The AI Hub Tampere is now launched officially. The new hub focuses on intelligent machines and aims to make artificial intelligence easy to reach for the local companies.
The AI Hub Tampere is based on the needs of local companies. Many of them are interested in utilizing AI and consulting firms are eager to offer their advice. However, those companies may not be quite sure about the first steps they should take or about how to proceed in practice.
AI Hub Tampere helps companies to understand both the potential and the limitations of AI, giving them a better basis to start buying AI that serves them well.
– The university already cooperates with larger companies, so we need to focus on small and medium-sized ones. We want to make AI accessible for everyone, explains Heikki Huttunen, the founder of AI Hub Tampere and Associate Professor at Tampere University of Technology (TUT).
AI Hub Tampere is swiftly starting its activities, and there are several events coming up in December. SMEs interested in AI will be provided with helpdesk services, workshops and experimental piloting. The guidance is publicly funded and thus free of charge and neutral.
– We are targeting engineers who work in the local companies and know their grassroots-level needs, and also managers who make the AI outsourcing decisions, Huttunen says.
– The best thing about AI Hub Tampere is the fact that it makes the expertise and enthusiasm of TUT professors and students available for any company. We really hope that companies will find and use this opportunity, says Senior Business Advisor of Smart Tampere program, AI and analytics theme Niina Siipola from Business Tampere.
AI Hub Tampere brings together companies and academia, but it also aims to boost collaboration between companies. This will happen for example in workshops where engineers from different companies work together on challenges related to AI, and strenghten the whole AI ecosystem at the same time.
AI Hub Tampere focuses on the thematic area of intelligent machines, but it welcomes companies of any field to use its services. The theme was chosen because intelligent machines is one of the industries in the Tampere Region that is significant in the export business. Keeping up-to-date with AI and robotics gives those companies the competitive egde.
To boost the competitiveness of the region AI Hub Tampere is among the first ones to join the nationwide AI Hub network that is being established. The hub is an important part of the AI and analytics theme of Smart Tampere program and helps achieve the strategical and industrial policy objectives of the City of Tampere.
– Further to that, AI Hub Tampere can be a concrete asset in the invest-in work, making the region known for its AI expertise in a similar way that Tampere Imaging Ecosystem already does in its field, says Siipola.
AI Hub Tampere is funded by The Regional Council of Pirkanmaa, TUT (the new Tampere University from 2019 onwards), Smart Tampere program of the City of Tampere and Forum for Intelligent Machines FIMA. The hub is cooperating with the RoboCoast project in Pori and an AI Hub of University of Eastern Finland. DIMECC is also involved in the AI Hub’s network, and Business Finland has supported the project from the very beginning.
Smart Tampere is a strategic program of the City of Tampere implemented by Business Tampere and the City.