Publication date: 
2019/08/30
The cooperation of the state, professional university teams and business associations in the field of AI significantly strengthens so that technology makes people's life as easy as possible. In artificial intelligence research, the Czech Republic will focus primarily on the safety of the population, for example in transportation, in the fight against crime or in terrorist attacks. Not only with this topic, the Czech Republic will strive to gain the prestigious status of one of the four excellent centers of artificial intelligence in Europe. According to Minister of Industry and Trade, Karel Havlíček, this should be decided at the European level in the first quarter of next year. The minister said this at a press conference held on 29 August. Minister Havlíček also signed a memorandum on cooperation in artificial intelligence between the state, academia and industry. The Director General of the Confederation of Industry of the Czech Republic Dagmar Kuchtová, Rector of the Technical University of Ostrava, Václav Snášel, and Rector of the Czech Technical University in Prague Vojtěch Petráček all added their signatures.

Germany, France and one of the Scandinavian countries, probably Finland, are among the favorites for the creation of the European Center of Excellence for Artificial Intelligence. According to Havlíček, the final selection of four countries will also monitor how the state supports artificial intelligence. "By declaring it a government priority, we are reaching the top in Europe," he said. He said the center should start operating next year, in full regime next year. It will not be a new building or headquarters, but a set of competent research and industrial centers. According to Havlíček, it is one of the largest European projects in the field of science and research in the EU.

From national sources, billions of czech crowns will be directed to artificial intelligence, and in 2021 they will be followed by European money in the order of billions of euros from the Horizon project. The Czech Republic would have a chance to gain these with an centre of  excellece.

The Ministry of Industry and Commerce is currently working on documentation that it will send to Brussels by the end of November. The government has already started to negotiate with representatives of the European Commission. "We are waiting for the EC and especially the Commissioners and all their teams, who will have a major influence in this," added the Minister. Havlíček emphasized that this is a challenging project involving not only leading Czech research institutes, including industrial organizations, but also 29 other academic institutions from all over the world with whom we have been able to establish cooperation.

CTU in Prague coordinates the preparation of the European Center of Excellence project. “The project Artificial Intelligence for a Safe Society aims to connect top research centers into a network coordinated from Prague. It is the first and fundamental step, the foundation for building the European Center of Excellence,” says the CTU Rector Vojtěch Petráček, who personally leads preparation of the project .  

Photo, source: Ministry of Industry and Commerce

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