AI takes central stage at Opening Academic Year

September 2, 2019

Eindhoven Artificial Intelligence Systems Institute (EAISI) officially launched

Today TU/e officially launched the new knowledge institute EAISI (Eindhoven Artificial Intelligence Systems Institute) during the Opening of the Academic Year. An initial investment of €100 million in Artificial Intelligence research for High Tech Systems should lead to a European leadership position. This initiative is part of the strategic priorities of the new TU/e Executive Board for the coming years.

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is considered one of the key technologies for the future. The province Noord-Brabant has already developed a strong position in this respect and is now ranked fourth among the European regions with the most AI patents (Source: University College Dublin 2019).

The launch of EAISI marks the start of a number of new, tangible steps. This week the recruitment of 50 new AI scientists has started. EAISI will hold its first symposium on 29 October 2019. In the field of education, the institute will be providing two new master's programs, Data Science and AI, and AI Engineering Systems, as of 2020.

The uniqueness of EAISI lies in its focus on the use of data and algorithms in machines, such as robots and self-driving cars, traditional strengths of TU/e and the Brainport region. The institute also focuses on the application areas of healthcare, human-machine interaction and ethical aspects of AI.

Big Opportunities for Eindhoven

Roberto Viola, Director General of Communications Networks, Content and Technology at the European Commission and responsible for European AI policy, sees great opportunities for Eindhoven. During the Opening of the Academic Year ceremony he called this ambitious Eindhoven initiative "very welcome in our European ambitions to put significant effort into AI. The European budget for AI research will increase by 70% in the coming years, and the joint approach of TU/e and the ecosystem in Brainport is exactly what is needed."

Robert-Jan Smits, President of the TU/e Executive Board, on the commitment for the coming years: "In our Strategy 2030 we have identified three priorities that we will address as a matter of priority. First, cooperation, within the region, of course, but also with strong partners outside. This is a traditional strength and we lead the world in this respect. In addition, talent development, in both education and research as well as in the capacities our people have to collaborate and innovate. And finally, of course, boosting the resilience of our organization and optimizing our processes."

Student team Tech United officially acclaimed

During the Opening of the Academic Year, TU/e also announced a new partnership between the universities of Utrecht, Wageningen and Eindhoven as well as Utrecht University Medical Center. This alliance will provide new joint research projects across existing disciplines, aimed at tackling the issues that confront society.

At the end of the ceremony, the TU/e student team Tech United was officially acclaimed by the deputy mayor and alderman for Sport and Innovation of the Municipality of Eindhoven, Stijn Steenbakkers. In July this year the TU/e team became world Robocup champions for the fifth time as well as taking the world title in the category care robots for the first time. Steenbakkers: "As a sports city and high-tech city, Eindhoven is very proud. This team is a perfect showcase for Eindhoven. Tech United is also a good example of how the smart application of AI can result in a great performance."

Watch here the Opening of the Academic Year.

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