Skip to main content

Value and Impact through Synergy, Interaction and coOperation of Networks of AI Excellence Centres

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - VISION (Value and Impact through Synergy, Interaction and coOperation of Networks of AI Excellence Centres)

Reporting period: 2020-09-01 to 2022-02-28

The European AI community is fragmented, and this stands in the way of progress, particularly where methods and techniques from more than one area of AI are required. Leveraging the work done by the CLAIRE, AI4EU and others towards overcoming this fragmentation, the VISION project aims to bring together Europe's AI community and enable synergies, especially across the four European networks of excellence centres in AI (NoEs) under ICT-48-2020.
The VISION consortium has been constructed to maximally leverage existing efforts. Its partners are strongly connected to Europe's AI organisations, initiatives and projects, including CLAIRE (ULEI, CIIRC, DFKI, FBK, Inria, TNO), AI4EU (Thales, UCC), EurAI (UCC), and the DIH network (Intellera, TNO through DIHNET), as well as BDVA and euRobotics (Inria, TNO), ELLIS (CIIRC, Inria) and the European Commission's High-Level Expert Group on AI (DFKI, UCC).
As human talent is a limiting factor in AI research and development in Europe, VISION is supporting the four NoEs, and the AI community at large, in attracting, educating, and harnessing talent through a range of coordinated and unified "European AI"-branded outreach, dissemination and promotion activities. VISION also facilitates mechanisms for leveraging Europe's strength in AI, ensuring diversity and inclusion across languages, cultures, and gender.
Closely working with the NoEs, VISION coordinates a Europe-wide approach to educating and up-skilling human resources in AI, including cross-disciplinary AI training initiatives and curricula, integrating ethics, humanities and technical disciplines, while leveraging the expertise brought together in the NoEs.
The overall aim of the VISION project is to reinforce, interconnect and mobilise Europe’s AI community, and to orchestrate and accelerate Europe's transition to a world-leading position in the research, development and deployment of AI technologies.

More specifically, VISION's objectives are to:
• mobilise the European AI community;
• strengthen the synergies between Europe's AI networks of excellence
• foster strong connections between academia and industry
• help develop a European approach to AI skills education
• promote the EU as an attractive environment for AI research and researchers
VISION has created and is now supporting a streamlined mechanism for the NoEs to communicate their activities and achievements, thus facilitating communication between the NoEs, outreach to the AI community and its stakeholders beyond the ICT-48 ecosystem, and to the general public.
VISION has created a Vademecum for Financial Support for Third Parties, to enable the sharing of best practices and approaches between the NoEs.
VISION has initiated and is now regularly hosting a round table for all ICT-48 project managers and coordinators, to facilitate communication and coordination between the four NoEs. VISION has also designed and now operates a communications platform that helps the ICT-48 projects and other key stakeholders in the European AI community to quickly and easily exchange ideas and information.
Together with AI4Media, VISION has initiated and now plays a major coordinating role in AIDA, the AI Doctoral Academy, which aims to offer access to PhD-level AI knowledge and expertise, to attract international talent at the PhD level to Europe.
VISION has planned and carried out multiple events bringing together the NoEs and other stakeholders of the European AI ecosystem, as well as to share work and achievements of the NoEs with the general public.
Together with partners, notably CLAIRE, VISION has developed and organised theme development workshops, which bring together experts from academia and industry, with the goal of exploring innovative uses of AI systems and techniques a broad range of sectors.
Since VISION is not a technical project, but rather a coordination and support action (CSA) for the NoEs that are funded as RIAs, "progress beyond the state of the art" is not a goal of the project. However, through facilitating interaction and sharing of expertise between the NoEs, VISION is contributing to improvements in the state of the art in solving AI problems achieved by the RIAs it is coordinating and supporting. Considering the role AI techniques and systems are increasingly playing as a key enabling technology across all sectors, this has major socio-economic impact and societal benefits

Related documents