Training more AI specialists in Amsterdam

The University of Amsterdam (UvA) says it is no longer limiting the number of students on its artificial intelligence bachelor’s degree course. The school will instead welcome an unlimited number of first-year students from the 2021/2022 school year, aiming to supply experts to meet the demand for highly trained AI specialists.

To provide the space to teach this new stream of students, UvA is building a new facility for research, education and businesses focused on AI and data sciences. Under the name LAB42, this new hub will be located at the Amsterdam Science Park. Set to open by 2022, the building will also feature space for co-creation. LAB42 partners include chip supplier Qualcomm, Relx (Elsevier), ING bank, the Dutch national police and Chinese company Huawei.

Amsterdam professor of AI Maarten de Rijke, who is also director of the Innovation Center for Artificial Intelligence, notes that data science will soon affect every aspect of our lives. He said: “If we want to make a difference as a country, we have to strengthen our AI knowledge base. We are working on this challenge with the ambition to invest extra in attracting researchers and training students. That is why we will be training even more students at the UvA from the 2021 academic year.”

One billion Euros for AI in Amsterdam

The move is part of a larger programme: AI Technology for the People, which is designed to help the city develop and deploy responsible tech in the field of AI, and focuses on serving people working in health, business innovation and citizen support. The initiative will encourage collaboration with leading institutions around the world, as well as public partners and members of the business community. 

Home to the largest innovation and science ecosystem in the Netherlands, Amsterdam has a long history of public-private partnerships and has been promoting research, education and innovation focused on AI for over three decades. The current initiative plays into these strengths with some very specific targets:

  • Committing at least €1 billion in financial resources to AI
  • Ensuring at least 800 people work in AI education, innovation and research
  • Training at least 5,000 students in AI technology at BSc, MSc and PhD levels
  • Having at least 10,000 students minoring in AI
  • Impacting at least 100 SMEs through collaborative spin-off projects
  • Ensuring there are at least 100 AI startups in the city

The initiative will also encourage companies to conduct research in Amsterdam and establish headquarters in the city while helping improve the quality of life for residents and encouraging medical breakthroughs related to AI.

Read more business news from around Amsterdam or learn more about the city’s booming AI industry.