Understanding and shaping the digital transformation

Alexander Pretschner at the inauguration event of the BIDT.    Image: Diane von

Alexander Pretschner at the inauguration event of the BIDT. Image: Diane von Schoen

Together with Bavarian Minister of State for Science and the Arts Bernd Sibler, the president of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences and Humanities Prof. Thomas O. Höllmann inaugurated the BIT today. The new institute aims to anticipate and guide the dramatic impact of the digital transformation via independent research.

,,With the BIDT, we are aiming to prevent a much-feared digital divide."-- Alexander Pretschner, Professor for Software & Systems Engineering at TUM and chairman at the board of directors at BIDT

As an institute of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences and Humanities, the BIDT will bring together the relevant research groups in Bavaria on the topic of the "Digital Transformation". They will be selected and coordinated by the BIDT board of directors, which is led by Alexander Pretschner, Professor for Software & Systems Engineering at the TUM. In interdisciplinary collaboration, the teams will research changes in the fields of politics and society, the economy and work, as well as media and public communications due to digitalization. The goal is to provide a profound understanding that will enable stakeholders to actively shape digitalization processes.

Apart from the research activities of the BIDT, a think tank will provide political decision-makers, the sciences, and other societal stakeholders with information from the field of digitalization. Furthermore, the BIT will provide an interaction platform for societal dialog via its web presence, publications, and events.

"In order to actively shape processes, a rational basis is required, not fearmongering. For this purpose, we require the cooperation and collective intelligence of technical experts, lawyers, economists, political scientists, sociologists, philosophers, and many others. With the BIDT, we are aiming to prevent a much-feared digital divide and empower society to take the future into its own hands, as well as to consciously decide how we want to live in the Bavaria, Germany, and Europe of the future - instead of simply reacting to the latest technical developments from Silicon Valley", says chairman Pretschner.

The new research institute is closely networked with other digitalization initiatives. For example, with the Competence Network for Artificial Machine Intelligence, in which not only the TUM and the Fraunhofer Society, but also the LMU Munich, the Helmholz Zentrum München, and the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ) collaborate. The decision to found the BIDT was made last year at the Bavarian Council of Ministers during its cabinet meeting at TUM.


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