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Over the past two days, representatives of 25 partners of the new AI-MATTERS technology network, which consists of seven nodes and one satellite in eight European countries with a budget of €60 million for five years, met at Czech Institute of Informatics, Robotics and Cybernetics of CTU in Prague (CIIRC CTU). The main objective of the AI-MATTERS network, which held its first general assembly in Prague today, is to support the development of the European manufacturing industry in the introduction of advanced technologies, thereby increasing its innovation capacity and global competitiveness. The Czech node of the AI-MATTERS network is led by CIIRC CTU, which is thus becoming one of the main testing and experimentation sites for industrial applications in the field of artificial intelligence and intelligent robotics.

AI technologies are a key driver of digital transformation, which is why the European Union is supporting their deployment. The whole innovation ecosystem benefits from it - research results are used both by the end users of the solutions, i.e. mainly manufacturing companies, and by the innovators and technology developers who develop them. To minimise the otherwise long journey from research to practice, the creation of European sectoral networks of Testing and Experimentation Facilities (TEFs) has been supported. AI-MATTERS is one of four such sectoral TEF networks and aims to support the European manufacturing industry, in particular for start-ups, SMEs, but also mid-caps and large enterprises.

"Our goal is to provide manufacturing companies with the opportunity to test advanced AI technologies in real-life scenarios and verify the suitability of their solutions before bringing the technology to market," confirms the AI-MATTERS project coordinator, Dr. Valentina Ivanova from the French state research organization CEA (French Commission for Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy).

Thanks to the involvement of CIIRC CTU and other Czech partners - CEITEC BUT in Brno and VŠB-TUO in Ostrava - TEF services will be more accessible to technology innovators and companies from the Czech Republic. "We plan that already next year, primarily system integrators and AI technology providers will have access to professional services and expertise of the entire AI-MATTERS network, while small and medium-sized enterprises will also use this infrastructure free of charge," says Ondřej Beránek, who heads the AI-MATTERS office at CIIRC CTU.

The main technical aspect and benefit for users will be the ability to develop and test different scenarios and state-of-the-art software or hardware solutions based on artificial intelligence in real conditions. The modern research infrastructure that is essential for this project is provided by the Testbed for Industry 4.0, which, together with the testbed in Brno, is equipped with cutting-edge technologies within the RICAIP Centre for Advanced Industrial Production.

"After the RICAIP centre, which we have been working on for the last four years, making available the services of interconnected Czech testbeds within the TEF is the next logical step in building a strong ecosystem for artificial intelligence in the Czech Republic, which also ensures the transfer of know-how and technology into practice," explains Prof. Vladimír Mařík, Scientific Director of CIIRC CTU, and continues, "Now European companies of various sizes will have a great opportunity to gain access to state-of-the-art infrastructure, which will strengthen them and increase their competitiveness."

In addition to the Czech representation, AI-MATTERS nodes are located in Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands and Spain and a subsidiary in Greece.


Contact person: 
Mgr. Eva Doležalová