The Tehnopol AI workshop is providing some 260,000 euros to fund eight artificial intelligence projects at manufacturing companies

The AI workshop run by the Tehnopol Science and Business Park gave funding for development to eight companies, and a total of 257,950 euros is being invested in pilot projects.

There were 17 teams working on their projects at the two-day workshop, and their work was led by experienced mentors and experts in artificial intelligence. Project plans and the results of work were presented to a panel of experts at the end of the workshop, and they chose which teams would receive funding to bring their projects to life. The members of the panel were Andri Haran from the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications, Juhan Madis Pukk from Flowit, Katre Eljas from the AIRE-EDIH artificial intelligence and robotics hub, Meelis Bergmann from Flir Systems, and Veljo Konnimois from Radius Machining.

Head Of Business Development at Tehnopol Martin Goroško said that the 17 manufacturing and industrial companies worked very intensively over the two days on developing plans for artificial intelligence technology and describing pilot projects. “The record number of participants to date in the Tehnopol AI development programme illustrates the increasing interest and need for artificial intelligence. I am very pleased that 14 of these companies managed to complete their plans and prove in the final how their AI will bring them both technological and business success. Subsequent pilot projects illustrate well how AI solutions can be used for innovation in very different types of company and sector”, he said, adding that the AI development programme is in line with the Tehnopol goal of supporting companies that change the world.

Financing for pilot projects was given after the workshop to LightCode Photonics with 50,000 euros, Grader Services with 37,500 euros, Marduk Technologies with 35,000 euros, Nordecon with 35,000 euros, Tarmetec with 34,200 euros, Elcogen with 26,250 euros, RAIKU Packaging with 20,000 euros, and Robus Athletic with 20,000 euros.

LightCode Photonics plans to use artificial intelligence in their product development, and received 50,000 euros to develop their solution. Co-founder and head of business development at the company Terje Eichelmann said that the Tehnopol programme and the opportunities and support it offers knowledge-intensive businesses in using artificial intelligence solutions is the cherry on the cake for any company that wants to be more impactful and develop smarter solutions.

“LightCode Photonics can create greater value for our clients through AI solutions because of this programme, and in the broader picture it can help the manufacturing sector use robotics to become more competitive and increase our capacity to export. Our artificial intelligence 3D camera solution will help the robots of the future see better, more cost effectively, and more sustainably in every sense. The experts and mentors involved in the programme are indisputably the best in their business, and working with them is an unmissable opportunity and an exciting journey for any company”, she said.

Nordecon is looking to solve the problem of how to get the most effective and comprehensive visual picture of what is happening on a construction site, and of how the data collected on construction work can be used most effectively. The company received 35,000 euros to develop its solution. Project manager for digital solutions at Nordecon Risto Vahenurm said their ambition was to become the market leader in data-based management in the construction sector. “The AI workshop helps us keep our focus on what is most important, and gives us an additional chance to try innovative solutions”, he said. He explained that the workshop met their expectations, because “the Tehnopol team and mentors were dedicated throughout the process and supported the participants. I recommend that all teams participate who are facing problems that could be successfully solved by using artificial intelligence”.

Challenges were brought to the workshop by Horizon Tselluloosi ja Paber, 10Lines, Päts, RAIKU Packaging, Robus Athletic, Elcogen, Grader Service, Hansavest Koolituskeskus, Kodatek, LightCode Photonics, Marduk Technologies, Nordecon, Pinni Manufaktuur, Solarstone, Solintel, Springmar, and Tarmetec.

Searching for solutions to them were Net Group, Leanest, Gurud, Falconers, Codelive, TalTech, Superhands, Proekspert, Robotmees, Flowbase, and Inspirators!

Companies can now apply to the next round of the Tehnopol AI Accelerator that starts in April. Applications are open to start-up companies registered in Estonia and spin-off teams from established companies, and to teams of researchers and students whose ideas and solutions use artificial intelligence and are aimed at industrial or data-intensive companies. All the companies chosen for the AI accelerator will receive 10,000 euros in funding to help realise their development projects.

The AI workshop and the accelerator are part of the Tehnopol AI development programme that was first proposed by the Ministry for Economic Affairs and Communications. The AI development programme will run four workshops in 2023 and 2024, at which funding will be given to AI development projects. The next workshop and the next round of funding for AI-based development projects will be run this autumn, and applicants from other sectors are welcome to join it alongside manufacturing and industrial companies.

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