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Ahold kickstarts AI appointments

Ahold Delhaize announced its first Kickstart AI joint appointments to help strengthen AI research and education capabilities and train the next generation of AI researchers. This appointment represents the first step in the company’s commitment to the Kickstart AI platform, announced Oct. 10, 2019. ahold

The position provides benefits to the academics through access to company resources while simultaneously working on real-world problems facing the companies. In addition, these joint appointments strengthen the links between universities and companies in order to develop a more efficient innovation pipeline and increase research productivity for both.

Ahold Delhaize will welcome Sebastian Schelter, currently a faculty fellow with the Center for Data Science at New York University, as an appointment to the faculty of University of Amsterdam, while Philips’ Nicola Pezzotti, senior scientist in Artificial Intelligence, has been appointed as part-time assistant professor at the Eindhoven University of Technology. 

A joint appointment of academic staff represents a concrete investment in private-public collaboration, by enabling researchers to work in both industry and in university. The Kickstart AI members, Ahold Delhaize, ING, KLM, NS and Philips, have each committed to establishing five joint appointments to academic institutions in the Netherlands, representing 25 positions in total. These joint appointments are designed to increase educational capacity for AI students in the Netherlands. They will also address several additional issues within the field of AI research.  

Schelter’s research focuses on the intersection of data management and machine learning. He has extensive experience in building real world systems for companies such as Amazon Research, Twitter, IBM Research and Zalando. In addition to his theoretical and business achievements, Schelter has a strong belief that modern data analysis can have a significant impact in answering pressing societal questions.  

Schelter’s work with Ahold Delhaize will focus on effectively managing vast quantities of data and enable the deployment of algorithmic solutions. Such solutions include better forecasting product demand for stores and more efficient routing of trucks, both of which could reduce waste. Schelter will start on April 1.

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