Europe’s Moonshot Ambitions for AI: How to do it

April 11 @ 12:00 – 18:00, Brussels

In-person only, by invitation only to 100 exclusively selected participants.

Co-Organisers: CLAIRE and euRobotics,

Media Partner: Science | Business

Four years with the European Commission’s AI strategy, ‘AI made in Europe’, was launched as a cornerstone of Europe’s drive to strengthen Europe’s technology sovereignty. The strategy did not achieve what we hoped, and the distance to Europe’s competitors has only increased.

What do we do now? The Commission is looking for ideas for a “moonshot” project of scale, focus, and concentration of effort. What does that mean? What could it be? And what will it take? Will we need a concentration of talent and focused organisational infrastructure? Would the USA have put a man on the moon without NASA?

Thank you to everyone that participated in the afternoon of important discussions with top-level representatives from some of Europe’s largest AI and Robotics organisations, institutions, and think tanks across academia, industry, and policy, on the future of European AI sovereignty. The programme included presentations on the current state of AI and how we got here; panels on what a moonshot project could look like and how to make this a reality, as well as plenty of networking opportunities.


12:00: Doors open

12:30: Welcome (20 minutes) 

  • Welcome, by Jørn Gloslie, Ambassador of Norway to the Kingdom of Belgium (10 min)
  • Introduction, by Morten Irgens, CLAIRE, NORA, Copenhagen Business School (10 min)

12:50 Session 1 | Why: The State of AI in Europe (40 minutes) 

Presenting different perspectives on the current situation in Europe and the rest of the world and the steps taken over the last few years to implement the European AI strategy.

  • Holger Hoos, CLAIRE, RWTH Aachen University, EurAI (6 min)
  • Daniel Opalka, EuroHPC JU (6 min)
  • Philipp Slusallek, CLAIRE, Saarland University, DFKI (6 min)
  • Emanuela Girardi, ADRA, Politecnico di Torino, Pop AI (6 min)
    • Roundtable moderated by Alex Moltzau, NORA, OECD

13:30 Axel Voss, Member of the European Parliament (15 min)

13:45 Networking Lunch (1 hour)

14:45 Session 2 | What: Moonshot Panel (45 minutes)

Discuss the future of AI in Europe – Trustworthy, Secure, Competitive, and Multicultural AI Systems for the benefit of Society (CLAIRE and euRobotics Moonshot in AI).

    • Moderator: Holger Hoos, CLAIRE
  • Alin Albu-SChäffer, TUM, DLR, euRobin
  • Alistair Nolan, OECD AI
  • Andrea Renda, CEPS, European University Institute, College of Europe
  • Anne Nowe, VUB, FARI, FWO
  • David Bisset, euRobotics
  • Jörg Bienert, Alexander Thamm GmbH, RWTH AACHEN University, German AI Association

15:30 Break (20 minutes)

15:50 Session 3 | How: Implementation Panel (45 minutes)

The first steps in the discussion of how to establish and support the operations of the proposed vision for European AI – systems and infrastructure.

    • Moderator: Karen Boers, FARI – AI for the Common Good Institute
  • Philipp Slusallek, CLAIRE, Saarland University, DFKI
  • Bart Becks, EISMEA, Euractiv, Belgacom Skynet
  • Francesco Ferro, euRobotics aisbl, PAL Robotics
  • Leopold Summerer, ESA
  • Sabine Demey, Flanders AI Research Program, imec
  • Tilman Becker, RICAIP, DFKI

16:35 Closing Remarks by Holger Hoos, CLAIRE (5 min)

16:40 – 18:00 Networking Drinks & Closing of the Event (90 minutes)

Speaker’s and Panelist’s Bios

Jørn Gloslie, Norwegian Embassy in Brussels

Ambassador to Belgium and deputy head of the EU delegation

Ambassador of Norway to the Kingdom of Belgium, and deputy head of the Mission of Norway to the European Union, representing the Norwegian Government in Brussels and promoting its policies and positions vis-à-vis the EU.

Morten Irgens, CLAIRE, NORA, Copenhagen Business School

Vice Dean of Innovation and Impact, Copenhagen Business School, Strategic advisor, Kristiania, Director of CLAIRE, NORA, and Adra

Vice Dean at Oslo and Akershus University. PhD in Computer Science (SFU), Cand. Scient. in Informatics (UiO). Expert in strategy, research management, maximizing private sector innovation, and fostering collaboration between industry, academia, and government.

Holger Hoos, CLAIRE, RWTH Aachen University, EurAI

Alexander von Humboldt Professor in AI; Co-founder and Chair of the Board of CLAIRE; Co-Chair of the Board of Directors of the AI Center at RWTH Aachen University

Internationally recognised thought leader in AI research, known for his pioneering work in machine learning, automated reasoning, and optimisation; Fellow of the Association of Computing Machinery (ACM), the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence (AAAI), and the European AI Association (EurAI). Leader of the VISION coordination mandate for the European Network of Centres of Excellence in AI. 20 years of academic experience at UBC in Vancouver, Canada.

Daniel Opalka, EuroHPC JU

Head of Sector Research & Innovation, The European High-Performance Computing Joint Undertaking (EuroHPC JU)

Leading R&I at European HPC JU since Feb 2020. PhD in Theoretical Chemistry from TU Munich. Renowned for pioneering HPC applications across chemistry, physics, materials science, and quantum mechanics. Formerly at the University of Cambridge and Max Planck Institute for Solid State Research.

Philipp Slusallek, CLAIRE, Saarland University, DFKI

Professor Computer Graphics/Scientific Director “Agents and Simulated Reality” at DFKI Saarbrücken 

Visionary leader and Scientific Director at DFKI. Renowned for pioneering research in real-time ray tracing, high-performance graphics, and 3D Internet. Distinguished Saarland University professor since 1999. Transforming the landscape of computer graphics and simulation.

Emanuela Girardi, Adra, Pop AI, Politecnico di Torino

Founder at Pop AI, President of Adra, Lecturer at Politecnico of Turin

Experienced executive, board member and consultant with a global vision. Passionate about technology, advocates the transformative power of AI for the good of society. Committed to sustainable development and fighting inequality. Sought-after speaker and consultant to executives and public organisations worldwide. Expert in AI, government, public policy, strategy, M&A, marketing and digital transformation.

Alex Moltzau, NORA, OECD AI

Senior AI Policy Advisor at NORA – The Norwegian Artificial Intelligence Research Consortium | OECD.AI Expert Group on Compute and Climate

With a focus on responsible AI development for sustainability, Alex has led the coordinating work on policy and ethics at NORA for the last few years. NORA is a collaboration between eight universities, five university colleges, and five research institutes based in Norway. He has also been a member of the Expert Group for Compute and Climate and the Expert Group on AI Ethics in Nordic Innovation under the Nordic Council of Ministers.

Axel Voss, MEP

Member of the European Parliament for the Cologne/Bonn region (CDU). EPP coordinator of the legal affairs committee (JURI). Focus on digital policy. Rapporteur for the AIAct

Distinguished CDU politician and seasoned lawyer, representing the European Parliament since 2009. As EPP coordinator for the JURI committee, he spearheads digital policy initiatives. Widely recognized for his pivotal contributions to groundbreaking legislation like the AI Act.

Alin Albu-Schäffer, TUM, DLR, euRobin

Director of the Institute of Robotics and Mechatronics, German Aerospace Center

Specialises in developing complex robot systems for safe human interaction and versatile environments. Currently serving as institute head at DL, he leads research focusing on sensor-based programming and control for applications ranging from space travel to healthcare. He obtained his doctorate from TUM, where he teaches and leads robotics research.

Alistair Nolan, OECD AI

Senior Policy Analyst at OECD and Directorate for Science, Technology and Innovation

Senior Policy Analyst at OECD, leads AI-related initiatives, focusing on AI in science and technology diffusion. He edited and co-authored the 2023 OECD book “Artificial Intelligence in Science” and is currently involved in a survey on AI adoption in firms in the G7. He has also led the preparation of OECD work on “The Next Production Revolution” and on robots and public policy.

Andrea Renda, CEPS, European University Institute, College of Europe 

Director of Research at CEPS, Part-time Professor at European University Institute

A social scientist and musician serves as Director of Research at CEPS, Brussels. He’s an Adjunct Professor at the European University Institute and a visiting professor at the College of Europe. Andrea advises prestigious organisations like the European Commission and OECD and sits on the board of Canonical, the company behind Ubuntu.

Ann Nowe, VUB, FARI, FWO

Professor at VUB

Ann Nowé is a professor of Computer Science and director of the AI Lab at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB). Her main research interest is Reinforcement Learning (RL), including Multi-Agent and Multi-Objective RL. In the Flemish AI program, she is co-leading the challenge on Situated AI. She strongly believes in the interplay between theory and applications. Her team has developed novel algorithms and tested them in domains such as smart grids, communication networks, mechatronics and scheduling problems. Ann Nowé is a former board member of EurAI, chairman of the BNVKI, and current board member of IFAAMAS. She was co-PC chair of AAMAS’21 and general chair of ECAI’23 and EWRL’23. Recently she was elected as an EurAI fellow.

David Bisset, euRobotics

Independent Robotics Consultant and road-mapping expert/Executive Director at euRobotics

David Bisset, with 27 years in Robotics, blends academia and industry expertise. As an Executive Director at euRobotics, he shapes strategic partnerships and agendas. His work spans Europe, fostering innovation through projects like RODIN CSA and DIH-HERO. Core Editor for AI, Data, and Robotics Partnership, he’s a key figure in the UK’s Robotics Growth Partnership.

Jörg Bienert, Alexander Thamm GmbH, RWTH AACHEN University, German AI Association

President of the German AI Association/Partner & CCO: Alexander Thamm GmbH and Data & AI Keynote Speaker 

As President of the German AI Association, he is a leading figure in Germany’s Data and AI scene. Partner at Alexander Thamm GmbH, with a computer science background, founded ParStream, later acquired by Cisco. A sought-after speaker and media expert, shaping the industry discourse

Karen Boers, FARI, AI for the Common Good Institute

Managing Director at FARI

Driven by a passion for empowerment, has spearheaded transformative projects including the BeCode coding school, BeCentral digital campus, and the European Startup Network. Her commitment lies in assisting motivated individuals to achieve their dreams and positively impact society.

Bart Becks, EISMEA, Euractiv, Belgacom Skynet

Board Member at European Innovation Council; Executive Chairman at EURACTIV

A Belgian serial innovator and entrepreneur, he has a proven history of igniting digital innovation and launching successful ventures. He transformed EURACTIV into a premier media network and co-founded BeCentral, a leading Tech and Digital Skills campus. With vast experience in leadership roles at Belgacom Skynet and SBS Broadcasting, Bart is passionate about leveraging technology, particularly Artificial Intelligence, to drive positive societal impact.

Francesco Ferro, euRobotics aisbl, PAL Robotics

CEO and co-founder of PAL Robotics, and euRobotics aisbl Board Director

Francesco is the CEO, co-founder & owner of PAL Robotics, an innovative service robotics SME committed to advancing cutting-edge robot technology. He serves as a Board Director and Treasurer at euRobotics aisbl.

Leopold Summerer, ESA

Head of the Advanced Concepts and Studies Office at the European Space Agency

Following training as a theoretical physicist, master studies in nuclear physics and in space studies, and a PhD on radiation matter interaction, Leopold is heading ESA’s Advanced Concepts and Studies Office, in charge of preparing future space missions, concepts and technologies. (

Sabine Demey, imec

Director Flanders Artificial Intelligence Research Program at imec

Sabine Demey coordinates the AI research of the eleven partners (universities and research centers) in the Flanders AI Research Program. She uses 20+ years of experience in industry to strive for a successful adoption of the AI research results, both in Flanders and internationally. We have the mission to create with AI a meaningful impact on people, industry, society, and our planet. Imec is the coordinating partner of the Flanders AI Research Program and combines its nanotech expertise with AI and data to create and support applications for a smarter, better future.

Tilman Becker, RICAIP, DFKI

Director RICAIP, Senior Researcher DFKI GmbH

A German scientist and expert in the field of Industry 4.0, he is the director of the RICAIP Centre for Advanced Industrial Production at the Czech Institute of Informatics, Robotics and Cybernetics (CIIRC) of the Czech Technical University in Prague. With twenty-five years of experience at DFKI, Germany’s largest artificial intelligence research center, he has a broad knowledge of digital transformation, natural language processing, cyber-physical manufacturing systems, and human-machine interaction research.

Organisation Committee

Hans De Canck, FARI, CLAIRE

Strategic planning

Klas Pettersen, NORA, CLAIRE

Strategic planning

Alexa Kodde, CLAIRE

Operations and Interviews

Ida Velthoven, FARI, CLAIRE

Logistics and Sound

Hina Bashir

Communications and Social Media