With FARI, the Brussels government is investing in artificial intelligence for the common good
VUB and ULB rectors Caroline Pauwels and Annemie Schaus have signed the agreement on FARI, the new AI Institute for the Common Good in Brussels. This signing, with Barbara Trachte, Brussels state secretary for scientific research, follows the recent decision by the Brussels regional government to approve a grant from Innoviris for ULB and VUB. The ¤5.1 million grant is intended for the development of FARI and is part of the National Plan for Recovery and Resilience.
FARI will enable artificial intelligence to be used in the green transition and will help tackle the societal challenges facing Brussels: health and well-being, environment, mobility and energy. In addition, the project will enable the region to carry out high-impact projects and to respond to environmental and digital challenges, as well as to achieve the European Union’s ambitions for green transition and digital transformation.
The FARI projects and activities will actively engage citizens and strengthen AI education and its impact in the region. FARI will also help build bridges between experts, citizens, businesses and local organisations. To this end, the institute will consist of three hubs: a research and innovation hub, an AI, data and society-focused think tank, and an AI test and experience hub.
The project is in line with the guidelines of the Regional Innovation Plan approved by the government in July. It will be based at the BeCentral digital campus at Central Station.
Barbara Trachte: "I am delighted with this cooperation between ULB and VUB. Thanks to FARI, they will have at their disposal a high-performance institute for the development of artificial intelligence to meet the many social challenges facing the people of Brussels. With this ’serving the public interest’ approach, the region intends to position itself as a pioneer in the use of artificial intelligence, by allowing the Brussels innovation ecosystem to stand out thanks to a strong, differentiated and committed value proposition."
Annemie Schaus: "I am particularly pleased that our university is contributing to a project that promotes reliable, non-profit, transparent and open artificial intelligence and puts artificial intelligence at the forefront of society’s needs, while taking into account its societal implications and ethical dimensions."
Caroline Pauwels: "We are very happy and grateful that the Brussels Region is putting its full weight behind FARI. This will allow us to put this multidisciplinary artificial intelligence centre at the service of the individual and society. FARI will mainly focus on the human aspects of AI, data and robotics. Socially responsible and meaningful development of artificial intelligence is a fundamental part of FARI. Cooperation with citizens, companies and the public sector is essential in this regard, and the joint research of ULB and VUB groups acts as a lever for regional positioning in this field. In this way, we contribute to the social dialogue, the ecological fabric of the region and its sustainable economy."