Cork researchers lead €9m EU project to develop AI platform

6 Sep 2022

Prof Barry O’Sullivan, AI4Europe coordinator and Insight director; Susanne Kuehrer, project coordinator, EIT Digital; Dr Gabriel Castane Gonzalez, AI4Europe programme manager, Insight; and Prof John Cryan, VP for research and innovation at UCC. Image: Tomas Tyner/ UCC

The AI4Europe project, led by Insight’s Prof Barry O’Sullivan, aims to further develop the EU’s AI resource platform for industry and academics.

A project led by researchers at University College Cork (UCC) has secured €9m in funding from the EU to develop the next phase of a piece of European AI infrastructure.

The AI4Europe research consortium is composed of members from 14 European countries. It is led from UCC by a team at Insight, the Science Foundation Ireland research centre for data analytics.

The project is a follow-on from AI4EU, a €20m project that concluded in 2021, and will bring together a Europe-wide network of AI experts to work on further development of the AI-on-demand platform.

This platform was initiated in 2019 with support from the European Commission. It provides a one-stop shop for people looking for more information on AI, including technology, tools, services and experts.

It aims to bring Europe’s AI community together to promote knowledge-transfer across the industry. The platform will continue to develop over the next few years, with the addition of new services and tools.

The AI4Europe consortium aims to build links between academics and businesses working on AI through the platform.

The project’s coordinator is Prof Barry O’Sullivan, who is founding director of Insight and professor at UCC’s School of Computer Science and Information Technology. Earlier this year, he was elected as a fellow of the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence.

O’Sullivan described the AI-on-demand platform as a “critically important strategic infrastructure and ecosystem to ensure that Europe is at the cutting-edge of AI”. He said that UCC and Insight were delighted to take a leadership role in the next phase of the platform’s development.

“Through the dissemination of research expertise and results, and through to the adoption of AI technologies in industry and the public sector, we will support the uptake of trustworthy AI in Europe. We will also bring together the many education and training assets needed to ensure that Europeans have the skills necessary to maximise the benefit of AI technology in an ethical and human-centric manner.”

UCC is hosting a two-day AI4Europe meeting, starting today (6 September). The meeting will kick off the project, which will run until 2025.

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Blathnaid O’Dea was a Careers reporter at Silicon Republic until 2024.