In an exciting joining of forces between science and business, the Innovation Center for Artificial Intelligence (ICAI) and information analytics business Elsevier announce the opening of the Elsevier AI Lab. The lab, situated on ICAI’s grounds in the Science Park in Amsterdam, will help further establish the Amsterdam region as a Data Science and Artificial Intelligence (AI) center of excellence at a national and international level.
As a true win-win situation, the collaboration allows Elsevier’s data scientists to work closely with data scientists in academia, contribute to education and science, and pursue a PhD. Academics in turn gain a better understanding of how AI is used to innovate research platforms to solve real-world societal problems. In short, the Elsevier AI Lab closes the gap between the two worlds.
Through this multi-year partnership, ICAI, an open national collaboration launched by Amsterdam-based universities, the University of Amsterdam (UvA) and the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (VU), and supported by the municipality of Amsterdam, gains a focused environment for AI researchers to help solve challenging, real-world problems in collaboration with an AI industry front runner. The ICAI in turn brings state-of-the-art AI technology and insights to Elsevier.
Maarten de Rijke, Director of ICAI and Professor of AI and Information Retrieval with the University of Amsterdam added: “It is precisely such a convergence of academia and industry input, both strongly represented within the Amsterdam ecosystem, that makes the Elsevier AI Lab so worthwhile from a scientific standpoint.”
Frank van Harmelen, Professor of AI at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam said: “The existing collaboration between VU, UvA and Elsevier will be accelerated through this new Elsevier AI Lab. Together we will be innovating on a wide range of AI techniques, such as knowledge representation, machine learning and information retrieval.”
Elsevier Scopus data confirms The Netherlands’ strong position in AI research placing itself among the top 25 performing nations in terms of research output and impact in the field; only three of these 25 nations have a higher share of academic-corporate collaboration. At the same time, Dutch media have recently reported a ‘brain drain’ of academic AI expertise.
Alexander van Boetzelaer, Executive Vice President at Elsevier said: “VU and UvA together, via ICAI and the Amsterdam Data Science initiative, are very strong AI players in the region with international reputation. Teaming up with these formidable organizations demonstrates our commitment to strengthen The Netherlands as technology hotspot globally and adds to the impact academic-corporate collaborations can have. With our global headquarters here in Amsterdam we are confident that the AI Lab will allow us to learn how AI can be used to better serve the interests of all our customers, whilst simultaneously investing in talent development, creating new jobs and drawing AI experts to the region.”
Elsevier’s involvement in this initiative fits with the prominence it has gained in recent years as an industry leader in Artificial Intelligence. This is demonstrated best through its Artificial Intelligence Program, which undertakes to build a comprehensive global examination of artificial intelligence by combining semantic research with insights from AI experts, practitioners and policy makers. The program will publish a comprehensive report in late 2018 that will be freely available.
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