december, 2021

02dec12:3014:00Knowledge4Innovation Forum Round table in cooperation with CLAIREWhy Europe needs a CERN-like Lighthouse for AI!12:30 - 14:00


(Thursday) 12:30 - 14:00


European Parliament

Event Details

A Lighthouse Centre for “AI made in Europe”

Artificial Intelligence (AI), together with other digital technologies, is transforming all sectors of our economies, and other global regions (in particular the US and China) are making big steps forward at a fast pace. The European answer requires a coordinated effort to bring together the best talents in an environment that is able to harness and optimize the knowledge and competences to compete and lead at the global level, and in particular to ensure the EU values. The plans laid out by the European Commission recognize clearly that world class research & innovation infrastructure is a critical factor in the ambition for European leadership in human-centred, trustworthy AI.

Although most stakeholders agree about the need to develop an excellent and highly competitive AI field, it is less clear how this is best achieved.

The key question is thus: What should this research & innovation infrastructure look like and how could the EU and its member states benefit the most from such an infrastructure?

Speed, a long-term commitment, and a focused approach are necessities.

●  Which current EU instruments are most suitable for this, and can they provide the long-term

commitment at the needed scale and speed?

●  How can we best boost coordination and impact of research and innovation across Europe?

●  What alternatives exist? Would, for instance, a CERN- or EMBL-type approach be more effective in

achieving critical mass and momentum for “trustworthy AI made in Europe”?

CLAIRE (, the Confederation of Laboratories for Artificial Intelligence Research in Europe is the largest grassroot network of over 400 research laboratories for AI in the whole of Europe. It envisions excellence across all of AI, for all of Europe, with a human-centred focus. It is an important player in creating a vibrant European community of AI excellence and is an important stakeholder to the European Commission. It is one of the main drivers behind ADRA, the new PPP on AI, Data and Robotics ( and pursues a vision for European excellence AI that is supported by 9 member states and major European organizations and institutions, including the European Space Agency.

CLAIRE has a clear vision for developing a central, world-class Lighthouse Centre for AI as a central facility in a broad and vibrant network spanning all of Europe, with the goal of enabling open, responsible, reproducible work in AI, at “Google scale”, funded and owned by the public – of creating a global attractor for talent and expertise. The operational model and link with the member states and regional activities will overcome fragmentation; it will create synergy & cohesion, and create a focal point for all stakeholders in AI, including the general public & public administration



  • Dr.Roland Strauss, Managing Director K4I 

Welcome Note

  • Maria da Graça Carvalho, MEP, Portugal, Chair of the K4I Forum, AIDA Member

Introduction to the Round Table discussion 

  • Robbert Fisher, K4I President, Moderator 

Key-Note speaker

  • Hoolger H.Hoos, Chair of the Board of CLAIRE

Contributions and reactions from the MEPs: K4I Forum political members, members of the special AI Committee

  • Maria da Graça Carvalho, MEP,EPP, Portugal, Chair of the K4I Forum, AIDA Member
  • Susana Solis, MEP, Renew Europe, Spain, Member of the K4I Forum, AIDA Member
  • Axel Voss, MEP, EPP,`Germany, Member of the K4I Forum, AIDA Member

Introduction and Testimonials from CLAIRE Board

  • Emanuela Girardi, Founder and president of Pop AI, CLAIRE Member
  • Dr. Morten Irgens, Co-founder CLAIRE, Dean of the School of Innovation &Technology at Kristiana University College
  • Charlotte Stix, Technology policy expert with a specialization in AI governance, CLAIRE Member
  • Hans De Canck, Manager at VUB, AI Experience Center, CLAIRE Belgium Chair 

Open floor for discussions

Robbert Fisher, K4I President, Moderator

Speakers for this event

  • Axel Voss

    Axel Voss

    MEP, Member of the K4I Forum

    MEP, Member of the K4I Forum

  • Charlotte Stix

    Charlotte Stix

    PhD Researcher, Fellow, Eindhoven University of Technology, University of Cambridge

    Charlotte Stix is an experienced technology policy expert with a specialization in AI governance. Her PhD research at the Eindhoven University of Technology critically examines ethical, governance and regulatory considerations around artificial intelligence In that context, she serves as Fellow to the Leverhulme Centre for the Future of Intelligence, University of Cambridge and as Expert to the World Economic Forum's Global Future Council on Neurotechnologies. Most recently, Charlotte was the Coordinator of the European Commission's High-Level Expert Group on Artificial Intelligence. Formerly, she was a Researcher at the Leverhulme Centre for the Future of Intelligence, University of Cambridge, a Fellow to the World Economic Forum's AI Council, a Policy Officer at the European Commission's Robotics and AI Unit, consulted international start-up Element AI as an Advisor on their European AI engagement and worked as a Policy Officer at the World Future Council where she advocated for rights for future generations. Charlotte is awarded for her work as a 2020 Forbes' 30 under 30 (Europe). In her spare time, Charlotte runs the bi-monthly EuropeanAI newsletter with >1900 subscribers, widely seen as the definitive resource for insights into developments in AI policy across the European Union.

    PhD Researcher, Fellow, Eindhoven University of Technology, University of Cambridge

  • Emanuela Girardi

    Emanuela Girardi

    Founder and president of Pop AI

    Emanuela Girardi is the founder and president of Pop AI (Popular Artificial Intelligence), a non-profit association which aims to explain people what artificial intelligence technologies are and what impact they have on people's daily lives. She is a member of the group of artificial intelligence experts appointed by the Italian Ministry of Economic Development to elaborate the Italian national AI strategy and as such she has co-written the Italian AI strategy. She is a member of CLAIRE, the Confederation of Artificial Intelligence Research Laboratories in Europe, the largest community of scientists, researchers and technologists in artificial intelligence in the world. At CLAIRE Emanuela follows the development of the Innovation Network and is the founder and coordinator of the task force on AI & COVID19. Emanuela is a member of the Board of Directors of AIxIA, the Italian Association for Artificial Intelligence. She is a Member of the Board of Directors of ADRA, the European Association on AI, Data and Robotics, which works with the European Commission to implement Horizon Europe's 2021-2027 investment plan.

    Founder and president of Pop AI

  • Hans De Canck

    Hans De Canck

    Manager - AI Experience Centre / AI for the Common Good

    Hans De Canck has a solid background in digital research and innovation management, working at universities and RTO’s (iMinds, imec, VITO). He manages and directs the development of the AI Experience Centre of the Vrije Universiteit Brussels (VUB) as well as the Brussels AI for the Common Good initiative. The AI Experience Center is a state of the art Digital Innovation Hub and is host of the Belgian CLAIRE offices in Brussels. Several research centers from the Vrije Universiteit Brussel have joined forces to develop a multi-disciplinary research and Innovation offering on AI, Data and Robotics towards Academia, Industry, Policy makers including the broader public. The AI Experience Centre accelerates this offering. Hans works with the research teams across the university and acts as coordinating manager for the AI for the Common Good initiative, launched by rector Caroline Pauwels in 2019.

    Manager - AI Experience Centre / AI for the Common Good

  • Hoos, Holger

    Hoos, Holger

    Professor of Machine Learning, Leiden University, lead author of the European Vision on AI, CLAIRE initiative

    Holger H. Hoos is Professor of Machine Learning at Universiteit Leiden (the Netherlands) and Adjunct Professor of Computer Science at the University of British Columbia (Canada), where he also holds an appointment as Faculty Associate at the Peter Wall Institute for Advanced Studies. He is a Fellow of AAAI and past president of the Canadian Association for Artificial Intelligence (CAIAC). Holger's research interests span artificial intelligence, empirical algorithmics, bioinformatics and computer music. Known for his work on machine learning and optimisation methods for the automated design of high-performance algorithms and on stochastic local search, he has developed - and vigorously pursues - the paradigm of programming by optimisation (PbO); he is also one of the originators of the concept of automated machine learning (AutoML). Holger has a penchant for work at the boundaries between computing science and other disciplines, and much of his work is inspired by real-world applications. In 2018, together with Morten Irgens (OsloMet) and Philipp Slusallek (DFKI), Holger launched CLAIRE, an initiative by the European AI community that seeks to strengthen European excellence in AI research and innovation. CLAIRE promotes excellence across all of AI, for all of Europe, with a human-centred focus (for details, see

    Professor of Machine Learning, Leiden University, lead author of the European Vision on AI, CLAIRE initiative

  • Maria da Graça Carvalho

    Maria da Graça Carvalho

    MEP, EPP, Portugal

    Maria da Graça Carvalho is currently member of the European Parliament (2019-2024). In the European Parliament she is a full Member of the Committee on Industry, Research and Energy (ITRE) and a substitute Member on the Committee on the Internal Market and Consumer Protection (IMCO) and substitute member on Committee on Women's Rights and Gender Equality (FEMM). She follows as well the parliamentary Delegations for relations with the United States, for relations with the countries of Central America and Delegation to the Euro-Latin American Parliamentary Assembly. As a MEP, she was appointed rapporteur of the Specific Programme Implementing HORIZON 2020 and of the report on Simplification of the Rules of Participation in the European Programs for Research and Innovation. In 2011, she was awarded the Prize for the best MEP in the area of Research and Innovation.

    MEP, EPP, Portugal

  • Morten Irgens

    Morten Irgens

    Dean, CDO, Oslo Metropolitan University Kristiania University College, CLAIRE

    Dr. Morten Irgens is Dean of School of Economics, Innovation and Technology and Chief Development Officer at Kristiania University College, Advisor to the Rector at Oslo Metropolitan University (OsloMet), and Vice Chair if the Board of Directors of the Confederation og Laboratories of Artificial Intelligence Research in Europe (CLAIRE). He also serves a board member of Simula Metropolitan Center for Digital Engineering (SimulaMet) and the Norwegian Artificial Intelligence Research Consortium (NORA), both which he initiated and cofounded. He has previously participated in establishing Actenum Corp., Center for Cyber and Information Security, the Housing Laboratory and the Competence Center for Work Inclusion. His background in Artificial Intelligence includes the areas of Constraint Reasoning, and Modern Heuristics.

    Dean, CDO, Oslo Metropolitan University Kristiania University College, CLAIRE

  • Robbert Fisher

    Robbert Fisher

    President, Knowledge4Innovation

    Robbert Fisher specializes in strategy and policy in the fields of R&D, technology transfer and innovation in general. His key focus is on ICT policy. Since 1st January 2020 he is principal associate investigator at the University de las Campinas in Sao Paolo Brazil, where he focuses on the further development of Big Data and AI for policy analysis, development and monitoring. Robbert is on the board of several start up companies, a trusted expert for the European Commission in the field of big data and AI, and since 2017 the president of K4I. From 2011 to 2019 Robbert was the managing director of the Joint Institute for Innovation Policy, a Brussels based think tank of four renowned RTO’s (TNO, VTT, Tecanalia and Joanneum Research). Prior to that he has founded two companies, from 1989 until 2000 he was a senior manager with PricewaterhouseCoopers. From 1991-1995 Robbert was seconded as an expert to the European Commission DG XIII (now DG CONNECT) in Luxembourg. Robbert received a Master’s degree Law, Leiden University, the Netherlands with special subjects Intellectual property, Information Systems and Business economics. He holds degrees in marketing and public relations. In addition, he is an alumnus of the PwC International Management Development Programme, and has followed executive courses at Darden Business School and Oxford Said Business School.

    President, Knowledge4Innovation

  • Roland Strauss

    Roland Strauss

    Managing Director, Knowledge4Innovation

    Managing Director, Knowledge4Innovation

  • Susana Solís Pérez

    Susana Solís Pérez

    Member of the European Parliament, Renew Europe, Spain

    Born in Avilés, Spain, 1971. Susana Solís is an Industrial Engineer from the University of Oviedo, Machine Engineer from the Fachhochschule de Osnabrück (Germany), and holds an MBA from the Business Institute and a Master's Degree in Marketing Management from the Instituto de Empresa (Madrid). She has over 18 years of professional experience in several multinationals in Germany (Mercedes Benz, Robert Bosch) and in Spain (Rexel, Essilor and Johnson & Johnson). In May 2015, she was elected Deputy in the Parliament of Madrid, being the spokeswoman for Ciudadanos in the Committee on Budgets, Economy, Finance and Employment. Since May 2019 she is MEP in the European Parliament in the Renew Europe Group and a member of the ITRE, REGI, ENVI, and FEMM Committees.

    Member of the European Parliament, Renew Europe, Spain

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