About ELSA

ELSA is a virtual center of excellence that will spearhead efforts in foundational safe and secure artificial intelligence (AI) methodology research. A large and growing network of top European experts in AI and machine learning is to promote the development and deployment of cutting-edge AI solutions in the future and make Europe the world's lighthouse of AI. ELSA builds on and extends the existing internationally recognized and excellently positioned ELLIS (European Laboratory for Learning and Intelligent Systems) network of excellence. ELSA rests like ELLIS on three pillars: selected research programs, local research units, and a PhD and postdoc program. ELSA will establish a fluid two-way communication between academic research and real-life application scenarios through the creation of the ELSA Innovation Lab. These dynamics will be strengthened and facilitated by new instruments (open call, joint PhD supervision) that foster academia-industry collaboration. The ELSA innovation lab will provide a platform for driving and utilizing socially-beneficial innovation. This European project is particularly important because AI solutions will be applied in such sensitive areas as the healthcare sector or autonomous driving. Artificial intelligence is also used in robotics, cybersecurity, media and document security. All of these application areas are the focus of the network. To achieve its goals, the network is addressing three major challenges: The development of robustness guarantees and certificates, data-secure and robust collaborative learning, and the development of human control mechanisms for the ethical and secure use of AI. ELSA is funded under Horizon Europe, one of the largest research and innovation funding programs in the world.



ELSA Virtual Center of Excellence -- Key Activities

Research Program

ELSA will form Research Programmes around foundational methodology for safe and secure machine-learning-based AI that provide a nucleus for key innovations.

Strategic Research Agenda

ELSA will build and drive forward a Strategic Research Agenda in safe and secure AI.


ELSA will define benchmarks to steer innovation towards addressing grand challenges that hamper deployment.

Innovation Lab

The ELSA innovation lab will provide a platform for driving and exploiting socially-beneficial innovation.


ELSA will create a mobility program that mobilizes researchers in the network.

PhD/PostDoc Program

ELSA will acquire talent by expanding the ELLIS PhD/Postdoc program to topics on safe and secure AI as well as support for mobility.

Bridge Head Office

ELSA's bridge head office will leverage momentum and synergies as well as avoid duplication across networks.


ELSA is designed to grow a network of excellence for safe and secure AI based on common standards.

Spread knowledge

ELSA will spread knowledge and a European vision of AI across stakeholders and general public.

Founding Members

This project has received funding from the European Union's Horizon Europe research and innovation program

ELSA is build on the ELLIS Society (European Laboratory for Learning and Intelligent Systems)

ELSA works in close collaboration with the ELISE (Network of AI Excellence Centers)