‘Partnerships are a very appealing option for businesses’
The UvA and Bosch have extended their partnership with the launch of Delta Lab 2. Herke van Hoof, former lab manager for Delta Lab 1, is now passing the baton to Eric Nalisnick. Below, the two Machine Learning Lab scientists discuss the partnership.
What exactly is the difference between Delta Lab 1 and Delta Lab 2?
Herke: ‘I think the biggest difference is on the organisational side. There was always an intention for the researchers at Bosch and those at the UvA to work closely together. But based on our experience with Delta Lab 1, we think we can improve our collaboration. So this time we’ve discussed in detail with Bosch what exactly the research topics are going to be. We then looked for PhD students based on that.’
Eric: ‘In the past we mainly discussed this with management at Bosch, but this time we’ve involved the company’s researchers from the very start.’
So Bosch employs its own researchers. Why then would it enter into a partnership with the UvA?
Herke: ‘Bosch employs excellent researchers, each with their own area of expertise. But no company can cover every single area of expertise in-house. Here at the UvA we have some other, different in-house specialisations. So in that way we complement each other.
It adds up to a more complete team of researchers.’
Eric: ‘On top of that, here at the UvA about 25 percent of our research focuses on directly applicable knowledge, with 75 percent being more future-oriented. At Bosch it’s probably more of a 50-50 split.’
Herke: ‘It’s important also to remember that many companies are really eager to attract AI researchers. Over the course of the four-year research, our PhD students will be visiting the Bosch head office in Germany a number of times. Of course, Bosch hopes that some of them will stick around and start working there.’
And what’s in it for the UvA?
Herke: ‘That’s easy: more funding for research. There’s a shortage of people who specialise in Deep Learning. Working with Bosch has opened up 10 extra PhD places.
That means we can do more research. And it’s also useful for our students to get an insight into the problems that crop up when you put research into practice.’