Publication date: 
European Centre for Digital Innovation - EDIH CTU, supported by European Commission and Ministry of Industry and Trade of the Czech Republic, will launch its activities in January 2023. The consortium, which includes strong innovation partners, is focused mainly on supporting companies (SMEs, startups) and public administration in the field of artificial intelligence and machine learning. EDIH CTU will offer a comprehensive package of services - new technologies, knowledge transfer, infastructure, tailor-made solutions and training. Interested parties will be able to use the services of the CTU EDIH already this year.

The launch of Czech European Digital Innovation Hub (EDIH) comes at the right time. In a situation where the paradigm of global industry is changing and external influences have dramatically affected the performance of companies in recent years (coronavirus-related measures, energy crisis, change in customer-supplier relations), companies are running out of funds for the necessary investments in innovation. The establishment of new European Centres for Digital Innovation can help to overcome the obstacles associated with outdated production processes and the creation of final products. Five of these have been approved for the Czech Republic in 2022. EDIH CTU has received support from European Commission and Ministry of Industry and Trade for a total of three million euros over three years.

"Once again, CTU acts as an institution that not only educates, but also implements the results of scientific work into everyday practice. I believe that our EDIH will be, thanks to the cooperation of all faculties and CIIRC, a sought-after tool and guide for companies and public administration," said Vojtěch Petráček, Rector of CTU.

Czech companies, especially small and medium-sized ones, and public administrations will be able to apply for support for the implementation of services as early as 2023.CTU EDIH will offer services and training mainly in the field of artificial intelligence and machine learning, but has already signed a memorandum of cooperation with two other Czech EDIHs: in Brno (cyber security) and Ostrava (supercomputers). This will enable the provision of comprehensive services across the diverse needs of companies.

EDIH CTU includes strong partners, in addition to Czech Technical University, all its faculties and Czech Institute of Informatics, Robotics and Cybernetics (CIIRC CTU), such as SP ČR - Confederation of Industry and Transport of the Czech Republic, AMSP - Association of Small and Medium Enterprises, VUPI - Research Institute of Entrepreneurship and Innovation of the Chamber of Commerce, prg. ai association, PII - Prague Innovation Institute, ICUK - Innovation Centre of the Ústí nad Labem Region and the Czech-Moravian Centre for Breakthrough Technologies.

EDIH CTU will build on the existing infrastructure and ecosystem of CTU, namely the RICAIP (Research and Innovation Centre for Advanced Industrial Production including Czech and German research laboratories) and the National Centre for Industry 4.0 (an academic-industrial platform connecting more than 50 Czech partners).

"Our goal will be to strengthen the digital transformation of Czech companies and public administration and to support their competitiveness through innovations in the field of AI," explains Jaroslav Lískovec, who is to manage EDIH CTU. "Artificial Intelligence is currently one of the technologies that greatly help companies become more efficient and flexible. It is the use of this technology in the current turbulent times that can be a turning point. But we also aim to intensify the use of AI in public administration, which is lagging behind in the use of this crucial technology," adds Lískovec.

Thanks to CTU EDIH, companies will be able to test technologies before their own acquisition, for example in the Testbed for Industry 4.0 of CTU operating within RICAIP. EDIH CTU will also offer consultations, prototyping, educational and professional training and courses.  EDIH CTU also builds on the activities of the Digital Innovation Hub CIIRC CTU, which has several years of experience in providing similar services to companies and is also connected to foreign networks and initiatives, such as CLAIRE, ELLIS, EIT Manufacturing, DIH4AI or DIH World.

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Contact person: 
Kateřina Veselá