Construction is well underway for LAB42, a new international artificial intelligence hub at Amsterdam Science Park. The lab will stimulate AI developments and digital innovation resulting in countless benefits for businesses.
“The aim is to build a community that fosters stronger connections between companies, students and researchers. It’s a unique, international hub for knowledge and talent development in AI and digital technologies,” says Esther Smit, business relations manager for the Informatics Institute at the University of Amsterdam (UvA) and business director at the Innovation Center for Artificial Intelligence (ICAI). LAB42 is expected to open in September 2022. This community will be made up of students, researchers from UvA’s Informatics Institute, the Institute for Logic, Language and Computation (ILLC) and companies that can rent offices or flex desks in the building. As with most initiatives at Amsterdam Science Park, LAB42 will also have a strong focus on sharing knowledge with others, particularly with corporate players and entrepreneurs.
Esther Smit, business relations manager for the Informatics Institute at the University of Amsterdam (UvA)
“The aim is to build a community that fosters stronger connections
Within LAB42, students will be based on the lower floors and researchers on the upper floors, with company offices in between them. Businesses that rent this space are optimally positioned to benefit from the revolutionary discoveries going on around them. “The focus is mainly on SMEs and scale-ups in the area of AI.” Examples of the types of work LAB42 will produce include the use AI in medical imaging, more accurately prescribing radiation therapy for cancer patients, digitising museum collections, improving inequality in cities, and developing socially responsible algorithms for online shopping.
Collaboration is a key element of LAB42, and another reason that Amsterdam’s AI ecosystem is particularly strong. LAB42 will harness the strength of that collaboration and encourage more interaction between the various parties. This ensures that students are exposed to up-to-the-minute technological developments, researchers develop applications in the context of real-world challenges and companies can apply AI technology to their research and development, all within one space. This means that experts are always on hand when questions and challenges arise.
“The aim is to connect with other communities and organisations that hold access to what we’re doing, and not building it from scratch”, Smit says. “By building stronger connections between companies, students, and researchers, you’ll be able to foster new integration and really build a strong ecosystem. Amsterdam is already a tech hub, and we want to make it even stronger. So it’s about more than just square meters.”
But LAB42 isn’t just for companies based at Amsterdam Science Park. The wider business community and the general public will have the opportunity to get amongst the innovation. The lab will host discussions and events, workshops, training sessions and will also offer flex workspaces for individuals or smaller startups.
This home of cutting-edge innovation naturally required a thoughtful design. The fully circular and energy-neutral building is designed around airy open-plan spaces for meetings, presentations and informal interactions. Fitted out with solar panels, a retention roof that collects rainwater and felt panels from recycled bottles to optimise the acoustics, the building itself inspires innovation.
A select number of office and flex spaces are still available for businesses wanting to get in on this hotbed of knowledge. Contact Amsterdam Science Park’s Science and Business Organisation for more information.
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