In early April, INSAIT, an Institute of Computer Science, Artificial Intelligence and Technology, was launched in Sofia, Bulgaria, in partnership with the Technical University ETH Zurich and EPFL Lausanne. It will benefit from the financial support of the Bulgarian government, but also from ETH Zurich and EPFL Lausanne, to achieve its objectives: to develop the Bulgarian scientific community, to enable, develop and retain local and international research talent, as well as to accelerate it. Impact of economic and social innovation in the region.
INSAIT was created in partnership with two of the world’s leading technical universities, with the goal of turning it into a leading scientific institute for computer science and AI and a research powerhouse in these rapidly expanding technological fields.
Sophia ranks among the best technology cities in Europe. Since Bulgaria joined the EU, it has attracted many foreigners due to its low cost of living and flat rate of 10% personal and corporate income tax, which is below the EU’s maximum. Important foreign IT companies have some R&D centers out there (Bosch, SAP, VMWare), thus providing research-industry interaction for INSAIT professors.
The institute will open in September 2022. It will be supervised and advised by world-renowned scientists from ETH Zurich, EPFL, IST Austria, MIT, UC Berkeley, Yale, Princeton and the Technion-Institute of Technology. Its president is Martin Vechev, a resident of Sophia, a graduate of Sophia High School of Mathematics (SMG), now a professor of computer science at ETH Zurich where he operates a secure, reliable and intelligent systems lab. That is why this organization has been able to see the light of day.
The institute is based on the computer science departments of top universities like MIT, UC Berkeley, ETH, Technion, Max-Planck, and its focus areas are: Machine learningNatural language processing, computer vision, programming language, quantum, computer architecture, information security as well as other technical fields.
Prevent brain drain
Innovation in Eastern Europe is strongly influenced by the brain drain, it is estimated that about 30,000 Bulgarians leave their country each year to study and pursue their careers in the West. INSAIT, the leading research center in Eastern Europe, will provide world-class research environments and internationally competitive salaries, attract foreign researchers and encourage the world’s best young talents to stay in the world. Countries, which will have a significant economic and social impact across the region.
Martin Vechev says:
“Eastern Europe is full of brilliant scientific mindsets – but often people’s aspirations are limited by lack of facilities, funding and support. This has led to a “brain drain” from Eastern Europe, a systemic problem that discourages innovation. INSAIT is well positioned to counter this trend and compete globally. A
“AWS, Google, and DeepMind understand the importance of the division of science and technology between East and West in promoting inclusive economic growth and recovery, democratizing science, and attracting top talent focused on solving some difficult AI challenges. We also have their support in promoting diversity and inclusion in science, and in encouraging the application of women and other underprivileged groups in technology and science. A
Amazon Web Services will provide $ 3.75 million over the next five years to support INSAIT’s research into algorithmic search for automated reasoning, mathematical reasoning. AWS integrates automated logic into a range of client solutions, including verifiable security, a solution that provides robust security in the cloud.
Byron Cook, vice president and science at Amazon Web Services (AWS), says:
“Today, as always, scientists, engineers and software developers are creating innovations that will change our lives forever. At AWS, we are committed to helping people learn new skills needed for future jobs. With the launch of INSAIT in Sofia, we look forward to equipping the future workforce with advanced skills in automated reasoning and research and helping to build a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship. Which will benefit the society as a whole. A
For its part, Google is investing IN 3 million over three years to give INSAIT access to cloud computing resources and Tensor Processing Unit Research Cloud, a specialized infrastructure for running high-performance machine learning models.
Google Senior Fellow Jeff Dean says:
“I am very proud to support the work of Google INSAIT Eastern Europe has an incredible pool of computer science and engineering talent, and we want to help INSAIT become a world-class facility that attracts top researchers in the region and beyond. There is still much to be done in the field of AI and computing and such initiatives are essential to ensure that everyone benefits from the technology. I can’t wait to see the groundbreaking work from INSAIT! A
Additionally, Deepmind is investing $ 285,000 to fund two PhD scholarships for women.
Bulgarian government and business involvement
INSAIT also received an initial donation of approximately 100 million over 10 years from the Bulgarian government and a 7 million investment from a local business, including £ 6.5 million from SiteGround.
The international ratification of this international agreement between ETH Zurich, EPFL and the University of Sophia, and scientific research in computer science received public funding and support in Eastern Europe, setting a precedent for countries and regions.