AI innovation set to accelerate due to new research powerhouse

Telenor Group and partners will co-fund the new Norwegian centre for researched-based artificial intelligence innovation over the next eight years.

Published: 24 June 2020 09:03

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Telenor will contribute NOK 11.8 million to the Norwegian Centre for Research-Based Artificial Intelligence Innovation (CRAI), an investment in line with the Research Council of Norway’s recent announcement to invest NOK two billion in 22 Centres for Research-based Innovation (SFI), which includes CRAI.

“CRAI’s primary objective is to accelerate the innovation of sustainable and trustworthy artificial intelligence solutions across industries in Norway. With its own ambitions of becoming data-driven, Telenor has a strong interest in research and innovation that revolves around AI,” says Ieva Martinkenaite, Vice President of Telenor Research.

Ieva Martinkenaite, Vice President of AI and IoT Business Development at Telenor Research.

Read about Telenor’s AI ambitions

Harvesting from the Norwegian Open AI Lab

CRAI is scheduled to start up on 1 October 2020. The centre, hosted at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), will complement the co-located Norwegian Open AI Lab (NAIL). Telenor established NAIL with partners in 2017.

“CRAI’s strong focus will be on applied research and innovation on top of NAIL’s effort in basic research and education. As a partner and a funder, Telenor is proud to have contributed to putting AI on the map in Norway through NAIL,” says Massimiliano Ruocco, work package leader of CRAI and senior research scientist at Telenor.

According to Ruocco, CRAI will potentially attract research funding from all over Europe in the years to come.

“The centre will provide a strong and robust arena for industry, and research and academic institutions to collaborate on the development of AI ideas and techniques. CRAI partners and collaborators will be able to share results and iteratively explore how relevant technology can transform existing businesses and enable entirely new business avenues. As a partner, this will strengthen Telenor’s competitiveness and innovation power going forward.”

NOK 260 million

CRAI will operate until 2028 with a total budget of NOK 260 million.

“Telenor Research will take leadership in some of the projects while contributing to active research, piloting use cases, and conduct knowledge sharing, presentations, and workshops in others. Seeing already the scope of benefits AI can offer our business and society as a whole, we are excited to take part in this new journey together with our fellow CRAI partners, Ruocco concludes.

The CRAI consortium is made up of five academic and research partners, ten industrial partners, and four industrial, academic, and research networks. Those are:

  • NTNU
  • University of Oslo
  • University of Stavanger
  • Norwegian Computing Central
  • Telenor Group
  • DNB
  • Cognite
  • DNV-GL
  • SpareBank 1 SMN
  • Schibsted
  • TrønderEnergi
  • Retriever
  • NRK


  • NAINE – Norwegian Artificial Intelligence Network for Europe
  • AI4EU
  • AI Digital Innovation Hubs Network
  • DigitalNorway

Press contact:

Stian Kristoffer Sande, Communication Advisor, Telenor Group Communications
M: +4797539221 |