1. What is AI and what is in it for my organization?

AI is the software that makes machines smart. AI can solve data-driven decision problems in industry, government and not-for-profits better and faster. ICAI has supported the development of the nationale AI cursus, where a lot more background on AI can be found.

2. What is ICAI and when was it started?

ICAI is an initiative launched by academic researchers in the Amsterdam area, in the spring of 2018. It was started to help address a need for AI innovation and talent development. The original initiative focused on the creation of ICAI labs. The initiative was expanded to other cities in the Netherlands and to other actions aimed at attracting, training and retaining AI talent for the Netherlands.

3. Why join ICAI?

ICAI aspires to unite the best that AI research has to offer in The Netherlands. By sponsoring an ICAI lab, an organization is able to create new intellectual property in AI, raise the level of its own R&D efforts in AI, and attract, train and retain AI  talent. By signing up to the joint appointment program, organizations can help increase the attractiveness of academic AI positions in the Netherlands and  benefit by getting direct access to AI talent pools.

4. What is an ICAI lab?

In terms of staffing, an ICAI lab has at least 5 PhD students and usually also an assistant professor dedicated to the lab, who acts as the lab manager and takes care of the day to day supervision and interaction, as well two senior academics as lab directors to oversee the general strategy.

ICAI labs are outward focused, which means that the research topics are inspired by challenges and questions at the sponsor.

ICAI labs are focused on technology development.

ICAI labs require a serious commitment from the sponsoring organization, in terms of its ability (1) to jointly formulate research challenges, (2) to provide a meaningful environment for the PhD students to work on-site, and (3) to test and absorb the knowledge created in the lab.

ICAI labs also take it upon themselves to feed their local AI ecosystem, with meetups, lectures, workshops, etc.

ICAI labs are not owned by ICAI but academic and industrial or governmental partners who enter into a joint agreement to start a lab.

5. Why does ICAI succeed in attracting talent?

Talent attracts talent. Talent seeks interesting and meaningful research challenges plus the potential for impact. ICAI labs embody our proposition to conduct fundamental AI research in a public-private or public-public setting. Do great science with great impact by combining the advantages of knowledge institutes with those of the industrial or governmental stakeholders.

6. In what ways can my organization interact with ICAI?

If you sponsor an ICAI lab, the PhD students employed within the lab will typically spend one or two days a week on site at your organization, working alongside your analysts, data scientists, or machine learning engineers. This close collaboration will result in knowledge transfer. Labs typically organize meetups, workshops, seminars, etc. to implement further ways of transferring knowledge. Employees can participate in ICAI workshops and meetups as well as dedicated AI courses for industry.

If your organization would like to co-fund a joint appointment, please reach out to our business director, Esther Smit, esmit@icai.ai. Academic staff employed through the joint appointment scheme typically spend one or two days per week on site at the co-funding organization.

7. What does my organization get out of an ICAI Lab?

The advantages will be access to the talent pool, knowledge transfer, and access to AI course materials and lectures. The funding company will have an important say in the Intellectual Property Rights.

8. I am interested in joint appointments. What do I do?

Joint appointments are of potential interest to (1) academic partners, who want to offer vacancies or existing positions for joint appointments, to (2) industrial or governmental stakeholders, who may want to sponsor a joint appointment, and to (3) people in academia or industry who would like to fill such a position.

ICAI is currently (Q1/2020) expanding its operations so as to support a broader roll-out of the joint appointment program. If you can’t wait, please reach out to our business director, Esther Smit, esmit@icai.ai

Do you have another question? Please share your question in an email to info@icai.ai