A new ‘House of AI’ officially opened its doors at TU Delft on Thursday. Mondai is where AI science, education and innovation will come together – an important place for lectures, workshops, hackathons and other events. Students, alumni, scientists, professionals and the interested public will all be welcomed. Mondai is also Delft’s first ‘Convergence Square’, enabling cooperation between TU Delft, Erasmus University Rotterdam, Erasmus MC, Leiden University and LUMC around AI, data and digitisation.
Mondai is Japanese for ‘question’ or ‘problem’. The new centre’s aim is to connect parties in an accessible way, to encourage innovation and to capitalise on economic and social opportunities; and to solve societies questions and problems. One example is an inspiration session for SMEs, where a specially developed AI innovation canvas is used to show businesses and organisations how they can use AI to realise a project or challenge.
Collaboration is crucial
Geert-Jan Houben, Pro Vice Rector Magnificus AI, Data & Digitalisation at TU Delft, says that the potential of artificial intelligence (AI) as an enabling technology is enormous: “At TU Delft, we research, design and build both the AI technology itself and ways to use it, and we design innovations together with industry. AI education is offered to all students, and AI plays a key role in research across all of our faculties. It is great that Mondai is now available as a place where partners can meet each other in person.”
Rector Magnificus Tim van der Hagen adds: “AI, data and digitisation are increasingly essential for solving the major scientific and social issues of our time. At TU Delft alone, almost 1500 scientists are working on AI. The TU Delft Campus innovation ecosystem also has a strong focus on AI and digitisation. It includes several field labs such as RoboHouse, SAM|XL and Do IoT. In order to realise the great potential of AI, cooperation between all these parties is crucial, and TU Delft is taking the lead with Mondai.”
New ideas and connections
TU Delft works closely with Erasmus University and Erasmus MC on various topics under the theme of Convergence in AI, data and digitisation. Mondai also houses Convergence Square – a meeting place for all scientists and other partners who work on Convergence. Also Leiden University and LUMC are partners. Floris Italianer, director of Convergence: “In the context of Covid and its aftermath, it is important to have a good meeting place, which is why we have created this Convergence Square at the TU Delft so that new ideas and connections can arise. It means we are able to open up new opportunities together. As a region, we can take a leading role within this important theme.”
Activities in Mondai
Several activities and programming in Mondai have already started in the form of a soft-launch. These include an AI Symposium by Team Epoch, one of the DreamTeams, and DeepDive gatherings for Human Centred AI. An AI inspiration session for SMEs is planned in the autumn, along with AI Convergence ‘mixers’, where stakeholders from business and government are brought together around a particular theme. The TU Delft AI Labs will also hold their monthly meetings in Mondai.
Mondai is located in the NEXT Delft community building at TU Delft Campus. You will find there an accessible event and presentation space, a content studio, workspaces and a meeting point. For more information: www.mondai.nl.
Check TUDelft.nl for more info