The kick-off was opened by Nikolai Astrup, the Minister of Digitalization. In an engaging speech, the Minister highlighting the ways in which Norwegian society can benefit from the increased productivity and the improved quality of life that digitalization and AI bring. He also emphasized the importance of having high-quality AI research and education in Norway and ended his speech by quoting this African proverb, “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together”.
In a dialogue session with the Minister, the researchers were invited to give input regarding their views on the upcoming Norwegian AI strategy. Following the Minister’s visit, the meeting continued with scientific presentations, discussions, and workshops, during which the researchers learned more about the interest, expertise, and work taking place the partnering institutions. This was the first of many such meeting places that will bring together NORA researchers and educators to make collaboration both easier and more rewarding.
The kick-off also introduced NORA’s new director Klas Pettersen. Pettersen holds a PhD in Computational Neuroscience from NMBU and has worked as a postdoctoral researcher and research scientist within computational biology at NMBU as well as the Centre for Molecular Medicine Norway at UiO. Petersen has expressed eagerness to strengthening research and education in artificial intelligence at all levels and aims to enhance interdisciplinarity and to build strong research networks in Norway.
NORA is the Norwegian Artificial Intelligence Research Consortium and was established in November 2018 by UiO, OsloMet, UiB, UiA, NMBU, UiT, and Simula, with NORCE and UiS joining NORA shortly afterwards. Read more about NORA here.