About

Emergence

Artificial Intelligence is a major transformation opportunity for our societies for the sustainable well-being of its citizens. Based on data acquisition and information processing algorithms, processes in many sectors can be made more efficient, especially in terms of:

  • Quality, efficiency and relocation of products and services,
  • More economical use of resources,
  • Increased personalization,
  • Speed of decision making.

AI therefore has a significant impact on the development of the Walloon territory and the ecosystem. It is based on this same observation that the regional strategy in artificial intelligence named DigitalWallonia4.ai has been developed in 2019. It aims in particular at modernizing the public sector, at the digital transformation of companies and at supporting research initiatives such as TRAIL and its project ARIAC by DigitalWallonia4.ai.

In order to position Wallonia as a territory of excellence in AI, sectoral domains have been identified as priorities within the framework of the TRAIL consortium and in line with the regional strategic plans. These are: medicine, media, mobility, manufacturing, energy, construction, governance and education.

Mission

TRAIL aims at creating a structure allowing to mobilize the research and innovation capacities of the Walloon and Brussels regions for their socio-economic development in the field of Artificial Intelligence in coherence with the regional policies conducted in this field.

To this end, TRAIL interacts with the socio-economic fabric to transmit and enrich, through new challenges, the expertise and tools developed in the field of Artificial Intelligence by Universities and approved research centers, within the framework of publicly or privately funded projects.

Articulation

3 pillars

The “TRAIL Institute” which aims to promote the creation of AI talent and to carry out world-class cutting-edge AI research in Wallonia and Brussels. It brings together all researchers working on AI within the universities of the Walloon-Brussels Federation and the CRa and whose research activities are in line with the vision of the TRAIL ecosystem. This institute will ensure the attraction, training and retention of talents in the Walloon-Brussels Federation in order to allow the appropriation of AI by companies and public services.

 

The “TRAIL Factory” aims to be an AI innovation gas pedal for companies in key Walloon sectors. A physical and virtual space for exchanges, prototyping and digital transformation in AI, the TRAIL Factory is based on 4 major values :

  • Facilitate the interaction Research / Enterprise for a better access to innovation whether in terms of connections with research actors or funding.
  • To animate and accompany companies through totems mixing ideation, prototyping and demonstration, by relying on a network of partners and existing initiatives.
  • To ensure consistency with the needs of companies, particularly through collective projects and applications that meet the technological challenges of today and tomorrow.
  • Accelerate the digital transformation in AI through technology transfer and access to Walloon know-how, in a transparent and easy way (technology bricks, white papers, expertise, hardware and software resources …).

 

The “Company Services” pillar gathers the activities that the Parties wish to amplify in order to better capture the needs and ideas coming from the economic fabric (existing companies and entrepreneurs) and to facilitate the development of new products and services based on the building blocks developed in TRAIL. Companies and entrepreneurs will be able to benefit from the various actions of TRAIL and, if the envisaged solution requires a more sustained collaboration, a longer exploration and a leading-edge expertise, TRAIL will also be able to help them in the definition and the setting up of a larger-scale research project, potentially collaborative, which could be carried out by the TRAIL Institute. Several existing instruments (e.g. DigitalWallonia4.ai plan, company vouchers, EDIH, …) also revolve around this pillar and offer services directly to companies. The TRAIL4Ventures instrument supports the creation of innovative and technological startups that can respond to societal challenges in the fields of medicine, mobility or the economy of tomorrow using artificial intelligence. TRAIL4Ventures wants to leverage and accelerate the valorization of the applied research of excellence resulting from the TRAIL Institute and the TRAIL Factory in entrepreneurial initiatives whose valorization potential is strengthened by the open collaboration of the various stakeholders of the TRAIL consortium (industrial leaders, research centers, public and academic agencies).

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Projet financé par

Service Public de Wallonie

Partenaires

Université de Louvain-la-Neuve Université Libre de Bruxelles Université de Liège Université de Mons Université de Namur Cenaero Cetic Multitel Sirris Agence du Numérique AI 4 Belgium