European Commission finances CLAIRE plans with 50 million euro

The European Commission has released 50 million euro to strengthen artificial intelligence in Europe. Members of CLAIRE, the pan-European Confederation of Laboratories for AI Research in Europe founded by professor Holger Hoos of Leiden University, were selected to lead three of the new centres of excellence in AI. The Leiden Institute of Advanced Computer Science (LIACS) will be a member in two of those new networks.

Encouraging improved collaboration

‘Europe is set to become a global leader in human-centred, trustworthy artificial intelligence (AI),’ says Holger Hoos, Professor of Machine Learning and founder of CLAIRE. ‘But in order to get there, we need to bring its AI communities together, to achieve much closer collaboration and thus to create critical mass in AI research and innovation. CLAIRE was created with this in mind, and I am delighted that we have now received an official mandate from the European Commission to coordinate this important effort.’

Keeping up with competition

The 50 million euro is intended to position Europe as a global leader in human-centred artificial intelligence and to pave the way for much greater future investments. This is crucial to keep Europe competitive with countries such as the US, China and Canada. These countries are investing significantly higher amounts in AI research and innovation.

Use of all expertise

Three of the selected projects, TAILOR, Humane-AI-Net and Ai4Media, will set up networks of centres of excellence in research on artificial intelligence. VISION, led by Hoos, will coordinate between these centres and the European Commission. ‘It is important to bring together all expertise in artificial intelligence in order to strengthen the research,’ says Ana Paiva, professor at the University of Lisbon and member of the leadership teams of CLAIRE and TAILOR. ‘Our proposals therefore focus not only on the new networks of centres of excellence, but also on the expertise that lies outside the centres.’

CLAIRE helps in the fight against Covid-19

Leveraging the critical mass of expertise in all areas of AI, CLAIRE has also offered to help governmental agencies and public institutions in the fight against Covid-19. ‘There is a lot of evidence that artificial intelligence can make a difference when dealing with Covid-19,’ says Hoos. ‘Countries like China and the US use artificial intelligence in the fight against the coronavirus. But to get started, scientists need a clear message from European and national authorities, as well as effective coordination. CLAIRE is therefore committed to use the expertise we have and coordinate this joined effort on a voluntary basis.’

About CLAIRE

CLAIRE (Confederation of Laboratories for Artificial Intelligence Research in Europe) is an organisation set up by the European AI community that seeks to strengthen European excellence in AI research and innovation, with a strong focus on human-centred AI, AI for good and AI for all. CLAIRE’s network consists of more than 350 research groups and research institutes, covering more than 21,000 employees in 35 countries. In addition, CLAIRE is in the process of setting up an industry network, in order to foster close links between non-profit research and impactful industrial applications.

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