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Supporting industry with data

The power of Data Innovation and Artificial Intelligence

The Data and AI Competence Lab by Sirris, facilitator of AI adoption in industry

2018 was an important year for the Sirris Data Innovation Team. After ten successful years of research together with Belgian industrial partners, the Team officially inaugurated Data and AI Competence Lab (EluciDATA Lab), which has as its mission to stimulate data innovation and the uptake of AI.

The launch gathered around 140 participants from industry, academia, regional and federal authorities, and it was reported on by several media. Highlights of the event included the presentation of the Lab, testimonials by the companies Macq, 3E, ScioTeq and Televic, and by partners DTAI – KU Leuven and Agoria, as well as two academic keynotes by Prof. dr. ir. Arnold WM Smeulders (ICAI, innovation centre for AI, the University of Amsterdam) and Prof. dr. Luc De Raedt (Dept. of Computer Science, KU Leuven).

"We always had a close cooperation with Sirris. We aim to exploit the data that is ever more becoming available to make our products smarter. At Macq, we have recently established a data analytics team and rely on the support of the EluciDATA Lab team to expand our knowledge and expertise in this area."

François Macq, Managing Director at Macq, during his presentation at the launch of the Lab.

EluciDATA Community brings together stakeholders interested in AI and data science

2018 was also the year in which the EluciDATA Community was initiated. Its goal is to bring together a dedicated community of stakeholders with a shared interest in data innovation and AI. On its agenda are the organisation of dedicated events, fostering networking, promoting the initiation of new R&D project proposals and keeping its members up-to date with the latest technology trends.

The CiaBDATA project, supported by the Eurostars programme and Flanders Innovation and Entrepreneurship, deals with the realization of an innovative, user-friendly assessment platform tailored to the physiotherapy and sports market and enabling an optimal, objective and subjects-specific follow-up of the training and rehabilitation process.

"Our collaboration with the EluciDATA Lab within the CiaBDATA project, has allowed us to work together with an experienced partner and to extend our capabilities, and at the same time to acquire new insights and knowledge to ameliorate our products. The project will also have a considerable impact on a wide range of the markets we are active in."

Fien Burg, Research Manager at RSscan international, during the kick-off meeting of the EluciDATA Community in April 2019.

Cooperation on data-driven approach for controlling and monitoring machining processes

Finally, 2018 was also the opportunity for the Data Innovation Team to start new collaborations with industrial partners. Together with Sirris’s Advanced Manufacturing department the team has entered into a collaboration with SABCA and VUB in the framework of the RoadMap-project, supported by Innoviris, in order to envision a data-driven approach for controlling and monitoring machining processes in decentralised manufacturing environments.

"At SABCA we do not have any in-house expertise in terms of data analytics and therefore we were looking for a strong partner with expertise in this domain, who is also able to understand our challenges. Our collaboration with Sirris will allow us to take a further step in our digitalization process."

Jérôme D’Agruma, Head of Research and Technology programs and Civil Systems Business Development Manager at SABCA.

AI Starter Kit Portal, gateway to reference AI solutions for industrial use cases

In 2014, Sirris initiated the technology transfer project “EluciDATA”. Supported by VLAIO and with Agoria and DTAI – KU Leuven as partners, the project aimed at stimulating the uptake of data innovation within industry. At the end of the project, 14 industrial demonstrators concerning entity profiling and recommendation, predictive analytics and forecasting and technological challenges had been identified, selected and realized in collaboration with companies involved in the project user group. To help companies understand the potential of data innovation through concrete examples and to illustrate how concrete problems can be tackled, those demonstrators have been transformed into Starter Kits. These Starter Kits generalize and distil the AI needs of specific industrial use cases, in this way providing a source of inspiration for tackling similar problems.

Access and distribution

To enable the access and distribution of these Starter Kits to a larger audience, the EluciDATA Lab released the AI Starter Kit Portal and created Starter Kit Passports, which enable companies to select one or more Starter Kit(s) that are most relevant to them. Each Starter Kit Passport contains a well-defined description of the business context and goal that is dealt with in the Starter Kit, the application contexts in which the presented data-driven approach can be useful, the specific data requirements that need to be satisfied in order to realize such kind of data-driven solution, and a clear description of the use case to illustrate the approach. Currently five Starter Kits are available and three additional ones are under development.