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AI-hub Brainport starts

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The AI-hub Brainport encompasses the AI ecosystem around Eindhoven, Helmond, Den Bosch, Tilburg and Breda. The AI-hub Brainport brings companies, education and knowledge institutions and public organisations in the province of North-Brabant together to strengthen and connect activities around Artificial Intelligence (AI).

The goal is to extend the existing partnerships in the field of AI and the cross-over with (professional) education, societal challenges and joint support for start-ups, scale-ups and SMEs. The AI-hub Brainport is part of the national AI program developed by the Dutch AI Coalition (NL AIC).

Brainport ecosystem
The Brainport ecosystem has a long tradition of open innovation, close collaboration between public and private partners, eminent innovative companies and a high level of private investment. The international market leaders and suppliers have a strong track-record in product and process creation, development, manufacturing and market introduction. The unique combination of high-quality technical expertise and the traditional thinking in systems enables Brainport to play an important role in new AI-solutions and applications in the field of High-tech, Mobility and MedTech For years, Brainport invests in the development and application of AI. As a result, the region ranks fourth in Europe in terms of number of AI patents. Alongside the companies, the knowledge and educational institutions also have AI high on their agendas. It is expected that a large part of the competitive advantage and regional earning capacity will be realized through the application of AI in the near future. Equally important as the economic aspect is the human aspect of AI in the AI-hub Brainport. An important point of attention is, for instance, the social acceptance of AI.

Human capital
Companies in Brainport are increasingly looking for employees with knowledge of data science, data analytics, robotics and machine learning. Between May 2019 and May 2020, 4,000 AI and data science related vacancies were published in the region. The universities and universities of applied sciences in Brabant are increasingly focusing on training people in the field of data technology and AI, in line with the demand on the labour market. The educational institutions work together in the AI-hub Brainport to offer connecting study programs and to make it more attractive for Dutch and international students to study data science and AI. In addition to intake from education, retraining is also of great importance. Despite the economic crisis caused by the corona virus, the region still has a tight labour market, especially for IT and technical professions. This is why retraining staff towards data and AI professions in particular is an important part of the plans of the AI-hub Brainport.

National ambitions
The ambitions of the AI-hub Brainport align with those of the Dutch AI Coalition. The AI-hub Brainport has received so-called kick-start funding from the Netherlands AI Coalition. With the formation of the hub, consortia are being strengthened and the AiNed report ‘Versnellen, Vergroten en Verbinden’ and the Action Agenda of the Netherlands AI Coalition are being followed up.

Partners De AI-hub Brainport is an initiative of the BOM, Brainport Development, Brainport Industries, Fontys University of Applied Sciences, High Tech Campus Eindhoven (AI Innovation Center), Jheronimus Academy of Data Science, Tilburg University, TNO and TU/e (EAISI institute). Part of the hub are industry, educational and governmental partners and campuses, in the form of ASML, Automotive Campus, Avans University of Applied Sciences, Bosch Security Systems, Breda University of Applied Science, Canon Production Printing, Demcon, High Tech Software Cluster, Mindlabs, NXP Semiconductors, Philips, Prodrive Technologies, Province of Noord-Brabant, Signify, Sioux, Summa College, ThermoFisher, VanderLande, VDL Groep, and more. Click here for the factsheet.

AI-hubs elsewhere in the Netherlands In addition to the start of the AI-Hub Brainport, the AI Hub Northern Netherlands, the East Netherlands AI hub and the South Netherland AI hub were recently launched as a network organisation. They also act as a point of contact for companies and knowledge institutions that want to work with Artificial Intelligence (AI).

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