New DFG Priority Programme Molecular Machine Learning approved

The German Research Foundation (DFG) has approved a new priority program coordinated by the Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität (WWU) Münster and involving the University of Bonn.

The focus of the project is on molecular problems such as the prediction of chemical reactions or the development of new algorithms for the modeling of molecular properties. The aim is to develop tools that on the one hand help to understand molecular relationships (ExAI, "explainable artificial intelligence") and on the other hand model molecular behavior in such a way that they support laboratory chemists in their everyday work. The long-term goal is to use artificial intelligence to process simple tasks automatically and comprehensibly, thereby accelerating the development of analytical methods, new reactions or drugs.

One core objective of this program in particular is collaboration and networking. Thus, Prof. Dr. Frank Glorius (WWU) has launched this initiative with his co-initiators Prof Jürgen Bajorath (B-IT, LIMES Institute, University of Bonn) and Prof. Karsten Reuter (Fritz Haber Institute, Berlin) already in spring 2020.

"As one of the first in Germany this initiative brings together synthetic organic chemistry, theoretical chemistry and cheminformatics in a targeted way," says Prof. Jürgen Bajorath. Bonn is responsible for the chemistry informatics part. Many experimental or theoretical working groups from different universities have already shown great interest in machine learning for molecular systems and chemical reactions during the application process. "For the further networking of informatics and chemistry in Germany, this program is an essential step." 

Priority Programmes (SPP)

In Priority Programmes, researchers investigate the scientific foundations of particularly current or emerging research areas. All programmes have a strong interdisciplinary orientation and are characterised by the use of innovative methods. The promotion of young researchers is a central element of SPPs; in addition, all new collaborations have an equal opportunities concept. The DFG usually funds the programmes for six years.


Further information

Press Release of University of Münster:


(C) Prof. Jürgen Bajorath