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In June 2020, two years have passed, since the foundation of the organization that has been raised from the beginning on the community initiative of European scientists and institutions focused on artificial intelligence (AI) research. It currently brings together 375 research groups from 35 countries, with the support of more than 3,500 individuals, mainly leading artificial intelligence researchers, technologists and innovators. In the Czech Republic, CLAIRE has strong ties to the Czech Institute of Informatics, Robotics and Cybernetics of the Czech Technical University in Prague (CIIRC CTU), which also runs its Prague office.

Obviously, artificial intelligence will fundamentally change the way we live and work. This is already evident, as AI becomes the driving force for innovation and competitiveness. In the future, AI is more than likely to have a decisive impact on addressing societal challenges such as climate change, energy resources and mobility, as well as food security, natural resources and societal health. To this end, CLAIRE (Confederation of Laboratories for Artificial Intelligence Research in Europe, was also set up, an organization founded "from bottom to top" by the European artificial intelligence community. It has taken legal form since January 2020 and exists as an international non-profit association under Belgian law (the so-called AISBL) based in The Hague. The organization published a summary of current developments in English on its website HERE.

"CLAIRE is officially represented in seven European countries, we were among the first to inaugurate the Prague office in September 2019. However, the cooperation started much earlier, gradually intensifies and still involves a number of researchers from all the CTU," sais Dr. Vít Dočkal, head of the project office and strategic projects at CIIRC ČVUT, who heads the CLAIRE representation in Prague, explaining the activities of CLAIRE in the Czech Republic. The most recent joint success is the VISION project, which received support from the European Commission under Horizon 2020 (ICT-48 call). Thanks to this, CIIRC CTU and CLAIRE will coordinate and create synergies between large European networks of specialized centers of excellence for artificial intelligence. "It is no exaggeration to say that together we will create a European ecosystem of artificial intelligence, which is a huge opportunity for the entire CTU," explains Vít Dočkal.


CLAIRE currently represents the majority of the European AI community from academia and industry, who are not indifferent to the research development of AI, making sure that man and his needs stand unconditionally in the center of the research. At the same time, one of CLAIRE's objectives is to strengthen European excellence in AI and to establish a globally recognized brand for "European AI" so that Europe can manage its own future in this field. According to CLAIRE, thanks to the background of strong universities, research institutions and the business environment, Europe can ensure that future advanced technologies, products and services are truly European and based on European needs and values ("AI made in Europe" is based on AI for good). all, "AI for Good" & "AI for All").

Recently, CLAIRE teams have become known to the professional and general public thanks to coordinated activities against COVID-19. They can also be heard thanks to the common position they have formulated in response to the European Commission's proposal for key measures in the field of AI. During the coronavirus crisis, CLAIRE mobilized its members and the entire community and gathered through one central website all relevant expert information, analyzes and datasets, programs, as well as scientific volunteers who can help overcome the pandemic in any way.

CLAIRE has also recently drafted ten detailed recommendations to the European Commission in response to the White Paper: On Artificial Intelligence (A European approach to excellence and trust) plan. This agrees with the European Commission's document as it is in line with CLAIRE's vision. In addition, he emphasizes that Europe cannot be a leader in the regulation of artificial intelligence without being a leader in AI applications and innovations. It can only achieve this by significantly supporting applied and basic research in AI. The condition is to reduce the fragmentation of the scientific community, preferably in a concentrated manner within the center, which will operate on a similar principle as CERN. Without it, Europe will not be able to become a global leader in artificial intelligence. 



Photo: Roman Sejkot, CIIRC ČVUT

CLAIRE main faces (from left to right): Prof. Vladimír Mařík, scientific director (CIIRC ČVUT), Prof. Holger Hoos, one of three CLAIRE initiators (Leiden University, Netherlands), Anna Tahovská, project specialist, CLAIRE office Prague (CTU CIIRC), Prof. Philipp Slusallek, one of three CLAIRE initiators (DFKI, Germany), Dr. Vít Dočkal, head of CLAIRE office Prague( CTU CIIRC)