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AI-Boost’s Large AI Grand Challenge

AI generation graphic

We have already seen the immense potentials of large-scale AI models in their ability to totally transform various industries. With this in mind, the Large AI Grand Challenge, organised by AI-Boost in collaboration with the European High-Performance Computing Joint Undertaking (EuroHPC-JU), is an incredibly timely endeavour. It is also something that is open to companies that are based in Oulu’s vibrant tech sector.

What is the aim of the project?

The challenge is part of a wider attempt to increase the visibility of Europe’s activity within the AI field and foster the development of large-scale AI models.

The expected outcome is that up to four proposals will be selected to create innovative foundational language models that will outperform state-of-the-art systems in several relevant tasks. The use of High-Performance Computing (HPC) is also something that should be incorporated in the development process.

What do participating companies receive?

In total, there is a budget of one million euros to be distributed to the participating projects that are chosen by the panel. There are divided into two separate pots:

  • LUMI Winner: 2x prizes of up to 250,000 euros and an allocation of 2 million GPU hours on the LUMI facility per project.
  • Leonardo Winner: 2x prizes of up to 250,000 euros and an allocation of 2 million GPU hours on the Leonardo facility per project.

All allocations will be used to develop the large-scale AI model described in the proposals in the 12 months following the awarding of the aforementioned prize funds.

Participating projects also get a chance to be part of a network sponsored by the European Commission DG Connect – CNECT AI and Robotics and EuroHPC-JU, as well as the opportunity to make use of EuroHPC-JU facilities and target supercomputers.

What would make my company eligibile?

Applicants who are established in Oulu need to meet the following criteria:

  • They must be a single legal entity;
  • Be an SME (this also includes startups);
  • Have technical capacity and experience with developing large-scale AI models – with consideration that projects must focus exclusively on civil applications.

It’s also worth noting that consortiums are not eligible and neither are single legal entities that don’t fit the description of an SME (e.g. universities, research centres, NGOs, etc.).

What do I need to do in my application?

Applicants can present proposals for the LUMI and Leonardo supercomputers. However, only one proposal can be submitted for each and SMEs are not eligible to receive both sets of prizes (i.e. they will only gain funding for a project from either the LUMI or Leonardo allocation).

The inclusion of a substantial differentiating factor compared to existing large language models will be a critical component of the proposal. Additionally, there should be a rationale for the utilisation of HPC facitilies accompanied by a well-defined plan.

Information webinar: 12/12/23

AI-Boost are hosting a free webinar on Tuesday 12th December at 11am Finnish time, in which they will:

  • Explain more about themselves as an organisation;
  • Provide more details about the challenge itself;
  • Learn about what they are offering and determine whether it would be a fit for you;
  • Help you to understand what the role of EuroHPC-JU and the EC is in this project;
  • Run through the guidelines and procedures.

Companies can register their attendance online.

How do I apply for the challenge?

More details on the Large AI Grand Challenge, including the application process, can be found on the AI-Boost website. The deadline is Tuesday 16th January 2024 at 6pm Finnish time.