NEWS

UvA & City Commit to AI Hub at Science Park

March 13, 2018

UvA are to create a world-class hub in the field of Artificial Intelligence at Amsterdam Science Park.

The new co-creation space will be the premier place for education, research and entrepreneurship in the field of artificial intelligence. It will provide an enormous collaboration boost between Amsterdam’s knowledge and research institutions and the business community within this growing market. The City of Amsterdam is providing €4 million to support the initiative.

Developments in Artificial Intelligence (AI) will have a decisive impact on the future. The impact of new initiatives, from using robots in healthcare to self-driving cars, depends on machine learning algorithms and smart software.

“As far as Artificial Intelligence is concerned, there is really only one piece of advice: do not sit still…” says Maarten de Rijke, Professor of Information Retrieval, UvA. 

Interest in studying AI has grown significantly in the last few years, with presently between 400 and 500 students at UvA. According to de Rijke, the research is already world-class, but it is growing out of its housing. The new eleven thousand square metre building will be close by the science faculty, and will house students from, for example, Informatics, Artificial Intelligence and various master studies.

A good example of AI created at Science Park is the start-up Scyfer, which started five years ago and was picked up last summer by the American chip giant Qualcomm. The AI of Scyfer is going to be integrated into the chips of Qualcomm. In order to make room for more such starting companies, space is created for education, research and cooperation with the business community.

With the new building, students and researchers have to be accommodated, but innovations must also be created that benefit businesses and society, such as solutions for healthcare, safety or sustainability issues. De Rijke: “It is important to recognize that good AI research is being done in Amsterdam and that exciting things are happening here, which will allow us to get and retain a considerable concentration of talent.”

Developments in the field of AI are progressing quickly. This initiative aims to accommodate the rapid growth in education, research and co-creation in the field of Informatics and AI. It will be an open hub where innovative solutions are developed in various areas, new products and applications are developed together with the private sector, and where students and professionals are educated in the latest AI knowledge. Next month, the Executive Board will discuss the investment required for the new building. The aim is to begin construction in 2019 so that the building can be in use by early 2021.

For more information see these articles:

Het Parool Article (in Dutch)

UvA News Pages (in English)