Hogeschool van Amsterdam

Centre for Financial Innovation

AUAS Expertise Centre Applied AI becomes Centre of Expertise

9 Feb 2021 10:00 | HvA Expertisecentrum Applied Artificial Intelligence

The AUAS Expertise Centre Applied Artificial Intelligence has become a Centre of Expertise (CoE) with effect from 1 February 2021. The Executive Board of the Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences (AUAS) reached a positive decision on this. The AUAS is the first knowledge institution in the Netherlands to create a CoE on Applied AI. This will give a major boost to knowledge on applied Artificial Intelligence (AI) in the Amsterdam region.

The transformation into a CoE is a great recognition of the importance of practice-based research and education in applied Artificial Intelligence, which the AUAS carries out for organisations, students and its own staff within all faculties and study programmes. With the Centre of Expertise, the AUAS occupies an important position in the regional and national AI ecosystem. This involves the development of applicable knowledge and training courses and the training of the AI developers and users of the future.

The first Centres of Expertise were launched in 2011 as an important innovation in vocational and higher professional education. They work in co-creation – with education, research, the business community and public organisations – on social solutions that have a positive impact. This includes a value-based approach, and inclusion is a core value: everyone who has something to contribute should be able to participate. Based on current issues in the Amsterdam region, the AUAS has clustered its research and education in several CoEs, with each theme linked to a social or metropolitan theme that is important to Amsterdam.

CoE focuses on inclusive, digital transition

Artificial Intelligence and Data Science permeate every aspect of society. Scientific developments in these areas occur at a rapid pace, and applications influence all sectors and professions – to a greater or lesser extent – for which training is provided by the Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences.

The Centre of Expertise Applied AI focuses on the meaningful application of AI technologies in a specific context (healthcare, accountancy, media, retail, etc.). Seven faculty labs work on innovation together within those areas of application in co-creation – with education, research, the business community and civil society organisations. The development and application of responsible and inclusive AI focuses on the user, and involves research into the impact of AI on the professional field and society. Among other things, this results in tools, instruments and training courses. In doing so, the AUAS is contributing to an inclusive digital transition.

See also: AUAS to help SMEs with digitalisation

Impact on education

Innovation in education is an important priority area of the CoE. The faculty labs are linked to one or more degree programmes. Students and faculty are involved through projects, minors and Master’s programmes on digitalisation and AI. Take the minors in Legal Tech (through the Legal Tech Lab) and FinTech (through the Finance Lab), for example. Or the Master’s programme in Digital Driven Business (through the Centre for Market Insights).

The CoE has taken the initiative to develop a professional Master’s degree in Applied Artificial Intelligence, which it aims to offer from September 2022. In addition, a methodology is being developed to help all degree programmes become AI-ready. The CoE has already started offering introductory AI training courses to lecturers to build expertise within its own organisation.

Larger partner network in AI landscape

The CoE has a large partner network of both AI developers and users. Within the labs there is structural collaboration with partners in the field, government authorities and public institutions. The CoE also collaborates with Amsterdam Data Science, is a partner of the Dutch AI Coalition, Platform Prio (for applied ICT research), and is a member of the Amsterdam AI hub AI Technology for People, a coalition of Amsterdam’s knowledge institutions, the City of Amsterdam and the Amsterdam Economic Board.

Thanks to the transformation of the expertise centre into a Centre of Expertise, plans related to Applied Artificial Intelligence can be expanded and scaled up nationally.