NEC and Cyber Valley sign MoU for AI research

  • December 2, 2020
  • Steve Rogerson
Cyber Valley AI research

Japan’s NEC Laboratories and Cyber Valley’s German research institutions have signed a memorandum of understanding for future artificial intelligence (AI) collaboration.

The Cyber Valley research institutions are the Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems (MPI-IS), University of Stuttgart and University of Tübingen. The MoU represents an on-going effort between the state of Baden-Württemberg, Germany, and its partner province, the prefecture of Kanagawa, Japan, to join forces and support the development of AI technology.

The MoU outlines the intent of NEC Laboratories in Europe and Cyber Valley research partners to explore scientific research cooperation and support for regional start-up companies developing artificial intelligence.

Cyber Valley is Europe’s largest AI consortium of industry and scientific partners in the fields of machine learning and intelligent systems. The agreement represents an achievement for the state of Baden-Württemberg and principal sponsor of Cyber Valley in furthering the consortium’s position as a specialist in AI research.

The MoU was announced at last month’s Cooperation Event: Baden-Württemberg-Kanagawa (Kooperationsveranstaltung). The virtual event, hosted by Baden-Württemberg International, highlighted scientific cooperation between Baden-Württemberg and Kanagawa. Baden-Württemberg International is the centre of competence of the state of Baden-Württemberg for international economic and scientific cooperation.

The agreement between NEC Laboratories and Cyber Valley research partners lays the foundation for strong, diversified scientific growth in Baden-Württemberg.

“We look forward to collaborating with NEC Laboratories Europe on AI research and the fostering of start-ups in the region,” said Michael Black, Cyber Valley spokesperson. “With Cyber Valley, the MPI-IS, the University of Stuttgart and the University of Tübingen have developed a globally renowned AI hotspot, continuing to attract some of the brightest talent and leading corporations in this field. This MoU marks another milestone in the further development of this ecosystem.”

NEC Laboratories Europe is the European research division of Japan technology giant NEC. NEC’s strengths include original research in artificial intelligence and its applied use. For Cyber Valley, NEC’s future research collaboration will provide a global perspective in AI research areas such as biotechnology.

For NEC Laboratories, the collaboration offers shared scientific insights and the potential for accelerated scientific discovery.

“AI is a technology with large potential to transform our society,” said Juergen Quittek, managing director of NEC Laboratories Europe. “Still, the technical challenges are so huge that even leading institutions can substantially benefit from working together.”

Detailed discussions will take place early in 2021 to define the scope and nature of the cooperation with the intent of formalising the relationship in a legally binding agreement.

Cyber Valley is Europe’s largest research consortium in the field of artificial intelligence with partners from science and industry. The state of Baden-Württemberg, the Max Planck Society with the Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems, the universities of Stuttgart and Tübingen, as well as Amazon, BMW, Daimler, IAV, Porsche, Robert Bosch and ZF Friedrichshafen are the founding partners of this initiative. Moreover, Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft has joined Cyber Valley as a partner. Cyber Valley also receives support from the Christian Bürkert Foundation, Gips-Schüle Foundation, Vector Foundation and Carl Zeiss Foundation.

NEC Laboratories Europe located in Heidelberg, Germany, was established in 1997 with special emphasis on meeting the needs of NEC’s European customers. It dedicates research, development and standardisation on information and communication technologies. Its major research areas include 5G networks, data science, artificial intelligence, IoT platforms, IoT security and blockchain.