• 6/4/2024
  • Reading time 1 min.

Thematic expansion of the Munich Data Science Institute

TUM and Creditreform on the hunt for greenwashing

The Technical University of Munich (TUM) and the provider of business information Creditreform have launched a comprehensive cooperation to research various aspects of environmental, social, and management responsibility in companies (Environmental Social Governance). A central concern of the collaboration is the quality of data and information in order to effectively combat so-called greenwashing, i.e., the deliberate pretense of sustainable business practices.

Andreas Heddergott / TUM
Looking forward to the research collaboration (from left): Prof. Gjergji Kasneci, Dr. Oliver Köttnitz (Creditreform Chief Business Development Officer), TUM President Prof. Thomas F. Hofmann, Creditreform CEO Bernd Bütow

To this end, advanced methods are to be developed to assess the relevant company data. Artificial intelligence (AI) plays an important role here to be able to accurately assess compliance with the often elusive sustainability criteria using simulations.

TUM is also expanding its Integrative Research Institute Munich Data Science Institute (MDSI) and contributing its academic expertise and leading researchers in the field of AI and data science under the leadership of Prof. Gjergji Kasneci to the collaboration. Following the acquisition of a Konrad Zuse School, this new project demonstrates once again that projects launched with funding from the Excellence Initiative can develop powerfully and be scaled up with third-party financing.

President Thomas F. Hofmann emphasized the importance of this partnership with Creditreform: "For us, it is a prototype of the synergies between university research and entrepreneurial application. In this collaboration, we are creating new insights from the combination of scientific AI expertise and data from the business world."

Creditreform CEO Bernd Bütow adds: "The cooperation is a milestone in the development of an AI-supported methodology for evaluating and processing data to assess ESG risks. The combination of academic research and our expertise as a credit agency in the context of sustainability information and reporting, among other things, is a real driver of innovation in the field of data analysis."

Further information and links

Under the motto "Shaping the future with data", the MDSI deals with the digital transformation in society, business, and science. The aim is to anticipate, accompany, and shape this change. The MDSI is TUM's central, interdisciplinary interface and innovation platform for questions and solutions in data science, machine learning, and artificial intelligence. As an integrative research institute, it is a core component of TUM AGENDA 2030. It is funded by the Excellence Initiative of the federal and state governments as well as the High-Tech Agenda Bavaria (HTA). It is located in GALILEO on the Garching research campus but works across all locations.

The following initiatives and facilities are assigned to the MDSI:

  • One example of a domain-specific MDSI activity is the TUM Georg Nemetschek Institute - Artificial Intelligence for the Built World. It was founded under the umbrella of the MDSI with the support of a 50 million euro donation from the Nemetschek Innovation Foundation in 2020. Here, research on AI and machine learning applications is bundled along the entire life cycle of buildings - from planning to construction and sustainable management.
  • The MDSI is also home to the AI Future Lab AI for Earth Observation (AI4EO), funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research and headed by Xiaoxiang Zhu, one of the five MDSI directors. AI4EO combines TUM's strengths in geodesy & earth observation, satellite technology, mathematics, AI, and ethics to develop reliable models of global urbanization, food supply, and natural disaster management.
  • The Center for Digital Medicine and Health is being built under the umbrella of the MDSI as a new federally/state-funded research building to bring the core competencies of computer science to the medical campus of the TUM University Hospital “rechts der Isar”. Under the leadership of MDSI Director Daniel Rückert, the focus is on the development of data-driven approaches and AI methods in medicine - from the early detection and diagnosis of diseases to the identification of biomarkers for individualized and personalized treatments, to ethics, security, and data protection in the use of patient data.
  • The Munich Center for Machine Learning (MCML) - under the joint leadership of TUM and LMU - is funded by the BMBF and the HighTech Agenda Bayern as one of the National AI Competence Centers. The TUM branch of the MCML is integrated into the MDSI infrastructure and is led by Daniel Cremers, one of the MDSI directors. He also heads the TUM part of the ELLIS Unit Munich, which is managed jointly with Helmholtz Munich within the European Laboratory for Learning and Intelligent Systems (ELLIS).
  • Since 2022, the DAAD has funded the Konrad Zuse School of Excellence in Reliable AI - jointly coordinated by TUM and LMU. The MDSI hosts the office of the Konrad Zuse School and is headed by MDSI Executive Director Stephan Günnemann. MSc and PhD candidates are trained in developing reliable AI technologies - including scientific knowledge, business expertise, and industrial experience. They conduct cutting-edge research to make AI ready for use in areas of public interest, with all its implications for reliability, security, and privacy.


Technical University of Munich

Corporate Communications Center

Contacts to this article:

Prof. Dr. Gjergji Kasneci
Technical University of Munich
School of Social Sciences and Technology
Chair for Responsible Data Science

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