The “AI-MATTERS” – a Pan-European Experimental Infrastructure to serve Tech Companies in Testing AI in RE

Representatives of 25 partners of the new AI-MATTERS technology network, consisting of seven nodes and one satellite across Europe with a budget of €60 million over 5 years, met the past two days at the Czech Institute of Informatics, Robotics and Cybernetics of CTU in Prague (CIIRC CTU) for its first General Assembly. The main goal of AI-MATTERS is to support the development of European manufacturing industry by introducing advanced technologies, thereby increasing its innovation capacity and global competitiveness. The Czech node of the AI-MATTERS network is led by the CIIRC CTU, which thus becomes 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 elaborate them. In order to shorten the otherwise long journey from lab to market as much as possible, the creation of European sector-specific networks of Testing and Experimentation Facilities (TEFs) has been promoted. AI-MATTERS is one of the four sectorial TEF networks supporting the European manufacturing industries (start-ups, SMEs, mid-caps and large industries).

“Our aim is to give to manufacturing companies the opportunity to test advanced AI-powered technologies in real-life scenarios and to validate the suitability of their solutions before bringing the technology to market.”

Dr Valentina Ivanova, Project Coordinator, the French Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission (CEA).

Thanks to the involvement of CIIRC CTU and other Czech partners – CEITEC BUT in Brno and VŠB-TUO in Ostrava – TEF services will also 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.”

Ondřej Beránek, Head of the AI-MATTERS Office at CIIRC CTU

The main technical aspect and benefit for users will be the possibility to develop and test various scenarios and state-of-the-art software or hardware solutions based on artificial intelligence in real conditions. The modern research infrastructure, which 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 on 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.
Now European companies of different size will have a great opportunity to access a state of the art equipents which will make them stronger and more competitive.“

Prof. Vladimír Mařík, Scientific Director, CIIRC CTU

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

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