With an area of just over 2,500 square kilometres and a total population about one-tenth the size of Madrid, Luxembourg is one of the smallest countries in Europe.
However, when it comes to advances in AI, Luxembourg is going big. The country’s government recently announced a joint initiative with NVIDIA to found a national AI laboratory aimed at solving the world’s greatest challenges.
Blue-Sky Thinking, Real-World Problems
From healthcare, finance and security to exploring space, Luxembourg’s new AI lab has a broad and ambitious remit.
The team behind the lab includes representatives from the University of Luxembourg’s High-Performance Computing Team, the Luxembourg Centre for Systems Biomedicine (LCSB) and Interdisciplinary Centre for Security, Reliability and Trust (SnT), and the Luxembourg Institute for Science and Technology (LIST).
NVIDIA will contribute engineering expertise, as well as the compute power and software required to accelerate the lab’s work.
“Luxembourg is nurturing a pan-European innovation ecosystem,” explained Prime Minister Xavier Bettel. “This cooperation with NVIDIA is big news for our local innovators, and our country is proud to be the first European country to create an AI partnership with NVIDIA.”
Connecting Academia to Industry
As well as undertaking fundamental academic research, one of the AI lab’s founding principles is that its work meets the needs of industry and society. With this in mind, the lab is closely affiliated with Digital Luxembourg, the country’s initiative to position itself as a technological frontrunner on the global stage.
“Knowledge, innovation and an appetite to shape the future are highly valuable resources for Luxembourg,” said Fernand Reinig, CEO a.i. of LIST. “This initiative will bring together Luxembourg’s research community with the leading role NVIDIA plays in applying AI to a wide range of applications.”
“We’re particularly focused on domains where high performance computing and AI have the potential to deliver significant breakthroughs in the near term,” added Reinig. “This is not science fiction — we’re working on real problems like Industry 4.0, regulatory technology and autonomous vehicles.”
A Cross-Disciplinary Approach
One of the most powerful aspects of the AI lab is its emphasis on cross-pollination between disciplines, explained Stéphane Pallage, rector of the University of Luxembourg.
“Tackling real-world problems involves bringing together experts from across disciplines, not just the sciences but also law, the humanities and beyond,” said Pallage. “This collaboration provides a new context for this approach, and we are sure it will have a very positive impact on the economy and society.
“Whether this is in identifying new application areas or pushing ahead with existing work, from our use of drones for automated airplane inspections to the analysis of genomes and mobile health sensor data, we look forward to seeing the results,” he said.
Digital Luxembourg will also support the creation of educational materials to help researchers and professionals across industries apply AI in their work.
“From education and research to technology transfer and implementation, this collaboration with NVIDIA will boost every aspect of our national AI ecosystem,” said Reinig.