NEWS | 02.08.2022

BWKI award winners go on research visits

The prize in the special category "Environment and Sustainability" introduces research institutes

For one week, Katharina (17), Johannes (19) and Ole (19), all finalists in the German National Artificial Intelligence Competition (BWKI), were given exciting insights into the German Research Centre for Artificial Intelligence (DFKI) and Carl von Ossietzky University of Oldenburg. The research stay was offered as a special prize for the category “Environment and Sustainability” by the BWKI and the German Marine Research Alliance and was carried out by the DFKI Lower Saxony and the Institute for Chemistry and Biology of the Sea (ICBM) at the University of Oldenburg. The Magdeburg computer science student Katharina, who won 1st prize with her kestrel project, and the two prospective maths and computer science students from Diepholz were allowed to look behind the scenes at the DFKI in Oldenburg and Bremen, as well as getting to know the university institute ICBM in Oldenburg and Wilhelmshaven. A day trip also took them to the island of Spiekeroog to visit the research facilities there.

The Federal AI Competition promotes special achievement in and creative use of artificial intelligence and machine learning by pupils. Through such opportunities, young students are able to share their innovations with the world of science and contribute to the development of scientific literacy and overall innovative capacity. Especially in areas of environmental and sustainability research, the scientific community is in need of such young talents and is looking forward to new perspectives and approaches.

Oliver Zielinski, who heads the Center for Marine Sensors (ZfMarS) at the University of Oldenburg and also works at the DFKI, explains: “Artificial intelligence methods give us new insights into highly complex environmental systems. The work of the three award winners is a great example of how environmental protection and AI can be linked. Together, we immediately found further fields of application that can serve to protect the oceans and seas.”

At institutes like the DFKI, new ways are being developed through which artificial intelligence will help to overcome challenges facing society as a whole in the future. Last but not least, artificial intelligence should also help marine research to better understand our oceans and to protect them better in the future.

Prof. Dr Oliver Zielinski (left) took Ole, Katharina and Johannes to the ICBM in Wilhelmshaven and showed them current research projects. Photo: DFKI |

The young award winners also took the time to tell DAM what they particularly enjoyed about the research visit. “One highlight was the visit to the island of Spiekeroog. It was not only fascinating to see how many and different projects there are, but also to see them on site and in action!” says Katharina Bade. Ole Woyciniuk says: “The remote-controlled underwater robots, whose development and use in marine research we were able to observe in the research institutes, were impressive!”

“Above all, I learned how interdisciplinary marine research is and how important it is to look beyond one’s own field of research. I was thrilled to see how different teams work on different small problems in order to answer a larger question together. The internship motivated me a lot at the beginning of my studies to work in research myself one day.” – Johannes Lube

DAM is very pleased that the research stay was able to provide interesting and new insights into the world of research and wishes Katharina, Johannes and Ole all the best for the future!

Further Information


Institute for Chemistry and Biology of the Marine Environment (ICBM), Carl von Ossietzky University of Oldenburg
Center for Marine Sensors (ZfMarS)
Oliver Zielinski |

German Marine Research Alliance (DAM)
Head of Core Area Transfer
Ute Wilhelmsen |


Header-Image: At the Robotics Innovation Center (RIC) at the DFKI Bremen, Dr Sirko Straube explained different research projects in the deep sea. Photo: DFKI

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