Over the last eight months, I have been working together with many colleagues in the Information and Communication Technology Area of Advance at Chalmers on the creation of a new Chalmers competence center for artificial intelligence (CHAIR).
The objectives of this centre are (i) to strengthen AI research core at Chalmers, (ii) to establish applied research activities in strategic areas such as autonomous driving and industrial automation, and (iii) to support educational activities within AI.
This week, we learnt that Chalmers Foundation decided to support this center with a significant investment of 317 MSEK (about 31 MEUR) over the period 2019-2028. Together with the expected investment from industries, the total budget of the center may end up being twice as big.
Today, we had a seminar to present CHAIR and its relation to other ongoing national initiatives related to AI in Sweden, including WASP, the announced investment from the Swedish government on continuous education within AI, and the AI arena & data factory to be established at the Lindholmen Science Park in Gothenburg.
Here are some reflections from the seminar:
The large investments allocated to AI from different founding sources shows a clear commitment from Sweden to be among the excellence centers in the world within this field. Great to see that Chalmers Foundation strongly supports this vision.
Industries in Sweden are investing in AI, and clearly recognize the importance of working closely to universities. Chalmers has a unique ability to collaborate with industries, through its research centers, and through the area of advance structure. CHAIR can leverage this to impact not only research and education, but also innovation.
It is impressive to see how the simultaneous recruitment of PhD students, spurred by the last wasp-ai-math call, has facilitated the dialog between faculty members at three different departments: math, electrical engineering, and computer science. We will soon have a joint seminar course and a couple of new PhD courses jointly taught by faculty at different departments. Imagine which synergies we can achieve once CHAIR is in place!
CHAIR will allow Chalmers to expand its operations in AI. This includes recruitment at faculty level. If you are interest, check also our current assistant professor recruitment campaign.