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Exploring Human-centric Artificial Intelligence

Coordinator, Belgium
VRIJE UNIVERSITEIT BRUSSEL

The Artificial Intelligence Lab, founded in 1983 by Luc Steels is the first AI lab on the European mainland. It is part of the Computer Science department DINF of the Vrije Universiteit Brussel. It is headed by Prof. Dr. Ann Nowé. The group consists of 9 professors, 14 postdoctoral researchers and about 26 PhD students. During its history of more than three decades, the VUB AI Lab has been following two main routes towards the understanding of intelligence: both the symbolic route (classical AI) as the dynamics route (complex systems science)

Since the foundation of the AI lab, more than 50 people have received a PhD degree, of which 18 in the past 5 years only. The total amount of publications sums up to more than 850 publications which are cited more than 24.000 times, 9000 times in the last 5 years. The lab also has experience in setting up of spin-offs (5 since its beginning). The research group is provided with standard hardware and software utilities and departmental services (secretary and ICT support)

The VUB AI Lab is well known in the field of RL including multi-criteria settings and multi-agent learning systems. The AI lab has applied artificial intelligence techniques including machine learning in a wide range of settings in the past, from robotics (MIRAD - Vlaio SBO), Industry 4.0 (“OperatorInfo”) to epidemics (“Learning optimal preventive strategies to mitigate epidemics of latent infectious diseases” (FWO), in which individual based models are combined with multi-armed bandit problems to come with an ideal disease mitigation strategy. More recently, the team has worked on sample-efficient Reinforcement Learning (Steckelmacher et al., 2020) and Explainable Reinforcement Learning (Coppens, 2020). The team has participated in several projects related to control, such as the SBO project LeCoPro Learning Control for Production Machines (2008-2012).

imec-SMIT, VUB (Studies in Media, Innovation and Technology) was founded in 1990 as a Media and Communication Studies research group at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel. SMIT is a major research center in Europe for policy and socio-economic research relating to ICT and media.

SMIT specializes in social scientific research on media and ICT, with an emphasis on innovation, policy and socio-economic questions. imec-SMIT, VUB has long-term social science experience and expertise in socio-technical research regarding new media and technologies, in particular focused in recent years on interdisciplinary issues of data, privacy and artificial intelligence in research and innovation from ethical and societal perspectives.

SMIT leads and coordinates Kenniscentrum Data & Maatschappij (2019-ongoing), this knowledge centre translates legal and ethical frameworks in guidelines and tools to ensure that organizations experimenting with AI and policy makers can set up and finish AI and date driven projects in a sustainable and legal way. SMIT has been the driving actor behind methods to include stakeholders in the design process of its tools and within AI innovation processes. This will be our role in the PEER project too, making sure that we build responsible AI technology according to stakeholders’ needs and in line with the highest ethical standards and regulation requirements.

Partner, Italy
ALPHA CONSULTANTS S.R.L.

We are a "consultancy boutique". ALPHA Consult is a European management and technology consultancy supporting businesses, regulators and European institutions. ALPHA Consult partners with its clients to deliver tailor-made solutions that create a lasting competitive advantage by addressing their most critical challenges and transforming their businesses. Thanks to a senior staff with significant strategic development, market assessment and business modelling experience, ALPHA Consult drives tangible results and makes companies more profitable.

Partner, Germany
FUJITSU SERVICES GMBH

Fujitsu aims to make the world more sustainable by building trust in society through innovation. Fujitsu believes that three key elements that will drive a more sustainable world are Human Centric, Data Driven and Connected. Within PEER, Fujitsu foresees the opportunity of developing and integrating a solution combining these elements. Fujitsu focuses on two directions:

  • The PEER technological contributions facilitate Fujitsu’s strategy of sustainable manufacturing tackling the highly relevant issue of labor shortage empowering workers by a human centric AI-human collaboration.
  • Integration of pilots into a more general architecture on connecting data, processors and processes.

In addition to providing expertise in project management and reporting, Fujitsu is dedicated to actively supporting the creation and seamless integration of prototypes. These prototypes are designed to enhance real-world industry use-case scenarios, with the intention of extending their applicability through the collective research outcomes achieved within the PEER initiative.

Partner, France
CENTRE AQUITAIN DES TECHNOLOGIES
DE L'INFORMATION ET ELECTRONIQUES

CATIE (Centre Aquitain des technologies de l'Information et Électronique) is a unique Research and Technology Organisation in France, thanks to its multidisciplinary team of doctors and engineers from both industry and academia.

Our support for companies unfolds in several stages: proof of concept, advice, assistance, expert opinions and solutions, as well as innovative vision and multidisciplinary analysis in the following areas:

  • Embedded Electronics
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Behavioral Analysis

CATIE addresses major challenges such as trustworthy AI, embedded AI, enhanced human, and industrial robotics. We help companies overcome technological barriers and adopt innovative technologies, acquire new knowledge, access additional resources, or enhance their skills, helping them with excellence and innovation.

Partner, Portugal
INESC TEC - INSTITUTO
DE ENGENHARIA DE SISTEMAS E COPT

INESC TEC is a private non-profit research association, with Public Interest status, dedicated to scientific research and technological development, technology transfer, advanced consulting and training, and pre-incubation of new technology-based companies. As an institution operating at the interface of the academic and business worlds, bringing closer together academia, companies, public administration, and society, INESC TEC typically applies the knowledge and results generated as part of its research in technology transfer projects, seeking value creation and immediate social relevance. The 13 R&D Centres of INESC TEC are structured in four thematic domains - Computer Science, Industrial and Systems Engineering, Networked Intelligent Systems, and Power and Energy. INESC TEC hosts over 700 integrated researchers (about 350 PhDs), including staff researchers, researchers from Higher Education Institutions, grant holders and affiliated researchers. INESC TEC’s team also includes trainees, and technical and administrative support staff.

Partner, Spain
FUNDACIO EURECAT

Eurecat is the leading Technology Centre in Catalonia, and the second largest private research organization in Southern Europe. Eurecat offers to industries and businesses applied R&D&I services, technological services, information technology consulting, highly specialized training and help in products and services development and promotion, while acting as a distributor of technological innovation in diverse levels. With 11 offices in Catalonia and one in Latin America, Eurecat manages a turnover of more than 60 M€ and 800 professionals, is involved in more than 500 R&D projects and has a customer portfolio of over 2,000 business clients. Eurecat is currently participating in more than 60 EU-funded collaborative projects, mainly in the Horizon Europe Programme. In addition to this wide experience at European level, Eurecat is also a strong player in the various R&D programmes sponsored by the Spanish and Catalan administrations. Technology transfer is also an essential activity in Eurecat, with more than 150 patents and 12 technology-based companies.

The Robotics & Automation Unit is devoted to performing research and new developments in the field of Robotics. The current research areas are Cognitive Robotics, Robotic Manipulation and Mobile Robotics. In the last more than 15 years, the group has executed a more than 200 research projects including applied research (30 European, 40 National) as well as technology transfer with over 150 private projects for multiple sectors:  Flexible manufacturing, Healthcare, Agriculture, Infrastructure inspection, Logistics, and Construction.

Partner, Netherlands
TECHNISCHE UNIVERSITEIT
EINDHOVEN

Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e) is a research university specializing in engineering science & technology. With advanced quality research, the university contributes to the progress of technical sciences and thus the development of technological innovations. It puts emphasis on knowledge valorisation: research results are translated into successful innovations and serve as a basis for creating new products, processes and enterprises. In short, the TU/e profiles itself as the university where innovation starts.

Partner, Netherlands
GEMEENTE AMSTERDAM

The Innovation Department of the Municipality of Amsterdam aims to make the city future-proof. To achieve this, we work together with local residents, visitors, and businesses, as well as other public institutions and academia. With a multi-disciplinary team we study the influence of technology on Amsterdam and translate our findings into new guidelines and investments for the city. By working together, we will make Amsterdam an even better place to live.

Coordinator, Belgium
UNIWERSYTET JAGIELLONSKI

The Jagiellonian University (JU), founded in 1364 is one of the oldest universities in Europe and leading research institution in Poland, conducting research across a wide range of disciplines. Today, the Jagiellonian University comprises 16 Faculties, where nearly 4 thousand academic staff conduct research and provide education to over 39 thousand students, within the framework of more than 166 professionally focused course areas in the most notable fields (natural and social sciences, humanities, medicine etc.). The most unique large-scale projects run by the Jagiellonian University include creating and development of research modern centres: National Synchrotron Radiation Centre SOLARIS, Małopolska Centre for Biotechnology, Jagiellonian Centre for Experimental Therapeutics and Centre for Medical Genomics OMICRON. Currently Jagiellonian University conducts nearly 1200 projects funded by the domestic agencies and by an international sources.

Partner, Portugal
SONAE

MC Sonae is one of the largest, most diversified companies within the Sonae group, being the leading player in Portugal's food retail industry. With over 30 years of experience working in the food supply chain Segment and more than 38 000 employees, MC Sonae has over 1400 stores and serves over 4M clients weekly in both Portugal and Spain. MC´s has a multi-format business portfolio, operating through various brands and store formats ensuring Portuguese families are provided with a diverse range of products and services in both food retail and specialized sectors, ensuring both high quality and competitive prices.

Partner, France
PRODITEC

With more than 350 machines in over 40 countries and facing global competition, PRODITEC is the European leading manufacturer of automatic inspection machines for the pharmaceutical industry. Driven by continuous innovation and improvement, PRODITEC is helping pharmaceutical worldwide manufacturers to improve the quality of their products in order to achieve defect free solid dose manufacturing.

Partner, Portugal
CONTINENTAL ENGINEERING
SERVICES PORTUGAL UNIPESSOAL LDA

Continental Engineering Services (CES) is your ideal engineering and production partner for solving technical challenges within the automotive and industrial sectors. With a service portfolio that includes development, product supply, integration and consulting, as well as core competencies and specialist engineering in Driver Assistance, Interior Electronic Functions, Driveline & Electrification and Brake Systems, CES is the ideal engineering and production partner for solving technical challenges within the automotive and industrial sectors.CES offers comprehensive know-how, creativity, and access to the entire technology pool of Continental AG, providing the development teams with unique flexibility and speed. We have proven success in the adaptation of tested high-volume techniques within the production facilities and creation of prototypes, small series, and niche applications for efficient and economical engineering.

Partner, Czech Republic
UNIVERZITA KARLOVA

Charles University is the oldest and most famous higher education institution in the Czech Republic. The university was founded in 1348 by Emperor Charles IV, whose name it holds until today. At present it has 17 faculties based in 3 university cities (Prague, Pilsen and Hradec Králové).

The key priority of Charles University is to continue to enhance its prestigious status as a research university. To achieve this aim, the University focuses strongly on research activities. Charles University can boast a number of outstanding research teams which are involved in close collaboration with international research institutions. Students can also become involved in the University’s research work at each of the individual faculties. The University is the best-performing research institution in the Czech Republic.

Charles University has currently over 50 000 students, almost 8 000 graduates per year and over 8 500 equivalents of FTE in staff.

The project will be conducted at the Faculty of Mathematics and Physics. The faculty has existed since over 70 years and specialises in teaching and research in the fields of Physics, Mathematics and Computer Science. About 6% of the research results in the Czech Republic are achieved at the faculty.