ROBUST ‘Trustworthy AI systems for sustainable growth’ is a Long Term Program (LTP) with a total budget of €95 million, including support by NWO of €25 million. With the Long-Term Programs NWO offers the opportunity for strong public-private consortia to apply for funding for a ten-year program. We are very grateful to our partners and funders, including NWO, for this opportunity.


First and foremost, the ROBUST program will focus on attracting talent to work on the challenges of trustworthy AI. Talent is the core of any AI ecosystem. Second, it makes trustworthy AI research and innovation a shared responsibility between knowledge institutes, industry, governmental organizations, and other societal stakeholders. And third, it practices learning by doing in the Dutch context, through use-inspired research, connections with startups and SMEs, and extensive knowledge sharing efforts.

ROBUST is a collaboration of 21 knowledge institutes, 23 companies, and 10 societal organizations. It is supported by the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO) and the AiNed National Growth Fund Investment Program.

17 new ICAI labs

The ROBUST program builds on ICAI. It intends to add 17 labs to ICAI’s current ecosystem. The labs that will make up ROBUST are driven by economic opportunities and contributions to the UN’s sustainable development goals. They will develop AI-algorithms that advance the state of the art in accuracy, reliability, repeatability, resilience, and safety of AI algorithms – all essential hallmarks of trustworthy AI.

Project team

The project leader for the ROBUST program is Maarten de Rijke of the University of Amsterdam and ICAI. The other members of the leadership team are Arie van Deursen (Delft University of Technology), Bram van Ginneken (RadboudUMC), Clarisa Sánchez Gutiérrez (University of Amsterdam), Bob Huisman (Nederlandse Spoorwegen), Eva van Rikxoort (Thirona), Nava Tintarev (Maastricht University), and Bert de Vries (Technical University Eindhoven).


During the first two quarters of 2022, the details of the ROBUST program will be worked out, scientific content, legal details, and financial details. We aim to start the program in September 2022.

More information on the program will follow. Take a look at the ICAI building blocks for more information about ICAI and its future plans.