New Elsevier AI Lab in Amsterdam underscores impact of academic-industry collaborations to strengthen The Netherlands’ global position in AI

Amsterdam, October 19, 2018

In an exciting joining of forces between science and business, the Innovation Center for Artificial Intelligence (ICAI) and information analytics business Elsevier announce the opening of the Elsevier AI Lab. The lab, situated on ICAI’s grounds in the Science Park in Amsterdam, will help further establish the Amsterdam region as a Data Science and Artificial Intelligence (AI) center of excellence at a national and international level.

As a true win-win situation, the collaboration allows Elsevier’s data scientists to work closely with data scientists in academia, contribute to education and science, and pursue a PhD. Academics in turn gain a better understanding of how AI is used to innovate research platforms to solve real-world societal problems. In short, the Elsevier AI Lab closes the gap between the two worlds.

Through this multi-year partnership, ICAI, an open national collaboration launched by Amsterdam-based universities, the University of Amsterdam (UvA) and the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (VU), and supported by the municipality of Amsterdam, gains a focused environment for AI researchers to help solve challenging, real-world problems in collaboration with an AI industry front runner. The ICAI in turn brings state-of-the-art AI technology and insights to Elsevier.

Maarten de Rijke, Director of ICAI and Professor of AI and Information Retrieval with the University of Amsterdam added: “It is precisely such a convergence of academia and industry input, both strongly represented within the Amsterdam ecosystem, that makes the Elsevier AI Lab so worthwhile from a scientific standpoint.”

Frank van Harmelen, Professor of AI at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam said: “The existing collaboration between VU, UvA and Elsevier will be accelerated through this new Elsevier AI Lab. Together we will be innovating on a wide range of AI techniques, such as knowledge representation, machine learning and information retrieval.”

Elsevier Scopus data confirms The Netherlands’ strong position in AI research placing itself among the top 25 performing nations in terms of research output and impact in the field; only three of these 25 nations have a higher share of academic-corporate collaboration. At the same time, Dutch media have recently reported a ‘brain drain’ of academic AI expertise.

Alexander van Boetzelaer, Executive Vice President at Elsevier said: “VU and UvA together, via ICAI and the Amsterdam Data Science initiative, are very strong AI players in the region with international reputation. Teaming up with these formidable organizations demonstrates our commitment to strengthen The Netherlands as technology hotspot globally and adds to the impact academic-corporate collaborations can have. With our global headquarters here in Amsterdam we are confident that the AI Lab will allow us to learn how AI can be used to better serve the interests of all our customers, whilst simultaneously investing in talent development, creating new jobs and drawing AI experts to the region.”

Elsevier’s involvement in this initiative fits with the prominence it has gained in recent years as an industry leader in Artificial Intelligence. This is demonstrated best through its Artificial Intelligence Program, which undertakes to build a comprehensive global examination of artificial intelligence by combining semantic research with insights from AI experts, practitioners and policy makers. The program will publish a comprehensive report in late 2018 that will be freely available.


About ICAI
The Innovation Center for Artificial Intelligence (ICAI) is a national initiative focused on joint technology development between academia, industry and government in the area of artificial intelligence. The Netherlands has the talent, the world-class research and the longstanding tradition in AI education to be one of the world’s top ranked countries in terms of innovation power. ICAI brings these positive forces together in a unique national initiative. ICAI’s innovation strategy is organized around industry labs, these are multi-year strategic collaborations. So far three research labs have been founded: QUVA lab, Delta lab and AirLab, with more to come.  At present, ICAI has five partners: the University of Amsterdam, the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Ahold Delhaize, Bosch and Qualcomm.

About Elsevier
Elsevier is a global information analytics business that helps institutions and professionals advance healthcare, open science and improve performance for the benefit of humanity. Elsevier provides digital solutions and tools in the areas of strategic research management, R&D performance, clinical decision support and professional education, including ScienceDirect, Scopus, SciVal, ClinicalKey and Sherpath. Elsevier publishes over 2,500 digitized journals, including The Lancet and Cell, more than 38,000 e-book titles and many iconic reference works, including Gray's Anatomy. Elsevier is part of RELX Group, a global provider of information and analytics for professionals and business customers across industries.

Media contact
Sacha Boucherie, Global Communications
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