About Mindfire

The Mindfire Foundation is a Swiss non-profit organization which focuses on understanding the principles of human intelligence, and applying those principles to the development of artificially intelligent systems. In collaboration with its academic and private partners, the Mindfire Foundation implements the Global Robotics and AI Lab (GRAIL). GRAIL is a global research initiative that unites the best researchers to collaborate in both physical and virtual spaces and labs. GRAIL’s mission control has been established at the University of Zurich. The Mindfire Foundation is tasked to enable GRAIL to deliver tangible prototypes embodying latest insights, culminating in the development of an augmented scientist: a system that increases research performance and efficiency in science, ultimately becoming an automated research tool – a human-level artificial scientist.

The Mindfire Foundation was established in July 2017 in Switzerland and officially launched in November 2017 at ETH Zurich. In May 2018, the Mindfire Foundation selected 50 talents and experts out of more than 1000 applications worldwide to meet in Davos for Mindfire Mission-1 to understand the principles that govern human intelligence. Building on the learnings from Mission-1, the Mindfire Foundation decided to implement permanent and virtual labs, the Global Robotics and AI Labs (GRAIL).

MindFire Founders

Pascal Kaufmann

Pascal Kaufmann

Founder and President of the Foundation, Head of the AI board

Neuroscientist, tech-entrepreneur and the visionary behind Mindfire, is determined to unite the best talents worldwide to tackle the mind code. Kaufmann connected living brains to machines at Northwestern University, IL, USA and built one of the first cyborgs, feeding information directly into brain tissue. He takes a sceptical view on the current state of AI and is convinced that Human like Artificial Intelligence can and must be created by and for the people as an answer to the challenges of the 21st century.

Christoph von der Malsberg

Christoph von der Malsberg

Foundation Board Member, Head of the Neuroscience Board

Prof. Christoph von der Malsburg has devoted his life to the elucidation of the function of the brain. He did research at CERN in Geneva and the Max-Planck-Institute for Neuroscience and he was appointed as professor of computer science and systems biophysics in Los Angeles, USA and Bochum, Germany. He has co-founded two successful companies based on his theory of the visual system and received numerous international awards. Von der Malsburg headed the European Neural Network Society and is one of the fathers of self-organizing neural networks and their application to vision. He has been appointed recently as strategic and technical adviser to the European Human Brain Project.

Lukas Sieber

Lukas Sieber

Foundation Board Member

Lukas Sieber worked at the Embassy of Switzerland in Washington, D.C., USA and was responsible for all public diplomacy activities and programs for the Swiss government throughout the United States. With a background in political sciences from University of Zurich and postgraduate studies at Georgetown University, USA, he now acts as Executive Director North America of Greater Zurich Area (GZA), the official investment support agency of Zurich and surrounding areas. Additionally, he advises a number of blockchain-related initiatives and US and Swiss/European based businesses.


Mindfire Foundation

Gubelstrasse 11

6300 Zug, Switzerland

Phone +41 44 585 2055