Why are we establishing the arena & data factory?
In Vinnova’s report from April 30 (see the summary on page 18, under “Prioritised initiatives”), one of the two prioritized initiatives is “Internationally leading collaborative environments with a critical mass in research, education and innovation, with advanced data and technology infrastructures, need to be developed.” Vinnova worked with a large number of companies, institutions, universities and university colleges, as well as organizations in the public sector, to produce this report. The summary of Vinnova’s initiative can be found here.
The arena & data factory is designed according to the conclusions of Vinnova's report and inpired by leading international concepts, including “Centers for Research, Education and Innovation” developed at MIT.
What is unique about it?
Co-location of a data factory and a research arena. This provides access to a great deal of unique data and — as needed — makes it possible to generate rapid iterations between algorithm development and data generation so that advances in AI research and data availability can be made much more quickly.
The breadth of the fields of application, which makes it possible to share knowledge between different fields of application, thereby creating new ideas, projects, and innovations.
Is this a research center?
This is an environment for collaboration where researchers and developers from industry, academia, the public sector. Research institutes can work, collaborate, and strengthen one another. It is also a data factory where researchers and developers in data science are active and work with those developing algorithms to generate relevant data so that they can develop their algorithms much faster than otherwise possible.
Which universities and university colleges can take part?
The arena and data factory are open and will be located at Lindholmen Science Park. This means ant partner can have people at the arena for shorter or longer periods.
Will there be funding that can be applied for or received from the Arena or the Data Factory?
Funding can be secured through “normal” sources: government agencies, foundations, industry, etc. In the future, some funding sources may designate certain calls for proposals to those that will be carried out here. When applying for funding, the possibility of being located here can be used as a strong argument in the application.
You mentioned Vinnova initiatives. How can we find out about them?
Vinnova will issue calls for proposals as usual. Some of these may be designated for projects that will be located at the arena and/or the data Factory.
Who will conduct research projects at the Arena and the Data Factory?
The projects will be announced through channels such as Vinnova. Researchers at universities, university colleges and institutions, in collaboration with industry and/or players in the public sector, will then be able to apply for funding in the usual manner.
What is the relationship to WASP, the major AI initiative funded by the Wallenberg Foundation?
All researchers active in AI will be able to make use of the Arena and the Data Factory for their research, regardless of the source of funding or home institution.
What is a “data factory,” actually?
A data factory is a component in an AI ecosystem that is tasked with creating and furnishing relevant data to the those in the ecosystem who work on developing and training algorithms.
Why do we need a data factory?
Many researchers currently use public datasets. These often come from the United States or China. This data is not always representative of Swedish or Nordic conditions, languages and cultures. If we train algorithms on data from other regions, these algorithms may have weaknesses when used here.
Is there a risk that sensitive or personal data could be leaked from the Factory?
The Data Factory will be designed and established so that all data is processed securely. Sensitive data will not be accessible in the Data Factory; if such data is to be used, this will take place through separate contacts between those holding such data and the researchers.
Will businesses donate data to the Data Factory?
Yes, several companies and players in the public sector have expressed interest in donating data.
Will the data be accessible outside Lindholmen?
Yes, the data will be accessible within Sweden.
How large are the resources that the Data Factory and Arena will have — in terms of funding in SEK, or number of employees, or anything else?
A planning effort that will define the details of the arena & data factory is under way. This work will provide a 10-year budget and headcount plan.
What kind of “advanced infrastructure for data and technology” will there be, and where will it be located?
The planning effort mentioned above will provide details as to what resources that are already available in Sweden and can be leveraged, and what new resources that will need to be acquired.
Is there a list of companies/government agencies/organizations/individuals who are already connected and will be doing things?
At the time the initiative was announced, (May 16, 2018), more than ten organizations have signed a Letter of Intent about taking part in forming this initiative and then finding forms of collaboration and benefits in what is now being created. Many more companies and entities have contacted us since and are now in the process of becoming partners (if you want to become a partner, please contact us).