NVIDIA Boosts Academic AI Research for Business Innovation


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Academic researchers are developing AI to solve challenging problems with everything from agricultural robotics to autonomous flying machines.

To help AI research like this make the leap from academia to commercial or government deployment, NVIDIA announced the Applied Research Accelerator Program. The program supports applied research on NVIDIA platforms for GPU-accelerated application deployments.

The program will initially focus on robotics and autonomous machines. Worldwide spending on robotics systems and drones is forecast to reach $241 billion by 2023, an 88 percent increase from the $128.7 billion in spending expected for 2020, according to IDC. The program will also extend to other domains such as Data Science, NLP, Speech and Conversational AI in the months ahead.

The new program will support researchers and the organizations they work with in rolling out the next generation of applications developed on NVIDIA AI platforms, including the Jetson developer kits and SDKs like DeepStream and Isaac.

Researchers working with sponsoring organizations will also gain support from NVIDIA through technical guidance, hardware grants, funding, grant application support, AI training programs, not to mention networking and marketing opportunities.

NVIDIA is now accepting applications to the program from researchers working to apply robotics and AI for automation in collaboration with enterprises seeking to deploy new technologies in the market.

Accelerating and Deploying AI Research
The NVIDIA Applied Research Accelerator Program’s first group of participants have already demonstrated AI capabilities meriting further development for agriculture, logistics and healthcare.

  • The University of Florida is developing AI applications for smart sprayers used in agriculture, and working with Chemical Containers Inc. to deploy AI on machines running NVIDIA Jetson to reduce the amount of plant protection products applied to tree crops.
  • The Institute for Factory Automation and Production Systems at Friedrich-Alexander-University Erlangen-Nuremberg, based in Germany, is working with materials handling company KION and the intralogistics research association IFL to design drones for warehouse autonomy using NVIDIA Jetson.
  • The Massachusetts Institute of Technology is developing AI applications for disinfecting surfaces with UV-C light using NVIDIA Jetson. It’s also working with Ava Robotics to deploy autonomous disinfection on robots to minimize human supervision and additional risk of exposure to COVID-19.

Applied Research Accelerator Program Benefits  
NVIDIA offers hardware grants along with funding in some cases for academic researchers who can demonstrate AI feasibility in practical applications. The program also provides letters of support for third-party grant applications submitted by researchers.

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