NORA solidifies its positions with four new partners

With University of South-Eastern Norway, Kristiania University College, Østfold University College and Western Norway Research Institute as new members, NORA is without question Norway’s leading Artificial Intelligence (AI) network. NORA’s expansion and the opportunities this entails will bring NORA even closer to fulfilling its vision of International relevance and excellence in AI research, education and innovation for Norwegian universities and research institutions. 

The NORA consortium was established 21 November 2018 and operational from 1 April 2019. At that time NORA consisted of nine members: University of Agder, UiT The Arctic University of Norway, OsloMet – Oslo Metropolitan University, University of Bergen, Norwegian University of Life Sciences, University of Oslo, University of Stavanger, Simula Research Laboratory AS and NORCE Norwegian Research Centre AS. 

From 1 April 2021, NORA has expanded with four new partners: University of South-Eastern Norway, Kristiania University College, Østfold University College and Western Norway Research Institute (from 1 July 2021).

- NORA’s success and expansion is unique in Norwegian contexts. With a few exceptions, the NORA network now consists of all AI research and education institutions in Norway. This provides a unique opportunity for cooperation and interaction, but at the same time puts a lot of responsibilities on our shoulders to provide our partners with relevant tools, networking opportunities and support, says CEO of NORA, Klas H. Pettersen.

Joining NORA will give the new partners several benefits. This includes opportunities for cooperation and networking with other NORA partners and their research communities, help with and coordination of applications for funding, prioritized participation at PhD-seminars, conferences and others events, visibility through NORA’s international activities and partners such as CLAIRE. Furthermore, NORA partners get access to externally funded programs and projects where NORA participates or get funding, such as Research Council of Norway funded EU network for Horizon Europe and Innovation Norway funded entrepreneurial ecosystem for innovation. 

In addition, all partners have the opportunity to participate in NORA’s initiatives such as NORA Research School, NORA.startup and NORA Industry Network. Through these initiatives our partners can address the opportunities to build a better and more comprehensive national research and education profile in AI, get more opportunities for innovation and come in contact with startup companies and other industrial partners in this field. Furthermore, NORA wants to promote a responsible and ethical framework for AI both nationally and internationally and our partners can influence NORA’s policy and opinions related to this topic.

 

About the new partners

University of South-Eastern Norway, Kristiania University College, Østfold University College and Western Norway Research Institute have strong research communities in the field of artificial intelligence, machine learning or robotics with a wide range of ongoing research projects.

Western Norway Research Institute (WNRI) is a research institute located in Sogndal. The institute was established in 1985. The research carried out by WNRI’s Big Data and Emerging Technologies research group is at the cutting edge of new developments in the field of disruptive technologies including artificial intelligence, big data and internet of things to solve problems of regional, national and global importance in emergency management, critical infrastructure resilience, transport and mobility, and social cybersecurity. WNRI’s expertise covers the complete data-driven life cycle: from information management, through analytics, to practical applications. WNRI’s AI and data technologies experience covers a wide range of research and innovation projects, and transnational partnerships in research and education. 

- The abundance of AI methods and tools are key for conceiving a next generation of data processing systems, where modelling, reasoning and learning practices could support individuals and organisations to shape and govern a precious data-driven society. I strongly believe that the NORA initiative can be the main force to achieve these goals. We at the Vestlandsforsking look forward to using our collaboration in NORA to further develop and spread our research work and our voice in a field that is very crucial to us, says Professor Rajendra Akerkar at Western Norway Research Institute.

University of South-eastern Norway (USN) educates and conducts research among others in areas of autonomous systems for transport and industrial processes. This includes development of data-driven models, based on machine learning algorithms and the use of robots. In a longer run, this will also include increasing use of artificial intelligence.

- USN wants to join NORA due to more contact with the research community in Norway within these areas, give both our PhD students and researchers access to a larger community within AI, ML and robotics, opportunity for a broader collaboration in projects and new applications, and access to new AI, ML and robotics courses, says Nils-Olav Skeie, Professor at USN’s Faculty of Technology, Natural Sciences and Maritime Sciences.

Østfold University College is located at two campuses in the cities of Halden and Fredrikstad in south-eastern Norway. It has about 7 700 registered students and about 620 employees, including research, teaching and administrative personnel.

The Faculty of Computer Sciences, Engineering and Economics houses the largest Computer Science environment among the university colleges in Norway. The four focus areas within research are Machine Learning, Interaction Design, Cyber-Physical Systems, and Information Systems and Software Engineering. A common feature for the different research areas is an interdisciplinary focus and cooperation with external partners in industry and the public sector. The faculty has been involved as partner in the ECSEL project Productive 4.0, and currently, it is a member of the consortium of Arrowhead Tools, another ECSEL project that builds on the results from Productive 4.0. 

- I'm happy that we're now joining the NORA family, and look forward to closer collaboration with the NORA partners. Joint research applications and projects, PhD courses and better dissemination opportunities are key motivations for joining NORA. Bringing with us 40 years of Machine Learning history, we will surely also contribute back to the rest of the NORA community. As a founding partner of the Cluster for Applied AI, we will also secure a strong link between regional industry and the public sector and the rest of the NORA network, says Harald Holone, Dean of the Faculty of Computer Sciences at Østfold University College.

Kristiania University College conducts extensive research in a number of topics within information technology, artificial intelligence, machine learning and data science and offers several study programs within this field. The Artificial Intelligence in Software Engineering (AISE) Lab at Kristiania University College performs research in the application of Artificial Intelligence techniques in the field of Software Engineering. Currently, one of their main research topics is the use of Evolutionary Algorithms to solve the Software Engineering problems of automatically generating test cases for web and enterprise applications. 

 

Read also news article by Khrono about NORA's expansion (in Norwegian).

Publisert 30. juni 2021 02:06 - Sist endret 30. juni 2021 02:06