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With the launch of Chat GPT3 and the sequel ChatGPT4, in the past year AI has become something that everyone is talking about and a part of people's everyday lives. Making huge amounts of language data available has also opened up opportunities for the development of a host of new services and applications. In order for Swedish entrepreneurs and researchers in applied AI to have more entrances to global collaboration, Swenode AI, a network for collaborations between Sweden and Silicon Valley, is now being started. The initiative comes from Vinnova and the responsible coordinator is Mälardalen University.
Project manager for Swenode AI is Minna Sandberg, with extensive experience from and a large network within the AI innovation ecosystem in Silicon Valley. She will divide her time between Sweden and the USA.
Minna Sandberg, project manager for Swenode AI (Photo: Stefan Hollertz)
- AI has always been a matter of my heart. After all, there has been a development a little more quietly for a long time. But with the breakthrough with Chat GPT and the fact that such large data sets have been made available, development has exploded and it feels like the right time to create a community that lowers the threshold for potential collaborations with Silicon Valley, says Minna Sandberg.
What Swedish AI actors need right now
Vinnova finances the three-year project. The venture has three objective: to create a strongly integrated AI ecosystem, to create networking opportunities with tailored activities and to spread knowledge.
- Silicon Valley is unrivaled as the world's leading innovation hub in artificial intelligence. Our analysis is that contact with that ecosystem is exactly what Swedish AI actors need right now when it comes to international collaboration. It will open doors to global opportunities and strengthen Sweden's position as a leading AI nation, says Sarah Schulman, responsible for international strategic partnerships and initiatives in new technology at Vinnova.
Swenode AI will work based on three concepts.
- AI Connect - targets startups with AI as a core business that want to get in touch with investors, potential customers, advisors and other actors in Silicon Valley. You fill in your wishes and what you can offer on the website and are then invited to a pitch. If you go further, you are connected to tailor-made meetings.
- AI Community – newsletter and digital and physical events. Aimed at everyone who wants to keep up with what is happening in the AI world in Silicon Valley.
- Tailor-made activities – aimed at AI experts in industry and academia who have specific requests and ideas for collaborations. It can be about setting up meetings, study visits, getting help with creating programme for participation in conferences, etc.
Swedish industry players interesting in Silicon Valley
For American actors, Sweden is interesting from several aspects, according to Minna Sandberg.
- In Silicon Valley there are the big tech companies, startups, Berkeley and Stanford, but not so many industry players with whom they can verify their technology. Sweden has some of the world's strongest industrial brands. We are also known for being a country that promotes innovation, especially in climate tech. The big tech giants that Google sees are of course also interested in making contact at an early stage with the startups that have potential to grow on a global market.
Swenode AI was launched at Automation Summit in Stockholm on October 11, where, among other things, representatives from industry and AI entrepreneurs gathered. One of the main speakers at the event was Ericsson's global AI manager Elena Fersman, who is himself based in Silicon Valley.
- Silicon Valley drives many of the world's technological innovations and is therefore a strategic location for Ericsson. Sweden and Silicon Valley have several important collaborations in applied AI today and I hope that Swenode AI will create opportunities for further collaborations between Swedish companies and Silicon Valley.
Swenode AI's partners are Nordic Innovation house, Automation Region and ihubs Sweden.