High Tech Campus Eindhoven joins forces with Philips, ASML, NXP and Signify in a new partnership to drive the application of Artificial Intelligence technologies by companies and organizations in the Brainport Eindhoven region. To achieve this mission, the partners establish the AI Innovation Center, an 1.100 m2 facility which will bring together all relevant partners in the ecosystem.
Jan-Willem Neggers, Managing Director of High Tech Campus Eindhoven: “It’s common sense that Artificial Intelligence is a game changer for both industry and society. We feel the urgency to create an environment where we help companies and organizations to apply this technology in their businesses, innovations and processes. The extent to which companies are able to apply this technology will define their impact in the future.”
This signal surfaced during a research project of HTCE, which led to the Campus’ vision towards 2030. “We’ve listened carefully to what our residents, their employees and other key stakeholder had to say about topics like emerging technology. The need for an initiative like this was crystal clear”, says Neggers. “As a Campus, we believe it’s our job to pick up this glove.”
Pushing companies on the wave of Data Science and AI
The past few months, HTCE has worked on an answer to this need. With the support of Philips, ASML, NXP and Signify, the Campus has developed a concept that will benefit all organizations in the ecosystem.
Paul van Son, Innovation Manager of HTCE and initiator of the AI Innovation Center: “With our Founders, we believe we can generate the biggest impact in the long run. We all feel the urgency to put this region on the map in the field of AI at the same level as where we are already in high tech systems. We all need to attract and develop the talent in this field to achieve our goal: pushing companies on the wave of Data Science and AI.”
With the AI Innovation Center, HTCE will develop a breeding ground for new business propositions and innovations with data and AI in its core. “It all starts with awareness – what is the potential impact of this technology on my business and how can I benefit from it? That’s what we are going to address during regular open sessions: best practice sharing and use cases for inspiration. But also the more technical topics for data scientist and AI engineers and topics like ethics, legal issues and the human factor will be part of the events program”, says Paul.
“But these events are just the start. In the end, it’s about driving new applications and projects. So in the next phase, we will host design workshops with specialized partners to help organizations to define their own use cases. This must lead to the adoption of DS and AI in products, services and processes. These projects can be executed in the AI Innovation Center.
An incubator for AI projects & startups
By offering a co-working environment for the project execution and a soft landing spot for AI startups, HTCE creates an incubator for AI applications and projects. Paul: “We also offer AI startups the possibility to easily access the Campus ecosystem via the Center and get help with setting up their company.”
To underscore the importance, the AI Innovation Center will be located in the heart of the Campus, on the ground floor of building HTC5. “We are going to turn this space into a combination of social and events space, inspiration areas, projects and working space. As soon as Covid-19 measures are loosened, we physically start. In the meantime, all events and sessions will start online.
AI for Good
In the programming of the Center, there is special attention for projects and events that contribute to social and environmental goals: AI for Good. Paul: “As HTCE we have big ambitions in sustainability. We want to become the most sustainable campus in the world by 2025 and we invest in impact-driven venture building programs like HighTechXL and LUMO Labs. AI is a technology with an amazing potential to contribute to solving global challenges. Especially young people in data science and AI have an enormous drive to use their skills for the greater good. We really have an opportunity as a region to differentiate ourselves on this topic.
Creating an open innovation ecosystem for AI
HTCE’s ambitions with the AI Innovation Center are high. Paul: “Our research shows that over 70 percent of the companies on Campus see AI as number one technology to focus on in the next five years. This is a very big challenge, which we believe you can only achieve by collaborating with all relevant partners in the ecosystem. The AI Innovation Center will therefore be an open platform for all parties that want to contribute to our goals. Everybody is welcome to come up with new ideas and initiatives, of course that’s not limited to companies on HTCE.”
Besides the partnership with the Founders, there are more collaborations in the pipeline. Paul: “Think of collaborations around (professional) education, startup support and project funding. As partners in this region, we have to join forces to make this topic big and to accelerate the adoption of AI in our ecosystem. Therefore we collaborate on a regional level in the so called Brainport AI Hub, together with partners like Brainport Development, TU/e, JADS, Fontys, Automotive Campus, BOM and Brainport Industries.”