The Netherlands AI Coalition and ICAI strengthen cooperation

The Netherlands AI Coalition (NL AIC) and the Innovation Center for Artificial Intelligence (ICAI) are strengthening their ties. The organisations are committed to developing the Netherlands into a leading AI country. ICAI has been involved since the foundation of the NL AIC as one of the leading scientific AI communities with research labs throughout the country. It was decided to further strengthen the cooperation by making use of each other’s strengths and expertise. This will allow us to serve companies, government, educational and research institutions and civil society organisations even better.

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 en Innovation

The collaboration should lead to further growth in the number of ICAI labs in 2021. ICAI focuses on the joint development of AI technology by means of industrial labs. These are collaborations between knowledge institutions, industrial partners and/or public organizations. ICAI now has 20 labs, In Amsterdam, Delft, Den Bosch, Eindhoven, Nijmegen, Utrecht, and Wageningen. Work is in progress on the development of another 10 labs, at current locations and at new locations such as Enschede, Maastricht, Rotterdam and Tilburg. Each of the locations has its own area of expertise that match the forces of the region.

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.”