Almost exactly one year to the day after the first professional meeting of the National Laboratory for Artificial Intelligence (MILAB), MILAB held a Professional Day on 7 September. The hybrid event was attended by about 40 people in person at the SZTAKI and about 60 people online.
András Benczúr, MILAB's technical leader, opened the event and briefly outlined the tasks facing the consortium. Roland Jakab, President of the Artificial Intelligence Coalition, then welcomed the participants. He said that the AI Coalition and MILAB play an important role in the Hungarian AI ecosystem, and their cooperation is an example of how research-innovation and business can work together well.
Krisztina Domián, the tender manager of the MILAB project, presented the MILAB's administrative agenda, while Gábor Érdi-Krausz, the project coordinator, summarised the events of the consortium and described how the MILAB showroom is being prepared. Dóra Mattyasovszky-Phillip, MILAB's European Projects Coordinator, presented the Horizon Europe programme and relevant calls that might be of interest to MILAB and the consortium partners.
Sub-project leaders then presented the programmes and projects in their thematic areas. It was gratifying to see how effectively the National Laboratory concept can work through collaboration between the different institutions. The first year of MILAB was about establishing research collaborations between the consortium members and launching the operational model, but in the next period new partners will join the sub-projects.
The post-lunch session started with a welcome speech by Katalin Sebők, Vice President for National Research, Development and Innovation Office, Development and Innovation Office. She stressed that the work within MILAB is exemplary among the National Laboratories and that this has been confirmed several times by the Technical Supervisory Board. The Vice-Chairwoman wished the members of the consortium continued success and expressed the hope that more of the results will be used in industry.
A new member of MILAB
Among the new members, the Hungarian State Treasury was presented as a full MILAB member. Since the beginning of July, joint projects have been launched with the Rényi Alfréd Mathematical Research Institute and SZTAKI. Géza Németh - BME, György Kampis - ELTE, Attila Novák - PPKE, György Cserey - PPKE, Antal Jakovác - Wigner, Gergely Orbán - Wigner were introduced as new partners. The topics presented by them will complement and add value to the activities of the sub-projects.
In the final part of the Professional Day, the sub-projects held separate sessions, which conference participants could join in person or in the Zoom breakout rooms provided, according to their interests. The presentations in the morning triggered a number of ideas that could be discussed here and which could then trigger new collaborations. At the end of the meeting, the sub-project leaders summarised the results and how they will be incorporated into the work.
Gábor Érdi-Krausz concluded the event by thanking everyone for their contribution throughout the day and the speakers for their valuable presentations. At the same time, he drew the attention of the research community to the need to showcase their work and results, and to build industrial relations. This is one of the reasons for the positive feedback on MILAB. The MILAB project office is working to effectively communicate and showcase the scientific activities within the consortium.