European city state Luxembourg has signed an agreement with NVIDIA that will see the two build a national artificial intelligence (AI) lab in what the Santa Clara-based hardware specialist described as its “first national AI collaboration”.
Under the terms of the deal, NVIDIA will furnish state-of-the-art hardware and software supplied for the lab, which will be overseen by a joint advisory boardtasked with guiding research across a range of AI projects.
The lab will investigate potential AI implementation in multiple national industries such as finance, healthcare and security.
NVIDA will provide its expertise and tools, but the project involves a host of researchers from an array of Luxembourgian institutions, including the University of Luxembourg’s High Performance Computing team, the Luxembourg Centre for Systems Biomedicine, and its Interdisciplinary Centre for Security.
Fernand Reinig CEO of AI at the Luxembourg’s Institute of Science and Technology commented in a release: “This initiative will bring together Luxembourg’s research community with the leading role NVIDIA plays in applying AI to a wide range of applications.”
“We’re particularly focused on domains where high performance computing and AI have the potential to deliver significant breakthroughs in the near term. This is not science fiction, we’re working on real problems like Industry 4.0, regulatory technology and autonomous vehicles.”
The project is spearheaded by Digital Luxembourg, a multidisciplinary government initiative aimed at strengthening Luxembourg’s innovation and technology sectors.
With a population of just over 600,000 and a land area of 2,586.4 km2 Luxembourg is one of Europe’s smallest regions. Yet the government has taking a proactive approach to fostering technological innovation in the country.
Luxembourg‘s Prime Minister Xavier Bettel added: “Luxembourg is nurturing a pan-European innovation ecosystem. This cooperation with NVIDIA is big news for our local innovators, and our country is proud to be the first European country to create an AI partnership with NVIDIA.”
NVIDIA was arguable a good choice to partner with when it comes to AI research and hardware: the company recently came out on top in a new industry AI benchmark test.
In a straight up chip-to-chip comparison the NVIDIA V100 beat off its closest competitor Google’s TPUv3 in three categories. In image classification the V100 was 1.1x times faster, translation 1.2x and in Object detection NVIDIA’s chips was shown to be 1.6x faster than the TPUv3.
NVIDIA’s Paresh Kharya commented in a blog at the time that: “A key benchmark on which NVIDIA technology performed particularly well was language translation, training the Transformer neural network in just 6.2 minutes.”