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George Nikolakopoulos, Luleå University of Technology
George Nikolakopoulos, professor of Robotics and AI at Luleå University of Technology. View original picture , opens in new tab/window

Luleå research on the Solar Impuls Foundation list

Published: 29 May 2020

The Solar Impuls Foundation has included the DISIRE project, coordinated by Luleå University of Technology, in their list of top 1 000 technologies to change the world. – It is a great honor and responsibility to have DISIRE on this prestigious list, says George Nikolakopoulos, Professor of Robotics and AI.

DISIRE is focusing on the cognitive process industry. The aim of the project was to demonstrate how AI could help industrial processes to a smaller environmental impact while optimising the overall performance and the product quality. As part of the Solar Eclipse Foundation top 1 000 technologies, the project’s results will spread all over the world. The review process of the DISIRE solution lasted for almost eight months.

George Nikolakopoulos are convinced that the solutions’ connection to real life was a contributing reason for the acceptance. Instead of remaining in their academic bubble, they dared to focus on the real industrial area, a task that was very difficult and quite challenging.

– However, after three years of intense development and experimentation we managed to develop innovative sensing and integrated control approaches that realized for the first time ever the concept of cognitive process industry, George Nikolakopoulos explains.

– This concept has been demonstrated in real life and in large scale at processes of large end users e.g. LKAB, KGHM, SWERIM and DOW and we have managed to calculate the impact of all these not only in the processes itself but also in the environment. DISIRE has a strong innovative impact and can reduce CO2 emissions, reduce waste of raw materials, reduce the overall energy consumption, and at the same time improve the understanding of industrial processes and improving traceability. These are all impacts that the Solar Impulse foundation is searching for and thus the AI enabled DISIRE technology was a perfect match.

What impact can this award have on your research group’s current and future research?

– We have not yet realized the impact of this labelling. However, already there has been a massive dissemination of our project and our team all over the world. The European Commission and multiple industrial partners from all over the world have contacted us. This award is truly a worldwide stamp of quality for what we are doing and it makes us even more inspired to continue to keep the quality of our work at this level. Also, this a great opportunity to spread technology that protects our environment.