KTU begins development of the Centre of Excellence of AI: invites those interested in these technologies to the project launch event

Important | 2023-09-07

We hear about artificial intelligence (AI) almost daily. Some people are fascinated by AI technologies and the possibilities they offer, while others are dismayed. Nevertheless, AI is rapidly making inroads into many areas of human life. Lithuanian researchers are not slowing down either – to make the country’s research and innovation ecosystem stronger and internationally competitive, KTU and its partners will establish a joint Centre of Excellence of AI for Sustainable Living and Working. The launch event AI for Sustainable Future will take place on 14 September.

The Centre is expected to act as a beacon, making a significant impact on strengthening the research and innovation ecosystem at national and international levels.

“The Centre of Excellence of AI will provide opportunities to acquire new and deeper competences in the field of AI, drawing on best practices from the project’s advanced partners in Germany and Finland.

Innovative research, experimental development and innovation will be fostered through AI-based solutions. Thus, the activities of the centre and the AI tasks to be solved here in various themes will significantly contribute to the digitisation of Lithuanian industry, health, transport and energy sectors”, says Eugenijus Valatka, Rector of KTU.

Eugenijus Valatka
Eugenijus Valatka

The joint Centre of Excellence of AI will feature state-of-the-art infrastructure ranging from industrial robots, medical ultrasound scanners, powerful drones, HPC equipment to software for modelling and designing energy/transport challenges.

During the AI for Sustainable Future event on 14 September, project coordinators, partners and guests will share insights, future projections and discuss how AI can bring value and opportunities to key sustainability goals in vital public sectors such as medicine, transport, industry and energy.

“The event is relevant not only for project developers, but also for public and private sector representatives who understand the potential of AI, the importance of achieving sustainability goals and are interested in innovative solutions. As well as members of society who find the synergy between AI and sustainability interesting and relevant and want to become proactive participants in a sustainable AI ecosystem”, says Agnė Paulauskaitė-Tarasevičienė, Head of the KTU AI Centre, Professor at the Faculty of Informatics, who is leading the SustAInLivWork project.

Will meet not only Lithuanian but global sustainability goals

The Centre of Excellence of AI will be developed as part of the SustAInLivWork project under the Teaming for Excellence call of the EU’s research and innovation programme European Horizon. During the project implementation period, KTU will collaborate with partners from Lithuania (Vilnius Gediminas Technical University, Vytautas Magnus University and Lithuanian University of Health Sciences) and international partners (Tampere University (Finland) and Hamburg University of Technology (Germany).

Paulauskaitė-Tarasevičienė says that the initial idea to create the Centre of Excellence of AI for Sustainable Living and Working was born out of a thorough analysis of European priorities and AI trends.

“We also thought about the needs of Lithuania, where our greatest untapped potential lies, and what competences are most lacking in order to effectively innovate in the field of AI in line with global sustainability goals,” says the professor.

Agnė Paulauskaitė-Tarasevičienė
Agnė Paulauskaitė-Tarasevičienė

The SustAInLivWork Centre of Excellence will strengthen the research and innovation competences of the country’s scientists and researchers in the design and development of AI solutions for sustainable development and sustainable economic expansion, in line with the EU and Lithuanian AI strategies.

“The centre will offer a full suite of services: intelligent systems modelling environments, business analytics tools, physical and virtual AI labs, with the possibility to test and trial different scenarios for external companies. Services will also include the realisation, testing and deployment of AI systems, a range of hands-on training on the synergies between AI and sustainability, and activities and services related to the development, maintenance, support and application of data storage infrastructure to meet the specific needs of AI solutions.

Thus, we are ready to turn our vision into reality and develop AI to create a better future for Lithuania and contribute to the broader global sustainability goals,” says Paulauskaitė-Tarasevičienė.

Emphasis on social responsibility and sustainability

The head of the KTU AI Centre notes that there are centres related to AI technologies both in Lithuania and abroad, but the development and application of AI technologies in the KTU Centre of Excellence will have a new approach – It will aim to increase social responsibility and sustainability in the daily and professional lives of members of society.

“Another equally important goal under this name is AI sustainability – responsible and ethical development and use of AI systems, focusing on two key aspects: transparency and explainability. Ensuring sustainable AI will maximise the trust and purposeful use of such AI solutions,” says the professor.

The SustAInLivWork project will be implemented in two phases. The first phase, the establishment of the centre, which began on 1 September, and is set to be implemented over a two-year period. It includes the establishment of the centre and its governance structure, and the formalisation of partners’ commitments. The second year will involve the acquisition of the necessary equipment for the Centre. The next phase of the project is growth, which is planned during the third to sixth years of the Centre of Excellence.

“In the first year, we will be forming the centre’s council and management board, four research hubs, planning human resources, and acquiring infrastructure”, says Paulauskaitė-Tarasevičienė.

According to the head of the KTU AI Centre, a large team started preparing for the launch of the project already in the beginning of the summer – all future activities, the budget, the necessary infrastructure, and the most important communication tools were strategically planned.

“We aim to bring together all partners and representatives of relevant sectors, to inform a larger part of the public about the project’s vision, goals and objectives. Our aim is that the SustAInLivWork centre will provide an effective and long-term, collaborative approach that will be financially sustainable after six years”, says the project manager.

All those interested in AI are invited to the launch event

All those interested in AI are invited to the launch event

The SustAInLivWork project launch event AI for Sustainable Future will take place on 14 September from 9 a.m. at the KTU Santaka Valley (K. Baršausko st. 59, Kaunas).

“This is an important date both for the project coordinator KTU and for all partners. All project partners, representatives of the Lithuanian government, members of the European Commission and other guests are invited to attend the physical meeting at the KTU Santaka Valley and to get a detailed overview of the project’s objectives, planned results, benefits and to hear the insights of the innovative partners during the wrap-up discussion”, says Paulauskaitė-Tarasevičienė.

All those interested and willing to participate in the event, which will bring together top leaders from research institutions, business organisations, policy makers and representatives of the European Commission, are invited to attend. The event will be held in English.

Full event programme: https://www.sustainlivwork.eu/event-program/

Registration for the AI for Sustainable Future event: https://www.sustainlivwork.eu/event-registration/