Some of Norway's largest companies are joining forces in establishing a national powerhouse for artificial intelligence. Its aim is to improve the quality and capacity for research, education and innovation in the field.
Norway has a huge potential to be a pioneer in Artificial Intelligence (AI), but it needs resources and collaboration in order not to lag behind. To strengthen national efforts on artificial intelligence, Telenor, NTNU and SINTEF are inviting Norwegian businesses to partner on the new Norwegian Open AI Lab. Additional partners will include DNB, DNV GL, Equinor, and the Kongsberg Group.
While the Norwegian Open AI Lab will develop solutions specific to the partners' industries, it will also consider opportunities where Norway can take positions internationally. Norway benefits from a competitive advantage thanks to its advanced ICT infrastructure, purchasing power, competence and a population with above-average technological literacy. Having a strong position on artificial intelligence is central to ensuring that Norway is able and prepared to compete in the global market. A strengthened AI lab like this ensures that Norway can continue the tradition of collaboration between business and academia in the country.
Expanding the AI Lab:
The Norwegian Open AI Lab is an expansion of the Telenor-NTNU AI-Lab in Trondheim. This initiative builds further on the work already carried out there in the areas of innovation within artificial intelligence/machine learning and big data. It was during Arendalsuka in 2016 that Telenor, NTNU and SINTEF announced the launch of this common initiative to support entrepreneurship and the development of Norwegian competence in the field of artificial intelligence. Together with central research institutions nationally and globally, the centre will work to develop itself to become recognised laboratory for AI research and development.
In addition to supporting world-class research on artificial intelligence and big data, the Norwegian Open AI Lab will develop new technologies and services within these fields. Partners in the lab will contribute with funding, competence and data, and will therefore strengthen cooperation across industry sectors. Common to all of the current partnering companies is their established contribution of resources to NTNU to support the university's AI and big data research.
"NTNU is proud to host the Norwegian Open AI Lab. With this powerhouse, we ensure the recruitment of talented professionals and students to the field. This lab will develop tomorrow's technology and methods as well as help solve today's challenges across fields and usage areas," says the Rector of NTNU, Gunnar Bovim.
Telenor's CEO, Sigve Brekke, comments: "Norway needs a national strategy for artifical intelligence. With the expansion of the Norwegian AI Lab, more actors can benefit from the advantages and opportunities of artificial intelligence, and Norwegian industries will strengthen their collaboration, which will ultimately contribute to such a strategy."
According to Alexandra Bech Gjørv, CEO of SINTEF, there's a significant potential for value growth in the area. "It is critical that we build Norway's competence within artificial intelligence. Norwegian industry faces challenges and requirements that can't be solved by using off-the-shelf solutions. SINTEF looks forward to developing technology that can strengthen industry's competitive advantage."