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The Czech Republic will get a new Research Centre for Artificial Intelligence (AI). Following two years of negotiations, the Prague-based Institute of Computer Science, Robotics and Cybernetics (CIIRC) was awarded the contract for the European RICAIP project (Research and Innovation Centre on Advanced Industrial Production). The center’s scientists will focus on the use of AI in industrial processes.

As the CIIRC announced at the end of last week, the contract is tied to an EU funding of 45 million Euros. The Czech and German governments will provide an additional 5 million Euros.

European Network for AI Research

According to Vladimir Marik, Scientific Director of the CIIRC, the new research center will be built in close cooperation with another Czech institute, CEITEC in Brno, and the German Centre for Mechatronics and Automation in Saarbrücken (ZeMa). As for ZeMa, this means the expansion of a partnership in the field of “Industry 4.0” that has existed since 2016.

In addition, the new research center will be virtually linked to a whole series of European scientific centers dealing with the use of AI in industrial processes. This is a prerequisite for the EU.

Robots per 10.000 employees, IFR

“We have set ourselves the specific goal of having a center within six years that is capable of setting up experimental robotized production lines for interested companies from all over the world,” Marik told the CTK press agency. Marik expects the CIIRC to be financially independent within four years.

Trend towards more industrial robots

The new research center in Prague follows the worldwide trend towards more and more robots in the production process. Only last week, the International Association for Robotics (IFR) announced that South Korea, with its large automotive industry and 710 robots per 10,000 people, is the current leader.

With 658 robots, Singapore is in second place, Germany is third with 322. With about 160 robots, the Netherlands are mid-table. The automotive industry is the all over leader with 1,200 robots per 10,000 employees.