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Amsterdam goes all-in on AI

Posted on January 17th, 2020 by in Pharma R&D

Artificial intelligence are the words on everyone’s lips these days. Across industries, AI is driving some of today’s most exciting innovations and is poised to be ubiquitous in the future. But success in AI demands investment, and now is the time to put up those funds in order to secure the brightest minds and best companies. That’s why Amsterdam’s educational institutions and knowledge centers are joining forces and pledging one billion euros for AI.

Dubbed “AI technology for people,” the initiative will invest in AI technologies, introduce new research programs, and expand global and public-private partnerships. The goal is to attract innovators from around the world, including students, top scientists and groundbreaking businesses. With the European Medicine Agency’s recent move from London to Amsterdam, there is now particular interest in trying to attract more players in Life Sciences and Healthcare to Amsterdam to further strengthen the AI in Health ecosystem.

“We have broad expertise here – technological knowledge and knowledge about the legal, social and ethical aspects of AI,” says Geert ten Dam, president of the University of Amsterdam. “Yet we, too, are beginning to feel the shortage of AI talent.” This initiative will hopefully go a long way to preserving and enlarging that talent.

By the numbers: AI technology for people

Over the next 10 years, the one-billion-euro investment will help to:

  • Employ 800+ researchers
  • Train 5,000 bachelor’s, master’s and PhD students
  • Have 10,000 students take a minor in AI
  • Develop 100 spin-offs and 100 start-ups

The institutions making up the coalition for this initiative are: Antoni van Leeuwenhoek (including Netherlands Cancer Institute), Amsterdam Economic Board, Amsterdam University Medical Centers, Centrum Wiskunde & Informatica, Municipality of Amsterdam, Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences, Sanquin, University of Amsterdam and Free University Amsterdam.

Responsible AI

The program is called “AI technology for people” for a reason – it is meant to center systems that focus on humans and on the responsible application of AI technologies. The initiative’s approach will involve three principle themes that impact people’s daily lives and socio-economic development: AI for Health, AI for Business Innovation and AI for Citizens.

To learn more about this new initiative, read the press release here.

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