The Wallenberg Autonomous Systems Program, WASP, is funded with an enormous SEK 1.8 billion – a powerful investment in basic research, education, training and recruitment.
The Wallenberg Foundation underlines that the investment will give Sweden an internationally leading position in the program's scientific fields and thus ultimately contribute to Sweden's competitiveness as a technological and industrial nation.
Research within WASP will provide fundamental knowledge, and foster progress in a number of areas where vehicles, robots, and complex software-intensive systems with intelligence achieve autonomy in interaction with humans.
“Chalmers is well equipped to handle this type of initiative, spanning several departments and research groups. The topic is central to the Area of Advance in Information and Communication Technology (ICT) which, among other things, is built to leverage our strengths and expertise”, says Mats Viberg, First Vice President of Chalmers and Professor of Signal Processing.
Turbo charged research
David Sands, vice director of the ICT Area of Advance at Chalmers and one of the four principal investigators of WASP, is very pleased with the decision.
“Chalmers has long enjoyed a strong position in software technology, and has been increasing its research relating to, for example, self-driving vehicles, so the WASP program is an excellent fit for our existing research and ambitions", says Professor David Sands.
The intelligence of autonomous systems is often enabled by applying smart algorithms to large amounts of collected data, leading to self-regulating systems which can adapt to their context. Software is another big challenge and a key part of the WASP program. Systems are becoming increasingly complex and more software is included in all products, large and small.
“WASP will turbo-charge our research in the area of big data, and ensure that the smart systems really become smart, while remaining dependable and predictable”, says David Sands.
The research program WASP will run at Sweden's major ICT Universities, Chalmers, KTH, Linköping and Lund University, with Linköping University as host of the program.
“Increased cooperation between the participating universities can lift us all, through application of our respective strengths towards greater scientific impact. Sweden has strong research in the ICT field, and together we can be truly world-class”, says Mats Viberg.
David Sands, Professor of Computer Science, 0737-207663, firstname.lastname@example.org
Ivica Crnkovic, Director of the Area of Advance ICT, 031-7726076, email@example.com
Mats Viberg, First Vice President, 070-3088123, firstname.lastname@example.org
Christian Borg, press officer, 031-772 33 95, email@example.com
Facts: International recruitment and 100 new doctoral student
WASP is a collaboration between the Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation, Chalmers, KTH, Linköping and Lund University, and Swedish companies. The total investment amounts to SEK 1.8 billion, of which the Foundation is providing 1.3 billion, and universities and private enterprise the remaining 500 million. The program runs during 2015-2025.
Researcher training and recruitment will be a major part of the program. At least 100 doctoral students will be admitted, of whom half will be industrial PhD students, employed in industry and conducting research for at least half of their working time. The initiative also includes a recruitment program with attractive positions for researchers currently working abroad.