In January 2023, the European Digital Innovation Hub at the Czech Technical University in Prague – EDIH CTU, supported by the European Commission and the Ministry of Industry and Trade of the Czech Republic, is launching its activities. The consortium composed of strong innovation partners mainly focuses on supporting companies (SMEs, startups) and public administration in the field of artificial intelligence and machine learning. EDIH CTU will offer a comprehensive package of services – new technologies, knowledge transfer, infrastructure, tailor-made solutions and training. Those interested will be able to use the services of EDIH CTU as early as this year.
The launch of the activities of the Czech European Digital Innovation Hubs (EDIHs) comes at the right time. In the situation when the paradigm of the functioning of world industry is changing concurrently with external influences that dramatically affected the performance of companies in recent years (measures linked to the coronavirus, the energy crisis, changes in customer-supplier relations), companies are running out of funds for the necessary investments in innovation. Establishment of new European Digital Innovation Hubs can help to overcome the obstacles associated with outdated production processes and the creation of final products. A total of five of these were approved for the Czechia in 2022. EDIH CTU received support from the European Commission and the Ministry of Industry and Trade for three years in the total amount of three million euros.
„CTU once again shows itself as an institution that not only educates, but also implements the results of scientific work into everyday practice. I believe that our EDIH will, thanks to the cooperation of all faculties and the CIIRC, be a attractive and requested helper and guide for businesses and public administration,“ said Vojtěch Petráček, Rector of the CTU.
Czech companies, especially small and medium-sized ones, and the public administration will be able to apply for support for the implementation of services as early as 2023. EDIH CTU will offer services and education mainly in the field of artificial intelligence and machine learning. At the same time it has already signed a memorandum of cooperation with two other Czech EDIHs: in Brno (cyber security) and Ostrava (supercomputers). This will enable the provision of comprehensive services across the different needs of companies.
The EDIH CTU includes strong partners – the Czech Technical University (all its faculties and the Czech Institute of Informatics, Robotics and Cybernetics ) was joined by the Confederation of the Industry of the Czech Republic (SP ČR), Association of Small and Medium Enterprises adn Crafts (AMSP), Research Institute of Business and Innovation of the Chamber of Commerce (VUPI/HK), Prg.ai association, Prague Innovation Institute (PII), Innovation Center of the Usti nad Labem Region (ICUK) and the Czech-Moravian Center for Breakthrough Technologies (CCPT).
EDIH CTU will build on the already existing infrastructure and ecosystem of CTU, namely RICAIP (Research and Innovation Center on Advanced Industrial Production including Czech and German research laboratories) and the National Center for Industry 4.0 (academic-industrial platform connecting more than 50 Czech partners).
„Our goal will be to strengthen the digital transformation of Czech companies and public administration and support their competitiveness through innovations in the field of AI,“ explains Jaroslav Lískovec, who will manage EDIH CTU. „Artificial intelligence is currently one of the technologies that very significantly helps companies to become more efficient and flexible. It is the use of this technology in the ongoing turbulent times that can be a turning point. However, our goal is also to intensify the use of AI in public administration, which is lagging behind in the use of this essential technology,“ adds Lískovec.
Thanks to EDIH CTU, companies will be able to test technologies before their own acquisition, for example in the Testbed for Industry 4.0 of CTU operating within RICAIP. EDIH CTU will also offer consultations, prototyping, educational and professional training and courses. EDIH CTU also follows up on the activities of the Digital Innovation Hub of the CIIRC CTU, which has several years of experience in providing similar services to companies and is also connected to foreign networks and initiatives, e.g. CLAIRE, ELLIS, EIT Manufacturing, DIH4AI or DIH World.
More information can be found at the web pages of EDIH CTU.