The microbiologist Tobias Erb has reinvented photosynthesis in the laboratory. Might this one day lead to industrial application – with the beneficial side effect of removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere? The next steps will be exciting ...

Together with partners throughout Europe, the Volkswagen Foundation is supporting eight international teams of researchers seeking solutions to social inequality – which a total of 11.6 million euros. From Germany, researchers from Berlin, Braunschweig, Freiburg, Göttingen, Kiel, Cologne and Munich are involved.

In what ways is artificial intelligence (AI) impacting on our society? How can productively handle the population’s reservations towards AI applications? A conversation between the AI expert Fruszina Molnár-Gábor and the new Secretary General of the Volkswagen Foundation, Georg Schütte.

In seven sessions and lively discussions, 150 scientists and scholars exchanged their concepts, demands, and critical concerns at the international symposium "Interdisciplinarity Revisited" in October 2019 at the Humboldt Forum in Berlin.

Computer scientists tend to frown upon ethics as a "wishy-washy" subject, although there are very good reasons why it should be part of their studies. Those who do look into it have to expect the consequences: Their perceptions change, sometimes even their whole life, and in some places disciplines finally come together. Insights into an academic shift. 

Social robots – the teachers of the future or at least learning assistants? A Herrenhausen Forum inquired into just how intelligent and empathic digital teaching robots can be and the significance of pedagogy in a subject area dominated by computer scientists.

Successful "Experiment!": Researchers have come up with a solution for efficient sonar measurements for robots and self-driving cars, inspired by a special coevolution between bats and flowers.

A joint funding initiative of La Caixa Foundation (Spain), Novo Nordisk Fonden (Denmark), Wellcome (United Kingdom) and Volkswagen Foundation (Germany). Deadline: April 17, 2020.

Dr. Georg Schütte became Secretary General of the Volkswagen Foundation on January 1, 2020. He previously held the position of State Secretary at the Federal Ministry of Education and Research, and now he has some ambitious plans for the Volkswagen Foundation going forward.