RWTH Aachen University, Eindhoven University of Technology, and KU Leuven to Collaborate on Artificial Intelligence
Agreement signed at the opening of AI Week – Spectacular drone display at Katschhof
“Groundbreaking” – that’s how Professor Holger Hoos, one of the directors of the RWTH Center for Artificial Intelligence, praised the signing of the cooperation agreement in the field of artificial intelligence between Eindhoven University of Technology (Netherlands), KU Leuven (Belgium), and RWTH Aachen University.
In the future, said Hoos' fellow director Wil van der Aalst, the partner institutions will hold joint events, exchange academic staff, and share their infrastructure and resources. The agreement was signed on Monday evening in the Coronation Hall of Aachen City Hall during the opening of RWTH’s AI Week. “Eindhoven and Leuven are among the world's leading AI research institutions,” said Hoos, and thus the agreement could be seen as a “recognition of what we have achieved here in Aachen.”
RWTH is delighted to be working within this “fantastic collaboration”, which has come about not least due to long-standing contacts with the partner universities. The three cities are quite close to each other and form a perfect triangle on the map, so the researchers involved can meet in person within a very short time. Together, the institutions hope to attain the critical mass to compete with the U.S. and China in the field of AI.
The new alliance between the Belgian, Dutch, and German players was picked up as a theme several times during the celebration on Monday evening. First, the theme appeared in an AI-assisted film featuring three different swarms becoming one; later in the evening, it was as part of a spectacular drone light show performed at Aachen's Katschhof. In front of the unique panorama of Aachen Cathedral, the drones spelled out the words “AI Week” into the sky, displayed the colors of the three countries, and finally merged into one image.
The move towards greater cross-border collaboration was welcomed by Hendrik Wüst, the Minister President of North Rhine-Westphalia, who said in a video message that “research and development of AI must take place across borders."
Not only the drone display and the video clips showed that artificial intelligence can be a lot of fun: AI support made it possible to breathe life into the cartoon figure of Karl der Kleine by Aachen artist Alfred Neuwald. At a flick of the wrist of the animated figure, small bags of Aachen gingerbread appeared under the chairs of the attendees – in an analog, old-fashioned way.
From left:Professor Luc Sels, Rector of KU Leuven, Professor Ulrich Rüdiger, Rector of RWTH, and Professor Silvia Lenaerts, Rector of TU Eindhoven signed the cooperation agreement at the opening of AI Week.