The Max Planck ETH Center for Learning Systems (CLS) addresses cross-disciplinary research questions in the design and analysis of natural and man-made learning systems. The excellent engineering competences of the faculty and research team members at the ETH Zurich in Switzerland ideally complement the competences in natural sciences and computer science at the Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems, Tübingen/Stuttgart in Germany. Together we want to build a lighthouse for machine learning and modern artificial intelligence in Europe.
The Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems (MPI-IS) and ETH Zurich first joined forces in 2013 by forming a unique Research Network on Learning Systems (RNLS). Under the umbrella of RNLS, several events – including a Summer School with more than 100 participants – were initiated which brought together leading researchers and junior scientists from MPI-IS and ETH for the first time.
Building on this success, MPI-IS and ETH proposed the establishment of the Max Planck ETH Center for Learning Systems (CLS) with an initial run time of five years. The CLS was officially inaugurated by the presidents of ETH Zurich and the Max Planck Society on November 30, 2015, thus becoming the first joint center between the German Max Planck Society and the world-famous Swiss research institution. The activities of the Center are regulated by an official cooperation agreement signed off by both partners.
In April 2020, following the completion of a successful evaluation, the two partners further strengthened their cooperation with an agreement to extend the joint research venture for another five-year period. Both sides place a high value on this cooperation, believing that strong academic exchange in Europe is vital in order to actively shape developments in modern AI and leads to a higher impact than if every research institution were to forge its own path.
"As the economic and societal influence of AI increases, so will the investments, especially in the US and China. CLS will influence Europe's further development in this field and prove that it is possible to be internationally competitive. CLS has been an inspiration for the nascent ELLIS network connecting outstanding AI research across Europe, and in the next phase of CLS, we want to jointly build a lighthouse for machine learning and modern artificial intelligence in Europe” - Bernhard Schölkopf
The Max Planck ETH Center for Learning Systems is one of around 20 international Max Planck Centers of the Max Planck Society. The Max Planck Centers form platforms within scientific cooperation programmes, where the participating Max Planck Institutes and their international partners can bundle their knowledge, experience and expertise and combine complementary methods and know-how to create added scientific value.
Max Planck Centers are currently operating in 13 countries around the world in addition to the corresponding Max Planck Institutes in Germany. The Max Planck Centers constitute a substantial reinforcement of the international cooperation efforts of the Max Planck Society and aim to raise the quality of scientific cooperation projects with first-class international partners in pioneering areas of research to a completely new level.