NTNU, Telenor and SINTEF open Norway’s new powerhouse for artificial intelligence

Norway’s new powerhouse for artificial intelligence (AI) opens in Trondheim today. The new centre, Telenor-NTNU AI-Lab, will strengthen national competitiveness and add valuable, future-proof competencies to the Norwegian society.

“Artificial intelligence is perhaps the single most important technology of our century. In the future, AI will drive your car, revolutionise cancer treatment and make public services more efficient. With this opening we want to accelerate the education, research and competency building which will be crucial for Norway’s ability to compete in the digital future,” says Sigve Brekke, President & CEO of Telenor Group.

The new centre is financed by Telenor with NOK 50 million and the company’s researchers will participate in joint projects at the lab. NTNU (Norwegian University of Science and Technology) contributes with academic resources, infrastructure and technical assistance while the research organisation SINTEF will contribute with bringing the knowledge into practical use. Telenor-NTNU AI-Lab will be an inclusive and sharing centre where members of academia, businesses, startup communities, organisations and authorities can contribute to and benefit from the development of new knowledge. The lab will be based on established principles for research ethics, to which contributors must adhere.

“Artificial intelligence is an area where Norway can take a position internationally while simultaneously developing services to the benefit of Norwegian society. The most important aspect of the Telenor-NTNU AI-Lab is that we’re now creating the foundation of knowledge for something we don’t yet know what is. I believe that we will help create a society where technology makes our personal and professional lives simpler, smarter and better,” says Gunnar Bovim, Rector at NTNU.

The objective is that companies and organisations will contribute with both real-life problems to be addressed as well as datasets for the scientists to work on together with the involved parties. Telenor will make available large and anonymised datasets from its mobile- and IoT networks.

“Artificial intelligence represents a fundamental technological shift that opens up for new opportunities, increased competitiveness for Norwegian industry, and greater efficiency in the public sector. SINTEF is betting heavily on AI and believe it is vital that leading expertise in this area is developed in Norway. In close collaboration with NTNU and Telenor, SINTEF will contribute to the development of technology based on AI that will increase value creation in Norway,” says Alexandra Bech Gjørv, CEO of SINTEF.

Opening today:

The Telenor-NTNU AI-Lab opens today in Trondheim. Norwegian Minister of Trade and Industry Monica Mæland, Norwegian Minister of Culture Linda Hofstad Helleland, Sigve Brekke (Telenor), Gunnar Bovim (NTNU), and Alexandra Bech Gjørv (SINTEF) will attend the opening ceremony. This will be followed by a seminar about artificial intelligence open to students and the public. 

Facts:

The Telenor-NTNU AI-Lab is located at Norway’s premier technological university, NTNU, in close proximity to SINTEF in Trondheim. It will have 50 work stations spread over 120 sqm and be open to all students and faculty at NTNU. The lab will be managed by one professor, and master- and PhD students and scientists will conduct experiments in the lab and carry out research with external academic and industry partners.

The Telenor-NTNU AI-Lab will conduct research on theory and methods within machine learning (multiple technologies and applications that can understand, act and learn from big datasets) as well as pursue applied research at an international level. The ambition is also that the lab will stimulate the creation of new products, services, businesses and workplaces.

About Telenor’s investment:

NOK 40 million will fund professorships, post-doctoral positions and master/PhD scholarships as well as hardware and software for the lab. An additional NOK 10 million will be dedicated to building an IoT innovation network which will provide an importance source of data for the lab’s research work.

More information about the Telenor-NTNU AI-Lab: https://www.ntnu.edu/ailab

Click here for pictures of the new lab and logo.

Media contacts:

Hanne Knudsen, Telenor Group (hanne.knudsen@telenor.com, +47 908 04 015)

Stein Mortensholm, NTNU (stein.mortensholm@ntnu.no, +47 990 09 600)

Morten Dalsmo, SINTEF (morten.dalsmo@sintef.no, +47 952 91 417)