the National Information Processing Institute (OPI) and IDEAS NCBR, a research and development centre that operates in the field of artificial intelligence, have signed an agreement on the development of joint projects. The collaboration of the partners will include research on software engineering and the development of artificial intelligence (AI). Thanks to the collaborative efforts of both organisations, Polish scientists will now have opportunities to conduct research and development projects at the highest international level, as well as jointly educating doctoral students in disciplines such as technical computer science and telecommunications.
Searches for the term ‘AI’ on Google increased fivefold in 2022, likely due to the surge of press releases that highlighted groundbreaking advances in the technology. This flurry underlines the critical role of AI in the digital transformation of various economic sectors.
Recent breakthroughs can be linked to the emergence of AI tools that can be used by anyone, regardless of their programming proficiency. Research into AI has been conducted for years, with many of the most significant advances coming from international scientists. In the wake of intense activity from technological giants, such as Microsoft, Alphabet, and the Chinese Baidu, it is high time that Polish researchers become more involved in the field. According to The Economist, in 2022, startups that focused on AI were funded to the tune of $2.7 billion. The British weekly draws a comparison between the present decade and the 1980s, when companies competed fiercely to become the pioneers of user-friendly personal computers.
That and subsequent groundbreaking solutions and technologies, such as social media and cloud computing, were implemented by global corporations outside Europe—although they were based on achievements developed at Western (mostly American) centres. Particularly noteworthy in this context are the efforts of IDEAS NCBR to leverage Polish AI in various economic sectors and to collaborate with renowned Polish and international universities and research centres, such as OPI.
The scope of collaboration between OPI and IDEAS NCBR
At present, the partnership between OPI and IDEAS NCBR constitutes a framework agreement. Further details of the collaboration will be established in the near future. Some of the objectives, however, have already been defined:
- research and scientific development—both institutions will deliver courses to PhD students who major in technical computer science and telecommunications
- research and R&D projects in software engineering and artificial intelligence
- exchange of information on research programmes and identified research needs.
‘OPI has been developing AI for a very long time. I am delighted that we can collaborate with IDEAS NCBR to assist Polish researchers and entrepreneurs in the development of cutting-edge IT technologies. We have a lot to do. According to the OPI Artificial Intelligence: Publication Achievements in Exact and Technical Sciences 2010–2021 report, which is available on the RAD-on website, Poland ranked fifth among the EU27 member states in terms of publications on AI. Sadly, the impact of Polish publications was inconsiderable: they were cited 34% less frequently than similar international publications (MNCS = 0.66). Moreover, Poland (alongside Latvia and Romania) trails its neighbours in terms of international coauthorship. Only 27% of publications were written in collaboration with authors from outside Poland. I am confident that the partnership with IDEAS NCBR will enable us to improve those statistics,’ says Dr Jarosław Protasiewicz, Head of OPI.
‘Although it is still winter, the development and implementation of artificial intelligence solutions is a hotly debated subject. IDEAS NCBR recognises the potential of this window of opportunity, and is eager to collaborate with reliable partners, such as OPI, which represents a wealth of knowledge and experience. Sharing knowledge and collaborating on ambitious research projects will make both institutions more appealing to young researchers who seek stimulating subjects for their doctoral theses, and are eager to implement and monetise the outcomes of their research,’says Grażyna Żebrowska, Member of the Management Board of IDEAS NCBR.
The collaboration between OPI and IDEAS NCBR will facilitate the integration of the scientific communities that focus on AI in Poland, enabling a larger group of AI researchers to apply their projects in both the public and private sectors.