Vestlandsforsking receives funding for radically innovative project

The Research Council of Norway recently announced that Western Norway Research Institute (Vestlandsforsking) will receive more than NOK 19 million to conduct research into artificial intelligence, big data, and social media

Bilde av Rajendra Akerkar

Rajendra Akerkar. Foto: Idun A. Husabø

The project addresses increasingly complex social cybersecurity challenges, like hate speech and radicalisation, through developing new tools and techniques based on semantic technology (knowledge graphs), natural language processing (text classification and sentiment analysis), and deep neural networks.

"Rather surprising, but very pleasing", said Professor Rajendra Akerkar at Western Norway Research Institute who received a surprise call from the Research Council of Norway last week. His proposal for a research project called Violence-inducing Behaviour Prevention in Social-Cyber Space of Local Communities, has been granted a total of NOK 19.3 million. For this call, a total of 98 applications were submitted, and only seven of these were successful.

The institute's big data research group, led by Professor Rajendra Akerkar, is proud to be able to contribute positively to such a serious threat against society and democracy. 

Years go by between each time Western Norway Research Institute, with a total of 36 employees, is assigned large-scale research projects, and the project in question is one of the most extensive ever received by the institute. Director Anne Karin Hamre is excited by the big data group's achievements.

"This is a big project which is of great significance to our institute. The project will develop tools to tackle important challenges, whilst providing us with an opportunity to recruit more researchers, thereby expanding a highly important part of our research", says Hamre.

The announcement took place in Førde 26 January 2022.
Present: Merete Lunde (The Research Council of Norway), Anne Karin Hamre (Western Norway Research Institute), and Jan Christian Vestre (Minister of Trade and Industry). (Photo by Geir Kåre Resaland)

The project involves three other academic partners: NTNUNLA Høgskolen as well George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia.

The project is to start this year, running for a total of four years (2022-26).

Visit the research group and the project information.

Av Idun A. Husabø
Publisert 3. feb. 2022 22:19 - Sist endret 3. feb. 2022 22:29