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The UAB forms part of the European Network of AI Excellence Centres

16 Mar 2023
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Catalonia will house one of the four new units belonging to the European Laboratory for Learning and Intelligent Systems (ELLIS), the pan-European network of AI intelligence centres that connects the top researchers working in this field in Europe. Five research members from the UAB and the CVC will form part of the initiative created co-directed by Dimosthenis Karatzas.

Intel·ligència artificial

Dimosthenis Karatzas, Maria Vanrell Martorell, Antonio Manuel López Peña and Jordi González Sabaté, all lecturers in the UAB Department of Computer Science and researchers at the Computer Vision Centre (CVC), along with CVC researcher Joost van de Weijer, will be part of the new ELLIS Barcelona Unit, the third largest of the 39 that make up the network. The integration of Catalonia into the network represents an endorsement of the high quality and impact of the research carried out in the field of artificial intelligence.

With a research team of 21 researchers, the ELLIS Barcelona Unit will connect the scientific community of five universities and four research centers of the Catalan knowledge system: the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB), the Computer Vision Centre (CVC) and the Artificial Intelligence Research Institute (IIIA-CSIC), both located on the UAB campus, the University of Barcelona (UB), the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya - BarcelonaTech (UPC), the Pompeu Fabra University (UPF), the Open University of Catalonia (UOC), the Institute of Robotics and Industrial Informatics (IRI/CSIC-UPC), and the Barcelona Supercomputing Centre (BSC-CNS).

The candidacy of the Catalan ELLIS unit has been promoted by the Government of Catalonia in coordination with the country's knowledge system agents, within the framework of the Artificial Intelligence Strategy of Catalonia (Catalonia.AI), led by the Ministry for Business and Employment.

From Catalonia, the new unit will promote interdisciplinary and transversal research in artificial intelligence, foster strong links with industry, and train the next generation of outstanding talent in this field. Its scope of work will focus on fundamental research in machine learning and related fields such as vision, robotics and natural language processing.

The Catalan unit will be led by researcher Carme Torras, head of the Perception and Manipulation research group at the Institute of Robotics and Industrial Informatics (CSIC-UPC) and by UAB Department of Computer Science lecturer and associate director of the Computer Vision Centre (CVC) Dimosthenis Karatzas.

Catalonia.AI Strategy

With the aim of turning Catalonia into a pole of innovation, leadership and attraction of talent and companies in the field of artificial intelligence, the Government of Catalonia created the Catalonia.AI Strategy in 2020. The creation of the ELLIS Barcelona Unit has been one of the lines of work of the Artificial Intelligence Research Alliance in Catalonia (AIRA), which together with the Centre of Innovation for Data Tech and Artificial Intelligence (CIDAI), the Artificial Intelligence Ethics Observatory (OEIAC) and the AI Community of the Digital Catalonia Alliance, is one of the four pillars of the Catalonia.AI strategy, specifically dedicated to boosting research in artificial intelligence and attracting and retaining talent in this field.

European Artificial Intelligence Research Network

ELLIS is a network of excellence in fundamental artificial intelligence research in Europe to advance the state of the art, generate technological innovation and create positive social and economic impact. Founded in 2018 as the result of a movement of the European scientific community, it aims to make Europe a pioneering region and strengthen excellence and technological sovereignty in a discipline as strategic as artificial intelligence.

In addition to Barcelona, the other three new units that have been added to ELLIS are Graz (Austria), Potsdam (Germany) and Trento (Italy). With these new additions, ELLIS now has 39 units in 14 different countries, connecting the best researchers in the field to drive excellent research and the highest level of competitiveness on an international scale and shape the future of human-centered, beneficial and safe artificial intelligence in Europe.

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