Davos, Switzerland, (17.01.24) – Today at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Cyber Valley Community member, European Laboratory for Learning and Intelligent Systems (ELLIS) has announced the launch of the International Computation and AI Network of Excellence Initiative (ICAIN).
The new network aims to broaden access to supercomputing, data and software infrastructures, and will operate at the intersection of public and private sectors, academia, and civil society. In addition to ELLIS, ICAIN’s founding members include the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs, ETH Zurich, the Swiss National Supercomputing Centre, Data Science Africa and the Finnish IT Center for Science, which is the hosting member of the LUMI consortium.
Supercomputing facilities is essential for AI-based technologies
Artificial intelligence has a profound economic and societal impact on a global scale and can help combat challenges such as climate change and pandemics. However, not all players, especially in the global south, have the same access to expertise and computing resources which are crucial for the development and implementation of innovative AI-based technologies.
This is where ICAIN comes in: By broadening access to such resources, the founders of ICAIN aim to enable international research projects that benefit society as a whole and are in line with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). With the European LUMI and the Swiss ‘Alps’, the new network includes two of the most powerful supercomputers in the world. All founding partners will further contribute to ICAIN by sharing their AI expertise.
Cyber Valley/Rebecca Beiter | The launch of the ICAIN initiative during the World Economic Forum in Davos.
Powering the future of AI excellence internationally
ICAIN is set to have a strong impact on AI entrepreneurs and scientists internationally, providing them with the knowledge and necessary tools needed to push their AI advancements to unprecedented heights. This initiative positions Europe as a global leader in AI excellence, fostering innovation and collaboration to drive the capabilities of AI forward.
ICAIN is driven by the recognition of artificial intelligence as a crucial technology with the potential to address global challenges. The initiative aims to ensure inclusive participation in AI research and viewing AI solutions as global public goods accessible to all. It prioritizes addressing major scientific and social issues in AI collaboratively and transparently. This also illustrates the importance of collaborative efforts between politics and science to ensure that AI remains at the forefront of future developments.
Cyber Valley Community Member ELLIS joins forces
"ELLIS is a pan-European AI network aiming to create outstanding conditions for AI researchers. More than 1,000 top scientists and leading AI research institutions such as ETH Zurich, Cambridge, Oxford, Paris and Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems are part of ELLIS", says Bernhard Schölkopf, Director of the ELLIS, Director of Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems, and Cyber Valley Board Member. "We will contribute our network’s scientific expertise to provide meaningful input on how the compute resources get used, ensuring that the major scientific and social issues of AI are tackled jointly and transparently. We like to think that having ELLIS as a founding partner and co-initiator will be essential to the success of the proposal.”
Cyber Valley/ Rebecca Beiter | ELLIS President, Bernhard Schölkopf says that ELLIS will make their knowledge available to provide input on how compute resources should be used.
ICAIN's launch was announced at a joint press conference at the World Economic Forum in Davos on January 17, 2024, followed by an inaugural panel discussion:
- State Secretary Alexandre Fasel, Swiss Foreign Ministry;
- Prof. Bernhard Schölkopf, Director of the ELLIS-Institute, Director Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems, and Cyber Valley Board Member
- ETH Vice President Prof. Christian Wolfrum;
- Prof. Ciira Maina, Director of Data Science for Africa
Fully operational by 2025
The ICAIN initiative aims to achieve full completion by 2025. As part of their objectives for the current year, they are actively seeking additional partners, including research institutes, international organizations, companies, or foundations, to join their mission and provide active support. These partners may contribute financial support or offer contributions in kind, such as computing power or specialized expertise.
Throughout the ongoing incubation phase, governance rule, coordination processes, and financing for ICAIN will be formulated. Simultaneously, the first pilot projects, in collaboration with other entities, will begin to gather valuable experience in partnership collaboration. By 2025, ICAIN aims to have all its organizational structures firmly established.
Media contact for Cyber Valley at AI House Davos:
Cyber Valley Media Manager
About Cyber Valley
Cyber Valley is Europe’s largest and leading center for excellence in artificial intelligence and modern robotics. Its mission and public mandate are to advocate for research, development, application, and acceptance of technologies and methods in the field of intelligent systems. Cyber Valley encourages entrepreneurship by uniting scientific excellence with innovation and technology transfer. In addition, Cyber Valley facilitates critical reflection on the ethical and social implications of AI through public engagement. Cyber Valley envisions a future in which the full potential of intelligent systems is leveraged for the greater good of the world.
The Cyber Valley Community is a network of AI researchers, entrepreneurs, investors, and start-ups, alongside partners from academia, industry, and society. Cyber Valley GmbH is owned by the State of Baden-Württemberg and the Max Planck Gesellschaft. It acts as the service provider, central organizer, and host for the Cyber Valley Community. While Cyber Valley GmbH is located in Stuttgart and Tübingen, it operates across Baden-Württemberg with a global reach, attracting the best talent from across the world to create the future with AI.
ELLIS is a pan-European AI network of excellence. It builds upon machine learning as the driver for modern AI and aims to secure lasting international leadership of AI made in Europe by connecting top researchers in this field and by creating a multi-centric AI research laboratory. Founded in 2018, ELLIS has grown into a network that counts 41 ELLIS units at world-class institutions in 16 countries, 16 ELLIS programs and a pan-European PhD program. The members of ELLIS are committed to shaping the future of AI in Europe by pushing the scientific and technological boundaries for human-centered, beneficial and safe AI.