AI Pioneer Centre

The new pioneer centre for artificial intelligence research will be opening in Copenhagen at the end of 2021. The centre will conduct world-class artificial intelligence research focusing on societal challenges, people and design while putting Denmark at the international forefront.




The centre will be organized in a collaboratory structure, with seven collaboratories structured around an AI research theme with 2-3 PIs as well as PhD students and postdocs attached.

Collaboratory Co-lead / PI
💡 Cx - Causality and Explainability Jonas Peters, Professor, Department of Mathematical Science, UCPH
Aasa Feragen, Professor, DTU Compute
Ira Assent, Department of Computer Science, AU
🥽 Xr - Extended Reality Dan Witzner Hansen, Associate Professor, Department of Computer Science, ITU
Kasper Hornbæk, Professor, Department of Computer Science, UCPH
Hans Gellersen, Professor, Department of Computer Science, AU
🦜 Fg - Fine-Grained Analysis Mads Nielsen, Professor, Department of Computer Science, UCPH
Thomas Moeslund, Professor, Department of Architecture, Design and Media Technology, AAU
🎯 Lo - Learning Theory and Optimization Ole Winther, Department of Biology, UCPH
Christian Igel, Professor, Department of Computer Science, UCPH
⚡️ Sd - Signals and Decoding

Lars Kai Hansen, Professor, DTU Compute
Zheng-Hua Tan, Professor, Department of Electronic Systems, AAU

💬 Sl - Speech and Language Barbara Plank, Associate Professor, Department of Computer Science, ITU
Anders Søgaard, Professor, Department of Computer Science, UCPH
🔗 Ng - Networks and Graphs Sune Lehmann Jørgensen, Professor, DTU Compute
David Dreyer Lassen, Professor, Copenhagen Center for Social Data (SODAS), UCPH












The centre will be headed by professor Serge Belongie and be rooted in the Department of Computer Science (DIKU) at the University of Copenhagen, with COO Michelle Cumming Løkkegaard.



  • Where is the center located?
    • The center’s headquarters will be located at the University of Copenhagen Observatory (currently under renovation). The center also comprises researchers working remotely across the five participating universities.
    • Effective September 2021, the temporary center location is Vibenshuset, across from the Vibenshus Runddel metro station. We expect to move to the Observatory at the end of 2022.
  • How is the center organized?
    • The center is organized into seven collaboratories, led by PIs from the participating universities, focusing on different themes within the field of AI, and targeting ten societal challenges (listed above).
  • What type of research is conducted at the center?
    • The center is focused on basic research in AI including Computer Vision, Natural Language Processing, and Machine Learning.
  • What are some examples of collaboratory research themes?
    • Causality & Explainability: Interpretable AI, Patient Trajectories, Fairness, Bias, Pandemic Prediction
    • Extended Reality: AR/VR, Human-Centred Computing, Hand Tracking, Active Illumination, 3D Reconstruction, Simulation Environments, Synthetic Data, Accessibility
    • Fine-Grained Analysis: Species Identification, Medical Diagnosis, Anomaly Detection, Computational Pathology, Arts & Culture Informatics
    • Learning Theory & Optimization: Algorithms & Architectures, Reinforcement Learning, Operations Research, Transportation Problems, Optimal Control
    • Signals & Decoding: Telemedicine, Remote Sensing, Eye Tracking, Neuroscience, Brain Decoding, Environmental Monitoring, Biometrics, Egocentric Sensing, Consciousness
    • Speech & Language: Natural Language Processing, Speech Recognition, Misinformation Detection, Automated Translation, Predictive Models, Electronic Medical Records
    • Networks & Graphs: Social Data Science, Federated Learning, Privacy- Preserving Contact Tracing, Mobility Analytics
  • How do I become a member of the center?
    • Membership application process: awaiting launch of the centre  
    • For the time being, please fill in this form to express your interest and you will be contacted about the application process after the launch of the centre
  • How do I apply to study at the center?
    • PhD & Postdoc
      • PhD students at the Pioneer Center are admitted through the PhD admissions processes of the affiliated universities. A PhD student is affiliated with the Pioneer Center when their thesis advisor is affiliated with the Pioneer Center. 
      • Prospective Postdocs are encouraged to contact center co-leads directly re: postdoc opportunities.
      • A central PhD & Postdoc application is currently under construction.
    • MSc, BSc, Visiting Researcher & Intern
      • To appear on the center’s job opportunities page late 2021
  • How can my startup company, nonprofit, or governmental agency engage with the center?
    • Under construction while we constitute our external engagement committee
    • In the meantime, contact 
  • What computational resources are available to center researchers?
    • To appear late 2021 
  • How can industry sponsor and/or participate in center activities?
  • Who do I contact if I have a question not answered here?
    • Questions specific to research area: contact the co-lead(s) of the related collaboratory 
    • General questions: