The Netherlands AI Coalition and ICAI strengthen cooperation

Published on: 3 February 2021

The cooperation focuses on strengthening AI knowledge and talent in the Netherlands. The first steps will be taken in the areas of Research & Innovation and Human Capital: two important pillars to get the Netherlands in a vanguard position in terms of knowledge and application of Artificial Intelligence (AI) for prosperity and wellbeing.

Research and Innovation

De samenwerking moet leiden tot een verdere groei van het aantal ICAI-labs in 2021. ICAI richt zich op de gezamenlijke ontwikkeling van AI-technologie door middel van industriële laboratoria. Dit zijn samenwerkingen tussen kennisinstellingen, industriële partners en/of publieke organisaties. ICAI telt nu 20 labs, in Amsterdam, Delft, Den Bosch, Eindhoven, Nijmegen, Utrecht, en Wageningen. Er wordt gewerkt aan de ontwikkeling van nog eens 10 labs, op de huidige locaties, en op nieuwe locaties, zoals Enschede, Maastricht, Rotterdam en Tilburg. Elk van de locaties heeft eigen expertisegebieden die passen bij de krachten van de regio.

Further building up and rolling out the network of ICAI labs is an essential part of the national AI network, which the NL AIC wants to realise together with partners. The choice has been made to work with hubs and spokes, which together form the structure of the AI network. The labs will play an important role within this network’s hub-and-spoke structure. The Netherlands AI Coalition will work to support ICAI in the development of the lab network. Maarten de Rijke, scientific director ICAI: “We are faced with major societal challenges. AI technology can be an important part of the solutions. Spread throughout the country, the ICAI labs strengthen the national and local research and innovation capacity in AI technology. Let’s get to work!”

Human Capital

AI is changing our work and society. By investing in AI in the right way, we can grow as a country and take an important position. This should lead to retention and even expansion of work and jobs if we develop the right expertise. The opportunity for the Netherlands is to prepare for this. Kees van der Klauw, Coalition Manager NL AIC: “Our joint ambition is to develop and retain talent (students and researchers) for the Netherlands and to attract foreign talent to the Netherlands. We do this, for example, by connecting the PhD students in the ICAI labs to the Dutch lmarket. We let them get acquainted with Dutch organisations that are looking for AI talent. We also want to strengthen each other in developing and making available AI courses and training. For example, ICAI contributed to the National AI Course and worked on the development of two AI MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) last year. The Human Capital working group of the NL AIC aims to make courses in AI widely available and, where necessary, to develop them further per sector. These are activities in which we can strengthen and support each other.”


By jointly investing in people and talent development, we can make steps towards making the Netherlands ready for the future. Both organisations are convinced of the importance of investing in AI and of taking action to drive research, innovation and talent development around AI. “Through this collaboration, we achieve acceleration and broaden the impact.”

About ICAI

ICAI is an open national collaboration initiative between knowledge institutions, industrial partners and/or public organisations. Since its foundation in 2018, ICAI’s mission is to develop AI knowledge and talent for the Dutch ecosystem. ICAI does this by means of public-private partnerships in which cooperation takes place in development of AI technology, attracting, educating and retaining AI PhD students, and open sharing of knowledge and technology. ICAI now has 20 labs across the country, with over 150 researchers; another 10 ICAI labs are in development.

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