Skilllab one of 20 winners of AI Impact challenge

Amsterdam tech firm Skilllab has been selected as one of the winners of Google’s AI Impact Challenge. The challenge asked non-profits, social enterprises and research institutions from around the world to submit ideas for using AI to help address issues in society. Skilllab, which develops technology-based solutions to better integrate refugees into local labour markets, was selected as one of only 20 winners. It will now receive free coaching from Google’s AI experts, share a grant funding pool of $25 million and consultation by experts from Google Cloud. Skilllab will also Google's customised six-month Google Developers Launchpad Accelerator Program, which lasts for six months.

Skilllab aims to further develop its AI-based tech

In total Google received 2,600 applications from 119 countries spanning six continents. Applicants were evaluated based on several factors, including feasibility, impact, scalability and use of AI. Skillab will use its prize to further develop its AI-based technology, which automatically translates skill profiles for refugees, and then connects those skills to local employers, placing them in the labour and training market. This week, a team from the company, based on Nicolas Maesstraat in Amsterdam, travels to San Francisco to begin the Launchpad Accelerator Program, which will pair them with a Google expert for regular coaching sessions.

Why Amsterdam is a leading AI hub

Speaking after the announcement, Ulrich Scharf, Skilllab MD, said: “Being selected as a grantee by Google and enjoying access to resources and mentorship is a fantastic opportunity for Skilllab. We are looking forward to the experience and to be part of such a dedicated cohort of organisations, which are driven to promote social change through technology.” Amsterdam is already renowned for its AI expertise, and has a wealth of top talent and successful partnerships between multinationals, startups and researchers.

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