than 52,000 employees serve over 130 markets in three business areas, Human Pharma, Animal Health, and Biopharmaceutical Contract Manufacturing.

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