Publication date: 
2019/09/27
Virtual and augmented reality for remote industrial production control or a system for its rapid adaptation according to the customer's current needs and available production resources- these are just a few challenges that will be treated by researchers in the RICAIP project. Festively launched today at CIIRC CTU in Prague, in the presence of more than a hundred distinguished guests, RICAIP pushes the boundaries of today’s understanding of the automated industrial production towards the multi-site flexible production. The decision to support RICAIP (Research and Innovation Centre on Advanced Industrial Production) came from the European Commission this spring, the project officially starts in September. In the next more than six years, the RICAIP partners will have access to funding of up to EUR 50 million (CZK 1.2 billion). Thanks to this support, the European Centre of Excellence for advanced industrial production, the largest in the field of artificial intelligence (AI) and industrial robotics, will be created. It is based on a strategic cooperation between the Czech Republic and Germany. Partners of the project are: its main coordinator CIIRC CTU, CEITEC BUT, and on the German side, the German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence (DFKI) and the Centre for Mechatronics and Automatisation Systems (ZeMA), both located in Saarbrücken.

Jean-Eric Paquet, Director-General of the European Commission, stressed that obtaining this support is an appreciation of the exceptional quality of the project under evaluation, and also pointed out that only one in 15 of the submitted generally high quality projects received funding from the EU. He said this two days earlier in Brussels at the solemn signing of a document by which the EU allocates EUR 15 million to build the RICAIP Centre of Excellence and 13 other award-winning projects. The remaining funds will be covered from European structural funds and national sources.

Professor Wolfgang Wahlster, one of the founders of the Industry 4.0 concept and the initiator of the RICAIP project, also attended the ceremony. On this occasion, the former director of DFKI and its current Chief Executive Advisor received the CIIRC CTU Medal, together with Dr. Eduard Palíšek, CEO of Siemens Czech Republic, who was awarded for a long-term cooperation and contribution to the development of the Czech industry.

Since the very beginning, the RICAIP Centre has focused on strategic international partnerships. An important cooperation exists with CLAIRE, the world’s largest association of AI research groups and institutes and the most dynamically developing European AI research network. In just a year since its foundation, CLAIRE has won the support of thousands of scientists in 34 countries. Professor Holger Hoos from Leiden University in the Netherlands and one of the founders of this initiative symbolically opened the CLAIRE Prague office at CIIRC CTU. He pointed out: “CLAIRE and RICAIP are highly synergistic, and having a strong presence of both organizations here in Prague is good for the Czech Republic, and better yet for Europe.” By now, RICAIP and CLAIRE are connected not only through the common challenges in the field of AI but also by the CIIRC CTU premises in Prague – Dejvice.

At the project lunch, Rector of CTU doc. Vojtěch Petráček had stated: “RICAIP will make a vital contribution to maximizing the return on investment in science, knowledge, and innovation. I would also like to emphasize that RICAIP will bring new opportunities, particularly for linking research and education in Industry 4.0. The demand for interdisciplinary training will increase exponentially over the next ten years. For this reason, the activities of the RICAIP Centre in the field of education are essential and open up new opportunities especially for doctoral students and young researchers.”  

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