"It’s a great feeling to have opened AI Innovation of Sweden, we are humbled and overwhelmed by the commitment we have from industry, the academic world and the public sector. Of course the interest comes with expectations and it is now time to start making things happen", says Martin Svensson, Co-director of AI Innovation of Sweden.
AI Innovation of Sweden´s main focus is to accelerate implementation of AI through collaboration and cross-industry sharing. The ambition is to be a catalyst in the Swedish AI ecosystem and support applied AI research and innovation.
It is a big scope, what is the next step?
"We now need to get started on a number of fronts, not least establishing operational collaborations with and support the best exisiting initiatives, organisations and experts. The only way to manage the big scope is to identify, embrace and broaden the already great activities and build an extended team that can make significant difference for Sweden. We also want to activate the ecosystem and kick off the first projects. Many partners are ready to go, and we are building our own organisation and network to support the interest. Our focus, besides starting up projects, is to realise the Data Factory and establish the co-location community to provide the best possible working conditions to the team members on site."
There has been a lot of work to get the business in place, what have been and are the biggest challenges?
"In May last year I don't think we fully understood what we got ourselves into. All questions related to AI are highly important for Swedish industry, public sector as well as acadmia and research institutes, and many people worked hard all autumn to define a structure that could be valuable and accepted broadly. We decided early on to hold as many bi-lateral meeting as we possible could, primarily to make sure we gained a solid understanding of the actual needs of industry and public sector."
"I would say that the greatest challenges (and also greatest opportunities) have been to meet the hundreds of companies and organisations across Sweden showing interest, and to conceptualise enough for people to understand and yet be allowed to influence"
Until now, more than 40 companies and organisations have joined as partners in AI Innovation of Sweden. Are more partners coming in?
"Several companies and organisations have contacted us and want to join, and we expect to increase the number of partners during spring. But first we need to start generating value to the ones who are already with us. Their success is our success"
If you have ideas about AI-projects, how do you proceed?
"We have opened a call for project ideas and will focus on projects making existing data available, projects relevant to many and projects in one or the other way really accelerating AI related research and innovation. Partners submit their ideas through ai.se"
How do you look at the future, where and what is AI Innovation of Sweden in 3 years?
"The next three years will be important and most likely very challenging. Our mission is to serve as an engine in the ecosystem and facilitate that Sweden's total capabilites in AI are strong and coordinated. Together we need to excel in quite a few aspects, which will require that we find ways and courage to boost the best and distribute the responsibilites to the organisations best suited for each task. For Sweden to be successful we need to build a strong team AI of Sweden. AI Innovation of Sweden will be 100% dedicated to the needs of Swedish industry and society, and to ambitiously drive collaboration across Sweden, across verticals and across industy, academia and research institutes and public sector."