Aalto University joins Swedish WASP research program on AI and autonomous systems

Aalto University begins collaboration with Swedish universities in Wallenberg Artificial Intelligence, Autonomous Systems and Software Program. A large number of Swedish companies are also involved in the WASP.

Aalto University begins collaboration with Swedish universities in Wallenberg Artificial Intelligence, Autonomous Systems and Software Program (WASP). Aalto has been accepted into the program thanks to its strong expertise in artificial intelligence and autonomous systems. Aalto has decades of experience in world-class AI research. Today, Aalto coordinates the Finnish Center for Artificial Intelligence (FCAI) which brings together top AI research in Finland, involving also the University of Helsinki and the Technical Research Centre of Finland (VTT).

Launched in 2015, the WASP program aims to accept 600 PhD students and to establish at least 80 research groups by 2030. The Swedish WASP partner universities include Chalmers University of Technology, Linköping University, Lund University, KTH Royal Institute of Technology, and Umeå University. Forty Swedish companies are also involved. In addition to Aalto, the international WASP partner universities are Stanford University, NTU Singapore, UC Berkeley and Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

In the WASP program, Aalto’s doctoral students and researchers have the opportunity to participate in joint research projects with Swedish universities and companies. The first postdoctoral program open to Aalto will start in autumn 2021. In the future, the cooperation may also include doctoral student exchanges and researcher visits.

‘When Sweden, through WASP, invests on a large scale in research on AI, autonomous systems and software, it is important to establish collaboration with leading universities, and in the Nordic region, Aalto University is one of the most important players. We are very much looking forward to creating a close relationship between cutting-edge research in Finland and Sweden through the collaboration’, says Anders Ynnerman, Director of WASP.

Ilkka Niemelä, President of Aalto University, sees the collaboration as an excellent opportunity to deepen interaction with Swedish universities.

‘This is a new way of collaborating with Swedish universities. Both Sweden and Finland have a lot of expertise in artificial intelligence and autonomous systems. Through joint efforts we can strengthen our research areas, create new innovations, and strengthen our entire region from a global perspective, as well. We hope that the WASP model of collaboration can be expanded to other research fields in the future,’ says Ilkka Niemelä.

Wallenberg AI, Autonomous Systems and Software Program (WASP) is Sweden’s single largest private research initiative ever. The aim is to put Sweden at the international forefront in this field. Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation’s financial commitment totals SEK 4.2 billion in the period 2015-2029. Together with co-funding from the universities involved and Swedish industrial groups, the entire initiative is worth SEK 5.5 billion. www.wasp-sweden.org

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