Grand challenges in AI and data science – Course and Conference Office

EIROforum Conference

Grand challenges in AI and data science


This conference will take place at EMBL Heidelberg, with a live streaming option for virtual participants free of charge. Proof of COVID-19 vaccination or recovery is required for on-site attendance. Please see EMBL’s COVID-19 terms and conditions

Workshop registration is available only to EIROforum members. Please note the workshop on 27 April is an on-site-only event and contact Iva Gavran for more information.

Conference Overview

At this conference, we will present cutting edge data science and AI from the EIROforum alliance of European scientific infrastructures, and explore how these infrastructures can contribute to scientific progress with societal and economic impact. The conference is aimed at scientists across our disciplines, science policymakers and science journalists.

From understanding the universe to tracking how viruses infect humans, large scale scientific data needs to be generated, analysed and distributed for science.

The EIROforum alliance of European scientific infrastructures, CERN, ESO, ESA, EMBL, ESRF, IIL, EuXFEL and EuroFusion invite you to our first conference focusing on Grand challenges in AI and data science.

These organisations have delivered the infrastructure and science that have made some of humanity’s greatest leaps in understanding over the last 50 years – from sub-atomic particles through protein structures to planets orbiting other stars.

This needs increasingly innovative machine learning and AI in both the running of the complex machines and systems in the infrastructure and in the complex analysis and distribution of data from these infrastructures.

Session topics

Open data and use of AI
Importance of scientific infrastructure for delivering science

About EIROforum

The European Intergovernmental Research Organisation forum (EIROforum) brings together eight of Europe’s largest research organisations (EMBL, ESA, ESO, CERN, ILL, XFEL, ESRF and Eurofusion) in a mission to combine the resources, facilities and expertise of its member organisations to support European science in reaching its full potential. The organisation provides the infrastructure to examine the natural world from sub-atomic particles to cosmology, with all the mysteries of life, light and materials included.


Keynote speakers

Pushmeet Kohli



Scientific organisers

Steve Aplin

European XFEL


Vincent Favre-Nicolin

European Synchrotron Radiation Facility


João Figueiredo



Andreas Kaufer

European Southern Observatory


Jan Korbel

EMBL Heidelberg


Paolo Mutti

Institut Laue Langevin


Jean-Francois Perrin

European Synchrotron Radiation Facility


Tim Smith



Conference organiser

Iva Gavran

Course and Conference Officer

EMBL Heidelberg



All times in the programme below are shown as the time in Europe/Berlin.

Please note the programme is subject to change and will be regularly updated.

Thursday, 28 April 2022
Time Speaker
08:30-09:30Arrival and Registration
09:30-10:00Opening remarks and welcome addresses
Francesco Sette Director-General, ESRF, France
Edith Heard Director-General, EMBL Heidelberg, Germany
Helmut Schober Director-General, ESS, Sweden
Ewan Birney – Deputy Director-General of EMBL, EMBL-EBI Hinxton, UK
10:00-10:30Introductory session: Fundamental science for society
Chair: Ewan Birney – EMBL-EBI Hinxton, UK
Fundamental science for society: CERN as an example
Fabiola Gianotti – Director-General CERN, France
(Talk will be live-streamed and available on demand in Video Library until 12 May 2022)
10:30-11:00Introductory session: Fundamental science for society
Q&A and open discussion
11:00-11:30Coffee break
11:30-13:00Session 1: Open data and use of AI in science
11:30-12:00Chair: Mark McCaughreanESA, The Netherlands
Leveraging AI for Science
Pushmeet Kohli – Head of Research DeepMind, UK
(Talk will be live-streamed and available on demand in Video Library until 12 May 2022)
12:00-13:00Chair: Ewan Birney – EMBL-EBI, UK
Panel discussion with EIROforum members
Paolo Mutti – ILL, France
Andy Yates – EMBL-EBI, UK
Maurizio Pierini – CERN, France
Jo McEntyre – EMBL-EBI, UK
(Panel will be live-streamed and available on demand in Video Library until 12 May 2022)
13:00-14:00Lunch break
14:00-16:30Session 2: Importance of scientific infrastructure for delivering science
14:00-14:30Chair: Vincent Favre-Nicolin – ESRF, France
The James Webb Space Telescope and the next decade
of discoveries
Ewine F. van Dishoeck – Leiden Observatory, The Netherlands
(Talk will be live-streamed and available on demand in Video Library until 12 May 2022)
14:30-15:30Session 2 (continued)
Chair: Jan Korbel – EMBL Heidelberg, Germany
Panel discussion with EIROforum Director-Generals
Ewan Birney – Deputy Director-General, EMBL-EBI, UK
Robert Feidenhans’l – Director-General, European XFEL, Germany
Francesco Sette – Director-General, ESRF, France
Enrica Porcari – CERN, France
Duarte Borba – Eurofusion, Germany
Xavier Barcons – Director-General, ESO, Germany (virtual)
Paul Langan – Director-General, ILL, France (virtual)
(Panel will be live-streamed and available on demand in Video Library until 12 May 2022)
15:30-16:00Coffee break
16:00-16:30Chair: Vincent Favre-Nicolin – ESRF, France
Lightning talks by EIROforum members
Bruno Merin – ESA, The Netherlands
Alexandra Pacureanu – ESRF, France
(Talk will be live-streamed and available on demand in Video Library until 12 May 2022)
16:30-17:00Closing remarks
Jean-Eric Paquet – Director-General of DG Research and Innovation of the European Commission (virtual)
(Talk will be live-streamed and available on demand in Video Library until 12 May 2022)

27 April 2022 – pre-conference on-site only EIROforum workshop day

The EIROforum workshop day is an on-site-only event and available only to individuals from EIROforum member institutions and not to external participants. Please contact Iva Gavran for registration for the workshop day.

Workshop day – 27 April 2022
Speaker Location
10:00-11:00Imaging centre toursATC Registration Desk
10:30-11:30Registration and coffee ATC Registration Desk / Foyer

Parallel workshops:

AI and machine learning in automation within scientific infrastructures

Open Access Data, User communities and citizen science

Career paths and training in scientific infrastructures

ATC Auditorium

Operon Large

Operon small
13:30-14:30Lunch breakATC Foyer

Parallel workshops:

AI and machine learning in automation within scientific infrastructures

AI and machine learning in scientific analytics

Open Access Data, User communities and citizen science

ATC Auditorium

Operon Large

Operon Small
16:30-17:00Coffee breakATC Foyer

Parallel workshops:

AI and machine learning in scientific analytics

Open Access Data, User communities and citizen science

Career paths and training in scientific infrastructures

ATC Auditorium

Operon Large

Operon Small
20:30-21:30Networking drinksATC Foyer

Participants will be able to attend the following 4 workshops:

AI and machine learning in automation within scientific infrastructures

Chaired by Christian Tischer (EMBL), Mutti Paolo (ILL), Natalie Behara (ESO), Verena Kain (CERN) and Danilo Ferreira de Lima (EuXFEL)

This workshop will focus on the use of machine learning and AI in the control, operations and automation of scientific instruments and infrastructures, allowing for better, more cost-effective innovations in data gathering and usage.

A talk from representatives from several EIROforum members will be followed by a discussion to identify commonalities and differences.

Session 1:

11:30-11:45Introduction to workshop
11:45-12:15Oleksii Turkot, EuXFEL and Sarlota Birnsteinova, EuXFEL
Selected applications of Machine Learning at the EuXFEL

The European XFEL (EuXFEL) collects terabytes of data and requires complex machinery to process it and guarantee that the data stored and available for the users have a high quality. Additionally, the EuXFEL allows for a wide range of experiments, which change every few days, using different techniques and detectors. It is therefore critical to ensure the high quality of the data collected online, by taking fast decisions based on the current data collected and the experimental setup. By optimizing the data quality available to the users online, the users may also adapt their setup accordingly if needed.
This talk presents a selection of methods that take advantage of Machine Learning to optimize the EuXFEL operations, with the focus on reinforcement learning and unsupervised learning techniques, which can apply or suggest on-the-fly corrections to the online analysis pipeline.

Contributors: Oleksii Turkot, Sarlota Birnsteinova, Danilo Ferreira de Lima, Arman Davtyan, Patric Vagovic, Fabio Dall’Antonia, Luca Gelisio
12:15-12:45Francesco Maria Velotti, CERN
Automation and Machine Learning Efforts for CERN’s accelerators

To deal with the complexity of hundreds to thousands of tunable parameters at CERN’s largest accelerators, a modular and hierarchical control system was put in place. Low-level hardware parameters are combined into higher-level accelerator physics parameters defined by theory and simulation. For effects not fully captured by the models in the control systems, high-level feedforward systems are available. This abstraction allowed us to deterministically operate machines such as the LHC. Still, not all effects are fully under control with this approach and shift crews are required to manually tune with lower intensity after configuration changes in the CERN lower energy machines or limit drastically the number of configuration changes as applied in the LHC. Machine Learning techniques allow to model hysteresis among other effects, learn online models from online data, interpret complex data from beam diagnostics systems and speed up compute-heavy data analysis of online data or simulations to use them online in the control room. All this can be used for optimal control of today’s accelerators. For this to become true, ways of how to integrate machine learning in the control system of the control room and making ML plug & play must be prepared in addition to sufficient expertise with ML techniques. This talk will summarise the results of ML and other advanced algorithms of recent years for optimising the performance of CERN’s accelerators. A tentative vision for the next steps in terms of automation in CERN’s accelerator control rooms will also be given.
12:45-13:15Ignacio Toledo, Joint ALMA Observatory, ESO
Provisioning a ML/AI infrastructure for ALMA operations: build from scratch or collaborate with the industry
Operating fully functional observatories like ALMA requires the use of cutting-edge technologies and state-of-the-art engineering practices. However, just 20 years ago most of the ground-based observatories worked as laboratories, and thus our field is in the process of learning and adopting new practices to operate the “big data factories” we have today.
One important aspect is having the ability to make decisions based on data. We need to answer questions like “how are we doing”, “why are things going well or bad”, “what is the reason for success or for the failure”, “how can we improve the success rates or prevent failures”, etc. to make informed decisions. In some cases, we also need to automate those decisions as well. This decision-making process, critical for operations, requires the use of a data science.
Four years ago, ALMA started a collaboration with the industry to provision a modern data stack that would allow us to use our available data (not only scientific) and our skills to apply ML/AI to make better decisions. This has allowed us to understand what were our weaknesses, which are our strengths and what challenges we must still solve. We will share with the audience what we have learned, what we have achieved and what is the road still ahead, along with our own views between building a solution in-house or provisioning an external solution.

Leonardo Blanco, ESO
Moving beyond traditional KPIs: a data driven approach for improved system performance
Please see the schedule for the exact location

Session 2:

14:30-15:00Martin Boehm, ILL
Autonomous Experiments in Inelastic Neutron Scattering

Autonomous experiments rely on modern machine learning algorithms for steering experimental data acquisition in a multidimensional parameter space without human intervention. Autonomous data acquisition becomes increasingly important for the execution and analysis of ever more complex experiments in many different scientific and industrial domains [1]. In autonomous learning, algorithms learn, from a comparably little amount of input data, a strategy to explore the multidimensional parameter space in an efficient way. Gaussian Process Regression (GPR) [2] is one of the most frequently employed algorithms for autonomous experiments, providing a quick, non-parametric and robust approximation and uncertainty quantification method.
GPR can be extremely powerful, when combined with a point-by-point data acquisition method, such as in the case of classical triple-axis spectroscopy (TAS). TAS is known since the 1960ies [3] as efficient method for exploring the scattering function S(Q,) in restricted regions of the neutron energy transfer  and momentum Q space, essentially relying on so-called const- Q (or const- scans. With the autonomous approach, underpinned by GPR, we abandon now the traditional way of TAS and explore new strategies with the aim of capturing the scattering function with a minimum amount of measuring points and, hence, measuring time. We used the GPR based algorithm gpCAM [4-6] in a series of test measurements on the cold TAS ThALES (@ILL, Grenoble), where gpCAM took control over the measurement process, without any intervention of the instrument scientists. Completely ‘agnostic’, i.e. without any prior information on the physical model or expected signal of the measured sample, the algorithm explored various accessible regions in the sample’s reciprocal space and reconstructed the signal with a strongly reduced number of total measuring points compared to a conventional ‘grid’ scanning technique (i.e. const-Q, const-E scans).
We propose to present this new experimental procedure and compare it to traditional data acquisition on triple-axis spectrometers. We show a perspective for the future experimental possibilities and how the scientific measurements could evolve in conjunction with modern algorithms.

Contributors: M. Boehm, M. Noack, T. Weber, Y. LeGoc, J.Sethian and P. Mutti
15:00-15:30Aliaksandr Halavatyi, EMBL
Fully automated control of complex microscopy experiments of biological samples

Over the last decades, EMBL has been applying and developing techniques to gather experimental data about biological objects at different scales. Among all available methods, microscopy methodologies have been evolving at high speed leading to the establishment of many imaging modalities targeting different biological scales. However, the application of such technologies to solve the emerging biological questions is often associated with various challenges, including the time-consuming need to identify specific species at specific biological states and locate specific anatomical locations in complex and heterogeneous sample preparations. To tackle these challenges the EMBL core facilities and labs established approaches to control advanced imaging experiments using fully automated computational methods. With this “Adaptive Feedback Microscopy,” framework target objects (e.g. organelles, cells or multicellular structures) are automatically identified and subsequently automatically imaged in the respective high-content modality. The established tools can couple commercial microscopes to automated open-source (machine learning-based) image analysis routines defined by the researchers or with the assistance of service staff.

Contributors: Manuel Gunkel, Marco Raffaele Cosenza, Martin Schorb, Sebastian Koehrer, Yannick Schwab, Thomas Schneider, Jose Marguez, Jim Swoger, Alvaro Crevenna, Sanjana Singh, Joanna Zukowska-Kasprzyk
15:30-16:30Panel discussion on SciOps AI infrastructure, instrument diagnostics and synergies
Please see the schedule for the exact location

AI and machine learning in scientific analytics

Chaired by Alexandra Pacureanu (ESRF), Anna Kreshuk (EMBL), Shervin Nourbakhsh (ILL), Felix Stoehr (ESO), Maurizio Pierini (CERN) and Arman Davtyan (EuXFEL)

This workshop will focus on the analysis of scientific data from instruments using machine learning and AI with examples including Image analysis from telescopes and microscopes, DNA sequence analysis and the analysis of high energy physics data, automated 3D volume segmentation, ‘big data’ approaches (many datasets).

A talk from representatives from several EIROforum members will be followed by a discussion to identify commonalities and differences.

Session 1:

14:30-14:40Introduction to workshop
14:40-15:10Jan Kieseler, CERN
Deep Learning for Particle Physics: from event reconstruction
to data analysis
15:10-15:40Anna Kreshuk, EMBL
Overview talk
15:40-16:00Felix Stoehr, ESO
Overview talk
16:00-16:30Ewen Bellec, ESRF
Crystal defect classification from diffraction patterns
Alexandra Pacureanu
Machine learning for 3D X-ray bioimaging at nanoscale
Please see the schedule for the exact location

Session 2:

17:00-17:30Felix Brausse EuXFEL,
Dealing with Data at European XFEL: Learning Algorithms for
Data Reduction, Automated Analysis, and Accelerated Discovery
17:30-18:00Elisa Rebolini ILL,
Machine learning in neutron physics
18:00-19:00Panel discussion
Please see the schedule for the exact location

Career paths and training in scientific infrastructures

Chaired by Andy Yates (EMBL-EBI), Stefan Roiser (CERN), Gaitee Hussain (ESA), Christian Stephan (ESO) and Elizabeth Humpreys (ESO)

This workshop will focus on discussions of career paths for scientific engineers, data scientists and other infrastructure scientists.

Session 1: On training schemes and practices within EIROforum
Staff development and training are key to ensuring productive projects as these allow staff to acquire new skills and knowledge that both help personal development and drive projects forward. These staffs come to our members at different stages of their careers including those just starting and those transitioning to another field. This session looks towards each EIROforum member to describe the methods and schemes they offer to help train staff in both technical and soft skills. One possible outcome of this session is the setting up of a central resource of training courses, materials and methods that can be used by all EIROforum members and beyond.

Mission statement
To gain a shared understanding of each forum member’s current training practices and to discuss steps towards sharing resources & practices amongst members.

  • Questions to be answered
  • What training schemes does each member currently run?
  • What additional training schemes exist outside of the forum?
  • Are there clear steps of progression in these schemes?
  • How domain specific are the schemes?
  • Is there scope to open these schemes further?
  • Where do trainers come from, inside/outside the field? In case of inside do you have ways to motivate colleagues to engage as trainers?
11:35-11:50Sebastian Lopienski, CERN
Training activities at CERN & HEP
11:50-12:05Eleni Athanasiadou, ESA
Training and Learning at ESA
12:05-12:20Rone Pawson & Andy Yates, EMBL
Training and staff development at EMBL
12:20-12:35Tanja Ninkovic & Andrew McCarthy, EMBL
12:35-13:20Panel discussion
13:20-13:30Wrap-up and close

Session 2: Career development frameworks
Traditional career development is a self-starting activity. Those who are interested in their development make steps to drive it forward. For many though the skills, competencies and behaviours of roles within their organisations can be unclear and create a barrier to progression. This session will first review an existing development framework, track how it was created and how it is employed. We would then look to other EIROforum members to also present their own frameworks where they exist. The session aims to inform EIROforum members who do not have development frameworks how they might start the process of creating one.

Mission statement
Understand what is considered mature methods to help staff at EIROforum members develop.

  • Questions to be answered
  • What methods have been used by forum members to create a development framework?
  • How well have these frameworks worked
  • What can be learned from each of these frameworks
  • How would forum members without a framework approach this challenge
17:00-17:25Benjamin Salignat, CERN
CERN “benchmark jobs”
17:25-17:50Andy Yates, EMBL-EBI
Developing and deploying a competency
framework at EMBL-EBI
17:50-18:40Wider discussion
18:40-19:00Wrap-up, discussion points, close
Please see the schedule for the exact location
Open Access Data, User communities and citizen science

Chaired by Jo McEntyre (EMBL), Erwan Le Gall (ILL), Andy Gotz (ESRF), Enrica Porcari (CERN), Pär Strand (EUROfusion), Martino Romaniello (ESO), Fabio Dall’Antonia (EuXFEL) and Bruno Merin (ESA)

This workshop will focus on how do data infrastructure deliver/share data and enable further analysis by both machine learning and AI techniques by a wide range of users? How is data reuse enabled? Training software scientists in cloud/remote interfaces and ML algorithms. Public access and usage of data, delivery of open data to scientists and therefore citizens.

A talk from representatives from several EIROforum members will be followed by a discussion to identify commonalities and differences.

Session 1:

11:30-12:00Andy Götz, ESRF, Overview talk
12:00-12:30Alexander Kohls, CERN, Overview talk
12:30-13:00Shaun de Witt, Eurofusion, Overview talk
13:00-13:30Martino Romaniello, ESO, Overview talk
Please see the schedule for the exact location

Session 2:

14:30-15:00Fabio Dall’Antonia, EuXFEL, Overview talk
15:00-15:30Jo McEntyre, EMBL, Overview talk
15:30-16:00Erwan le Gall, ILL, Overview talk
16:00-16:30Bruno Merin, ESA, Overview talk
Please see the schedule for the exact location

Session 3:

17:00-18:30Panel discussion on Identifying commonalities
and Points of synergy
Panel moderator: Carla Oliveira, EMBL-EBI

Practical information

Registration fees

On-site Registration Fees include admission, conference materials, COVID-19 safety measures, meals and coffee breaks. Participants are expected to book and pay their own accommodation and travel expenses.

On-site Academia€ 50
On-site PhD Student€ 50
On-site Industry€ 60

Virtual Participation is free of charge and includes access to all of the talks (live-streamed and on-demand) and the facility to submit questions.

NO visa support letters will be issued until payment of the registration fee is confirmed.

Accredited journalists may be eligible to register for complimentary registration. Registrants may be required to provide accreditation or equivalent proof of press membership after registration. Please contact Iva Gavran for more information.

Confirmation and payment

Registration will be on a first-come-first-served basis. Your place can only be confirmed after payment of the registration fee. If you are added to our waiting list, please consider taking advantage of our offerings to participate virtually.

On-site participants: Types of payments accepted are international bank transfers and credit card payments.

Accommodation and shuttles

Accommodation is not included in the conference registration fee.

As further changes in our events are possible due to COVID-19, you should book flights, trains and hotels with flexible options and favourable cancellation conditions.

The hotels below have rooms on hold for participants until 26 March, in some cases at special rates. Please quote the booking code EIR22-01 and confirm the exact price of the room with the hotel directly.

Hotel AnlageHotel ibis HeidelbergPremier Inn Heidelberg City
Hotel Bayrischer Hof Staycity Aparthotel Heidelberg
B&B HotelLeonardo Hotel Heidelberg City CentreSteffi’s Hostel Heidelberg
Exzellenz Hotel & Boarding HouseMeininger HeidelbergHotel Vier Jahreszeiten Heidelberg
Hotel Holländer Hof Hotel Monpti

Conference shuttle buses

Conference shuttle buses are free of charge for participants, and depart from designated bus stops near the hotels to EMBL and back, mornings and evenings.

The bus stops for this conference are:

  • Kurfürsten-Anlage (opposite Main Train Station)
  • Hotel Premier, Kurfürsten-Anlage 23
  • Leonardo Hotel (Bergheimer Str.)
  • Neckarmünzplatz
  • Peterskirche

View Conference shuttle bus stops and hotels in a larger map. Please note that not every bus stop will be used for every event.

Further details

Address: EMBL, Meyerhofstraße 1, 69117 Heidelberg, Germany. For further information on getting to EMBL Heidelberg visit Public Transportation to the Venue. For information about accommodation and local transportation please refer to the FAQ page.

Onsite information


All meals and coffee breaks are included in the registration fee. Our catering staff will prepare a wide variety of vegetarian meals, meat and fish dishes, soups, pasta, fresh fruit and vegetables, as well as a variety of desserts.

Please wear your badge at all times when serving yourself.

No food or drinks are allowed in the auditorium.

Charging lockers

There are lockers available next to the stairs leading down into the Auditorium. You will find some of those equipped with sockets to charge your smartphone/tablet etc.

Electricity and charging station

In most places, the electricity is 220 volts AC (50 cycles). An adaptor and a plug that fits the German socket may be needed for your appliances/laptop (i.e. American, Japanese, etc.). A USB charging station for electronic devices is available at the registration desk.

EMBL merchandise

EMBL Merchandise is available on Mon – Thu (9 am – 12 pm). If you are interested in purchasing an EMBL souvenir (products presented in the glass display in the registration area), please ask at the registration desk for more information.

Health and safety notes

Please read EMBL’s COVID-19 terms and conditions for events.
Do not smoke in any EMBL building.
Eating and drinking are prohibited in the Auditorium and all laboratories.
Do not enter any restricted areas or the laboratories unless instructed to do so.

If first aid is required …

  • The first aid room is located next to the ATC Registration Desk (room 10- 205).
  • Dial the Emergency number 222 from any EMBL internal phone only.
  • Where is the accident? What happened? How many injured?
  • Emergency number 06221-387 7821 from mobile phones.
  • Please report all accidents to the conference officer at the registration desk.

In case of fire …

  • Press the nearest fire alarm button or the Emergency number 222 from any internal phone.
  • A loud fire alarm will go off if an evacuation is required. On hearing the alarm leave the building immediately following the escape route and fire wardens and head to one of the meeting points
  • Do not use the lifts.

Beyond first aid…

Please remember to bring your own medication, if needed, to the conference. Note that the next pharmacy is a 4-minute drive from the EMBL, but for many medications, you will be required to see a doctor to get a prescription.

Ensure in advance that your medical insurance will cover you during your visit in the event that you do need to see a doctor while in Heidelberg. In any case, the EMBL Course and Conference Office will assist you to get to the pharmacy and a doctor of your choice if necessary.


Wi-Fi is available everywhere on the premises (no password required), just log on to ATC-Guest. The eduroam network (secure, worldwide roaming access service developed for the international research and education community) is also available.

Lost and found

‘’Lost and Found’’ are kept at the registration desk until the end of the conference.


There are lockers available on-site to store your luggage, which require a 2 EURO coin to operate. There is another luggage room on level E0, which is free to use but remains unlocked during the conference.

Nursing room

There is a nursing room available in the ATC Rooftop Lounge on level A29.


During the conference, an EMBL Photographer may be taking photographs. If you would not like to appear in these, please inform the photographer or a member of the Course and Conference Office.


We can help print your boarding passes/train tickets. Please send it to events@embl.de and collect your print-outs at the registration desk.

Room for prayer, yoga and meditation

There is a room for prayer, mediation and yoga located on level E0 behind the Auditorium. Please be respectful of other participants using the room.


A variety of activities in Heidelberg can be found on this website: www.heidelberg-marketing.com

Travel to and from the venue

During the event, we provide conference shuttle busses to and from EMBL. In addition, there is the public bus 39A that serves the EMBL campus and taxis can be easily booked at any time. Information on the conference shuttle busses can be found on the individual event website and more detailed information on travelling to EMBL can be found on our Travel Information page.

Useful German expressions

GoodbyeAuf Wiedersehen
Good morningGuten Morgen
Good afternoonGuten Tag
Good eveningGuten Abend
Good nightGute Nacht
I’m sorryTut mir leid
Excuse me…Entschuldigen Sie
How are you?Wie geht’s?
I’m fine thanks. And you?Mir geht es gut , danke, und dir/Ihnen?
What is your nameWie heisst du? Wie heissen Sie?
My name isIch heisse
Do you speak EnglishSprechen Sie Englisch?
I don’t understandIch verstehe nicht
Please speak more slowlyKönnen Sie bitte langsamer sprechen
Thank youDanke schön
Where is the toilet?Wo ist die Toilette?
Please call me a taxiBitte rufen Sie mir ein Taxi
How do I get to….?Wie komme ich zum/zur…..?
A beer/two beers, pleaseEin Bier/zwei Bier bitte
A glass of red/white wine pleaseEin Glas Rot/Weisswein bitte
The menu, pleaseDie Speisekarte, bitte
Is there a local speciality?Gibt es eine Spezialität aus dieser Gegend?
I’m VegetarianIch bin Vegetarier
It was deliciousEs war hervorragend
The bill, pleaseDie Rechnung, bitte
I have a headacheIch habe Kopfschmerzen
I have a sore throatIch habe Halsschmerzen
My stomach hurtsIch habe Magenschmerzen
I’m allergic toIch bin allergisch gegen
I need a doctor who speaks EnglishGibt es einen Arzt, der Englisch spricht?
Virtual participation

What’s included?

  • Access to all the livestreamed talks
  • Video library of the recorded talks during and after the event
  • Facility to submit questions

Event platform

We are using an event platform for this conference. More information about the platform will be shared ahead of the conference.


  • Do not broadcast the conference to unregistered participants.
  • You are encouraged to tweet and post about the event. Tweet unless the speaker specifically says otherwise, but be mindful of unpublished data. 
  • Please do not capture, transmit or redistribute data presented at the meeting.

Additional information can be found in our Code of Conduct.

Health and well-being

It is important to stay healthy and move around, especially when you are attending an event virtually. We have put together a few coffee break stretches and yoga videos in the conference platform for you to enjoy during the event.

How to ask questions

Please use the Q&A function in the event platform.

If you have any other questions, you can go to the Help Desk in the event platform. Click on ‘more’ on the top menu and click Help Desk. 

Time zone

The programme is planned based on the Europe/Berlin time zone, unless otherwise stated. Please take your time zone into consideration when planning your attendance.

COVID-19 related questions
What do I need to bring in order to access the event?
  • Valid proof of vaccination / recovery or a negative antigen (24 h) or PCR (48 h) test ready when coming to the event venue. 
  • FFP2 mask
What kind of masks must be worn onsite?

Only FFP2 masks are allowed for indoors use and must be worn during the whole event (except while eating or drinking during the breaks).

What counts as proof of vaccination?
  1. Your proof of vaccination must show that you are fully vaccinated against SARS-CoV-2. To be considered fully vaccinated, you need to have received one or more of the vaccines specified on the website of the Paul Ehrlich Institute. Furthermore, it is necessary that
  • either the vaccine/s you received were administered in the number of doses required for full protection, as specified on the website of the Paul Ehrlich Institute above, and 14 days have elapsed since the last required dose of the vaccine was administered,
  • or, if you have recovered from a SARS-CoV-2 infection, you have received one dose of vaccine. In this case, in order to prove you are fully protected, you must show proof that you were infected with COVID-19 prior to being vaccinated. For this purpose, you need to show a positive result of a PCR test. 
  1. Your proof of vaccination must include the following information:
  • your personal details (at least your given name and family name and date of birth, and the number of the passport or other official photo-ID document to be presented at passport control) 
  • the date/s of vaccination and number of vaccination doses
  • the name/s of the vaccine/s
  • the name of the disease against which you were vaccinated
  • distinctive features which show the identity of the person or institution responsible for administering the vaccination or issuing the certificate (e.g. an official logo or name of the issuer).
  1. Your proof of vaccination must be written in German, English, French, Italian or Spanish.

Proof is accepted in paper or digital form, provided it meets the criteria listed under points 1, 2 and 3. Photographs of paper documents do not count as valid digital proof for the purposes of checks by the transport company or by the police authorities conducting border controls. Digital documentation needs to have been issued electronically by the authorised issuer and transmitted electronically to the authorised holder.

Please note that these are general requirements pursuant to the Coronavirus-Einreiseverordnung. For a digital COVID certificate in line with the EU Regulation on the EU Digital COVID Certificate, additional requirements may have to be met. Further information can be found on the Coronavirus: Frequently Asked Questions website of the German Federal Ministry of the Interior and Community

Which Covid-19 vaccines are recognised in Germany?

Regardless if you are coming from an EU country please check, please check the Paul Ehrlich Institute website for recognised vaccines to see if your vaccination status is considered valid in Germany. You will find information such as which vaccines (and combinations) are approved, the number of doses required for a complete vaccination protection and the length of time that must pass after vaccination.

What counts as proof of recovery?

The test to prove the previous infection must have been carried out by laboratory diagnostics using nucleic acid detection (PCR, PoC-PCR or other methods of nucleic acid amplification technology). At least 28 days ( but no more than 90 days) must have passed since getting a positive test. Information on recovery can be found (in German) on the Robert Koch Institute website.

What counts as a negative test?

A negative rapid antigen test not older than 24 h or PCR test not older than 48 h is required to access the event.

Where can I get a COVID-19 test in Heidelberg?

We advise all participants to take a COVID-19 test before the event even if they are fully vaccinated. It is not possible to get a certified COVID-19 test while on site at EMBL. However Professional testing stations are readily accessible at many convenient locations throughout Heidelberg.

These testing stations offer lateral flow antigen tests that are free of charge, and on a ‘walk-up’ basis for all, including visitors. Results and certificates are sent by email, within approximately 20 minutes.

Please note, some testing stations offer PCR tests as well, however these require a fee which is to be paid by the participant. 

How long is the proof of vaccination valid in Germany?

As of 1 February 2022, the validity of vaccination certificates in Germany is 270 days (roughly 9 months), if no booster vaccination has been administered after a completed basic immunisation.

How long is the proof of recovery valid in Germany?

The validity of proof of recovery in Germany is 90 days (roughly 3 months). At least 28 days must have passed since getting a positive test. 

Do I need to register and quarantine when arriving in Germany from another country?

You only need to register if you are arriving from a high-risk area. As at 12 April 2022, nowhere was considered a high-risk area by Germany. The current list of high-risk areas is on the Robert Koch Institute website.

If you do need to register, do this at the travel portal (www.einreiseanmeldung.de) before entering the country. You must carry the confirmation with you, but you do not need to quarantine as long as you upload your proof of vaccination or recovery when registering. You can find additional information on the obligation to register and exemptions in the FAQs on Digital Registration on Entry, the obligation to furnish proof and quarantine on entry.

I am not a EU resident, will my proof of vaccination / recovery be accepted?

Participants travelling from a non-EU country, who therefore have no access to a European Union Digital Covid Certificate (EUDCC), will be granted access to events upon providing the same written proof they used to enter Germany, which should be a verifiable proof of vaccination / recovery that meets the validity requirements in Germany (please see previous questions).

Please see the list of non-EU countries (and territories) that have joined the EU Digital COVID Certificate system

Please note that Baden-Württemberg state accepts only a digitally verifiable proof for the 2G rule such as a QR code. The primary means of verifying COVID vaccination status in Germany is through the “EU Digital Covid Certificate”. This can be obtained from the local pharmacies by showing them your vaccination papers together with an ID document. The pharmacy will give you the printouts which you can then enter into a mobile application ( Corona-Warn-App).

What are the current local restrictions (e.g. public transport, restaurants or cafes)?

Local restrictions change depending on the current pandemic situation. At the moment, the measures have significantly eased, however, mask wearing is obligatory in public transportation and (although rarely) you might see signs with admittance rules that will mention 2G or 3G.

  • 2G rule means that only vaccinated or recovered people are allowed to enter
  • 3G rule includes fully vaccinated, recovered or tested

A negative rapid antigen test not older than 24 h or PCR test not older than 48 h is required as a test. Please bring your CovidPass and ID wherever you go and make sure to have enough FFP2 masks. Additionally please find here the current local Public transportation requirements (in German).

Where can I find more information?

Information on the COVID measures and travel restrictions in place in European countries can be found on the following websites: https://www.auswaertiges-amt.de/en/coronavirus/2317268 and https://reopen.europa.eu/en. These websites also contain information on what personal information and documents you will need to have with you to travel.

Date: 28 Apr 2022

Location: EMBL Heidelberg


Registration (On-site): Closed

Registration (Virtual): Closed


  • Steve Aplin
    European XFEL, Germany
    • Ewan Birney
      EMBL-EBI, UK
      • Simone Campana
        CERN, Switzerland
        • Vincent Favre-Nicolin
          ESRF, France
          • João Figueiredo
            EUROfusion, Germany
            • Andreas Kaufer
              ESO, Germany
              • Jan Korbel
                EMBL Heidelberg, Germany
                • Mark McCaughrean
                  ESA, France