Munich Re to become a shareholder in the acclaimed German Research Centre for Artificial Intelligence
- Renowned research centre and leading reinsurer agree on share purchase
- Cooperation is focused on connecting research and practical application
- The partnership is aiming to create new impulses in the fields of artificial intelligence and data analytics
Munich Re has acquired membership to the German Research Centre for Artificial Intelligence (DFKI). Representatives of both entities signed the stakeholder agreement. This represents a further important step forward in the cooperation between global leaders in industry, research and politics in the field of artificial intelligence (AI).
The DFKI is a not-for-profit public-private partnership and is considered one of the leading AI research institutes in Europe. Nearly 1,000 employees at DFKI working in 18 research departments and research groups, eight competence centres and eight “living labs” conduct research in fields that include robotics, smart factories and immersive quantified learning. Aside from receiving project funding from sources such as the EU and the German government, the DFKI also receives support from the membership of tech companies such as Airbus, BMW, Bosch, Google, Microsoft, SAP, Volkswagen, and now Munich Re.
Torsten Jeworrek, member of the Board of Management of Munich Re: “Artificial intelligence is one of the most important technologies of our time. AI makes it possible to create totally new products even today, such as insurance covers for connected factories or for losses caused by cyber crime. But it also comes with a host of new challenges. By collaborating with the DFKI, we are living out our aspiration to play a leading role in AI in the insurance sector. Not only will the partnership help us develop the most modern, effective and best processes for our clients, it will also make the latest research available to our employees and further advance research in this field.”
Professor Wolfgang Wahlster, CEO and Technical and Scientific Managing Director at the DFKI: “Munich Re joining the circle of DFKI-shareholders offers enormous potential for innovation in terms of the AI methods we develop. The real-time demands of Munich Re’s big data analytics open up fantastic opportunities for application, particularly for our deep learning competence centre, our speech perception and machine vision technology, the interpretability of deep learning results, and sensor fusion. The results of our previous work together – evaluating storm damage using aerial images while taking socio-economic parameters into account – were very positive. It was clear to me even when presenting the DFKI to Munich Re’s Board of Management last July that it would be a win-win situation if Munich Re were to join our circle of shareholders. I’m delighted that we were able to set this up so quickly.”
Both parties have agreed not to disclose the sum exchanged. The transaction is expected to be finalised in the first quarter of 2019, pending formal approval by all of the existing shareholders.
Munich Re is one of the world’s leading providers of reinsurance, primary insurance and insurance-related risk solutions. The group consists of the reinsurance and ERGO business segments, as well as the capital investment company MEAG. Munich Re is globally active and operates in all lines of the insurance business. Since it was founded in 1880, Munich Re has been known for its unrivalled risk-related expertise and its sound financial position. It offers customers financial protection when faced with exceptional levels of damage – from the 1906 San Francisco earthquake to the 2017 Atlantic hurricane season. Munich Re possesses outstanding innovative strength, which enables it to also provide coverage for extraordinary risks such as rocket launches, renewable energies, cyberattacks, or pandemics. The company is playing a key role in driving forward the digital transformation of the insurance industry, and in doing so has further expanded its ability to assess risks and the range of services that it offers. Its tailor-made solutions and close proximity to its customers make Munich Re one of the world’s most sought-after risk partners for businesses, institutions, and private individuals.
The DFKI was founded in 1988 as a not-for-profit public-private partnership. It has research facilities in Kaiserslautern, Saarbrücken and Bremen, a project office in Berlin, and branch offices in Osnabrück and St. Wendel. In the field of innovative commercial software technology using artificial intelligence, DFKI is the leading research centre in Germany. The institute is one of the most important centres of excellence in the international science community. In 2017, it received contributions of €45.9m. Projects at the DFKI address the entire spectrum, from application-focused basic research to developing market-oriented and client-focused product functions.
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