Together with French partner Inria*, CWI will jointly explore solutions for major societal challenges in the coming years. These include projects on energy, cryptography and cybersecurity, quantum computing, and human interaction in a virtual world. 13 and 14 September, researchers from both institutes will come together to discuss the latest scientific developments and intensify their collaboration drastically.
It has been regularly in the news over the past year: our power grid has reached the end of its capacity. New companies that need a lot of electricity in many areas in The Netherlands are therefore not immediately connected and many end up on a waiting list for years. On the other hand, at some moments solar panels from all households in the Netherlands generate so much power at the same time that the electricity price becomes negative - there is not enough demand at that time to channel all that power there.
This kind of problem requires a quick solution. Since expanding power grids – which require laying cables – takes very long, something else has to be thought of. In his talk on ‘Digital Energy’, Jacques Sainte-Marie from Inria will talk about how computer science and mathematics can assist with this. "AI can help predict network usage: what are the peak moments and when is there low power usage? If you have an accurate picture of that, you can better manage the whole electricity network and obtain more capacity," explains organiser Han la Poutré, who is scientific director of the Inria-CWI collaboration. "Think, for example, of an automated system that locally controls the balance between supply and demand of electricity. So that, for example, your electric car is not charged immediately when you don't need it right away, but only in an hour's time when power is available."
It is about these kinds of solutions that researchers from CWI and its French counterpart Inria will be researching together: La Poutré: "The EU doesn’t want to depend on American or Chinese AI, because then we have no control over what is done with the data you feed the AI with. European AI is developed with user control in mind, opposed to governments and companies.”