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AI for a Sustainable Future

As artificial intelligence (AI) solutions become increasingly popular in many areas of everyday life, Lithuanian researchers, together with partners from Finland and Hamburg University of Technology (TUHH), are creating a joint Centre of Excellence of AI for Sustainable Living and Working (SustAInLivWork). The EU funded Teaming Project started with a high-profile kick-off event at Kaunas University of Technology (KTU) last month. KTU is also leading the effort to establish the Centre of Excellence in Lithuania, which will act as a lighthouse strengthening the research and innovation ecosystem nationally and internationally. The project is based on a long-term strategic cooperation between four Lithuanian Universities – KTU, Lithuanian University of Health Sciences, Vytautas Magnus University and VILNIUS TECH, – and two advanced partners – Tampere University (Finland) and TUHH.

How AI can be used to create a positive impact is currently a key question throughout Europe and worldwide. Addressing different aspects of using AI to improve living and working, the Lithuanian AI Strategy focusses on four key sectors: manufacturing, health, energy, and transport. While the methods used in different fields are similar, developing and deploying successful AI solutions still requires a good understanding of the application domain. For example, researchers from TUHH’s Institute of Medical Technology and Intelligent Systems (MTEC) have a long track record in studying AI for healthcare, with successful research projects ranging from AI based medical image processing and optimizing cancer treatments to developing medical robots. However, the Lithuanian Centre of Excellence will not only focus on science, but also on how to deploy AI solutions and make them sustainable in the market. Hence, building on MTEC’s experience from numerous collaborations with companies and TUTECH’s knowledge regarding the transfer from research to practice, TUHH will be a vital partner in the consortium.

At the kick-off meeting, there was a common understanding that creating sustainable AI solutions will not be trivial. In a lively panel discussion, questions ranged from the availability of data and the explainability of AI methods to how to train human experts in using AI. All participants agreed that that this joint project will be a great basis to further advance AI and its positive impact on our societies. Next steps include substantial extensions to the infrastructure at KTU and the setup of the centre’s administrative structure. Our team at MTEC is excited to be part of the consortium and looks forward to contributing to the development of the Centre of Excellence over the next six years.

Contact: Prof. Alexander Schlaefer, schlaefer(at)tuhh(dot)de, +49 40 42878 3050
Co-funded by the European Union. Project grant agreement No 101059903 for the Teaming for Excellence measure of the European Union’s Horizon Europe programme. National Funding Agreement No 10-042-P-0001.