Amsterdam Science Park
Amsterdam has always been a city were diversity thrived. People were forced to connect across specialties, cultures and personal creeds to face challenges in the fields water, energy, finance and agriculture. Because of this it will not surprise you that the Netherlands has been a European leader when it comes to IT as well. The Amsterdam Science Park built on this foundation with vanguard research institutions such as CWI, AMOLF and Nikhef. Now, the city is fostering a vibrant entrepreneurial ecosystem within the Amsterdam Science Park with a new wave of data-science and AI startups.
Ever since the early days of the internet, has Amsterdam been at the forefront of technological development. Did you know for example that one of the most important programming languages for data-science and AI was invented here?
In 1988, the European internet was created by laying a connection between CWI in Amsterdam and CERN in Switzerland. The CWI‘s central node made it possible for researchers to bypass the existing telecom network that was very expensive. It didn’t take long for the first trans-Atlantic connection to be laid between the Netherlands and the United States. With this, it was also the first European country to be connected to the global internet!
If you’re an AI researcher, you’ve probably spent quite the time with Python libraries. Did you know that this language was first created in Amsterdam? Guido van Rossum decided during his Christmas holidays that he wanted to build a more efficient programming language. In 1990, Python quickly became more popular than its predecessor ABC. Nowadays, it easily makes the top 10 of most popular programming languages and possibly takes the number 1 spot when it comes to AI.
Amsterdam and its Science Park are getting increasingly known for its highly qualified workforce and rapid innovation. Due to this, it’s currently the Innovation Capital of Europe. Like Aigency, there are many corporates that were attracted by the high density of AI startups working on the cutting-edge of their field.
Qualcomm and the University of Amsterdam are performing world class deep vision research in the QUVA lab at the Amsterdam Science Park. The goal is to help AI interpret the what, where, how and why in images and videos. Just imagine an AI being able to explain the last Game of Thrones episode.
TATA Steel came to the Science Park to be able to collaborate with startups working at the cutting edge of AI. One of their challenges was correct assessment of surfaces in QA/QC. With the help of AI they’ve made great strides combining human insight with machine learning.
ARCNL , a joint venture between ASML and NWO, is doing exciting research into fundamental physics for nano-lithography. This is used to improve the structure of microprocessors and memory chips.
The startup village is the spot at Amsterdam Science Park with startups building the future. Because of the diversity of startups there is a lot of cross pollination between fields. The residents include AI startups like Aigency, but also Metrica Sports, which is revolutionizing sports analysis with data, and Holofil, bringing holographic projections to a store near you.
Self-education seems to be the mantra in the community at the Amsterdam Science Park. There are plenty of initiatives brewing that add to university classes or professional training. “Science Park Creatives” and “Open Lab Friday!” are two really great examples:
Science Park Creatives
Science Park Creatives is a community of students, artists, researchers and entrepreneurs that want to create a collaborative and innovative entrepreneurial ecosystem on the cutting-edge of art and science.
Open Lab Friday!
Beetle Fiber Optics hosts an open lab at Science Park. You’re welcome to come to Science Park 402 each Friday and use the free facilities. There are 3D printers, laser cutters and Arduino and Raspberry pi prototyping boards that can be used in creative projects. Jorrit, who’s leading the project, will gladly give you a short intro on the equipment and help you get started.
With it’s past, present and future it’s no surprise that Amsterdam, is the innovation capital of Europe. It is the place the European internet was born, and on its way to become the European startup capital. The density of high quality AI startups specifically attracted many of the corporate players to the Amsterdam Science Park. As such it is also the ideal place for Aigency to launch and grow.