On Friday, November 11, the advisory board of the artificial intelligence and robotics center AIRE met for the first time at Tallinn University of Technology, the aim of which is to bring Estonian researchers and industry closer to each other in order to support the innovation of industrial companies.
The advisory board also helps select AIRE robotics and artificial intelligence demo projects with Estonian industrial companies – the round is open until November 30.
The meeting was also attended by representatives of the Ministry of Economy and Communications, partners from Estonian universities and research parks.
Jukka Patrikainen, member of the advisory board and chairman of the board of ABB Estonia, emphasized that Estonia’s competitive advantage is no longer cheap labor, and therefore it is imperative to increase awareness of how to increase the efficiency of industry with the help of automation and robotization. He added: “Fortunately, the technologies are there and I see our role as encouraging investment in robotics and automation.”
Patrikainen is complemented by member of the Riigikogu and former minister Andres Sutt: “The AIRE center plays an important role in helping small and medium-sized enterprises to understand and turn to their success the revolutionary changes taking place in the economy. He explained: “The global market is undergoing a major change – production and supply chains are moving closer to the target market, the green and digital revolutions are opening up opportunities for the birth and adoption of new technologies.”
Andrus Durejko from Ericsson Estonia confirms that today are difficult times, that is clear. “But it is precisely in crises that big changes are made, that is when the foundation for growth is laid. In addition to cost savings, we must look to innovation today. Such situations force us to make changes,” believes Durejko.
Estonian small and medium-sized companies, which account for 80% of the employed in the manufacturing industry, are seen as AIRE’s customers. According to Sutti, there is a clear correlation here – if small and medium-sized companies are viable, the Estonian economy is also viable.
The advisory board of the AIRE center includes Riigikogu member Andres Sutt, ABB Baltics manager Jukka Patrikainen, Ericsson Estonia manager Andrus Durejko and Krimelte manager Jaan Puusaag.
From the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications, Andri Haran, head of the industry sector, and Marily Hendrikson, data and artificial intelligence adviser, participated in the first meeting of the advisory group.
TalTech rector Tiit Land, Tartu University rector Toomas Asser, Estonian University of Life Sciences new rector professor Ülle Jaakma, SA Science Park Tehnopol manager Indrek Orav, Tartu Science Park manager Andrus Kurvits and competence center IMECC founder Jüri Riives participated.
The AIRE center is co-financed by the European Union (AI & Robotics Estonia – EDIH) from the “European Digital Innovation Hubs” program (project number 101083677) and the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications.