Second CLAIRE Symposium in Rome, Offices across Europe
On 27 February, the second CLAIRE symposium was held in Rome (Italy), generously supported by the National Resource Council of Italy (CNR) , the Italian AI Society (AIxIA), the European Space Agency (ESA), Leiden University, DFKI, OsloMet, Staatskanzlei Saarland, IOS Press, Certicon, Factorio Solutions, and Airbus. Attended by carefully selected 100 AI experts and stakeholders, the symposium was opened (and closed) with a series of statements by Prof. Lorenzo Fioramonti (Vice-minister, Italian Ministry of Education, University and Research), Dr. Andrea Cioffi (State Secretary, Italian Ministry of Economic Development), Dr. Piero Poccianti (President, Artificial Intelligence Italian Association), Dr. Iarla Kilbane-Dawe (Head of Φ-lab, European Space Agency), Prof. Rita Cucchiara (Director, National CINI Laboratory on Artificial Intelligence and Intelligent Systems), Prof. Giuseppe Valditara (Department of Higher Education and Research, Italian Ministry of Education, University and Research), Dr. Roberto Viola (Director-General for Communications Networks, Content and Technology, European Commission) and Prof. Holger Hoos (co-initiator of CLAIRE), and a major update on the progress achieved by CLAIRE since the first symposium in Brussels, in September 2018.
Only nine months after CLAIRE was launched as a grassroots initiative, it has become a large, pan-European organisation, comprising over 250 AI research groups and institutes that jointly represent over 7500 AI experts and support staff. It is now supported by over 2700 individual AI experts and stakeholders across all of Europe, as well as by a large number of Europe’s leading organisations in AI research, including DFKI (Germany), the largest AI research institute in the world, as well as three of Europe’s largest research organizations with a major focus on AI; Fondazione Bruno Kessler (Italy), Inria (France) and TNO (Netherlands).
Recently, CLAIRE has received official letters of support from the governments of Italy, Belgium and the Czech Republic, in addition to being supported by all internationally active national AI associations in Europe, the European AI Association (EurAI), and, as of February 2019, the world’s premier organisation of AI researchers, the Association for Advancement of Artificial Intelligence (AAAI). CLAIRE’s representation on the European Commission’s high-level expert group on AI has increased to 10 members.
At the symposium, CLAIRE announced the opening of five administrative offices across Europe, to strengthen its organisation and to more effectively engage national governments as well as industry. The CLAIRE headquarters will be located in The Hague (Netherlands), and additional offices are opening in Oslo (Norway), Prague (Czech Republic), Rome (Italy) and Saarbrücken (Germany).
Encouraged by the European Commission, at the symposium in Rome, CLAIRE started a community-led process for determining criteria and possible locations for a European AI Hub, aiming to provide guidance to the European Commission, Council and Parliament. Furthermore, working groups made significant progress on a range of topics, including industry engagement and effective coordination with other initiatives, notably HumanE AI, which is strongly aligned with CLAIRE.
(See also 13 March Press Release “Major steps towards realising a bold vision for European Excellence in AI” and status update slides at claire-ai.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/CLAIRE-Symposium-slides.pdf)