WASP is launching a brand new type of collaboration projects with the possibility to include industrial partners in the project.

Wallenberg AI, Autonomous Systems and Software Program (WASP) is Sweden’s largest individual research program, and provides a platform for academic research and education, fostering interaction with Sweden’s leading companies. The program addresses research in artificial intelligence, autonomous systems and software as enabling technologies for development of systems acting in collaboration with humans, adapting to their environment through sensors, information and knowledge, and forming intelligent systems of systems.

WASP will strengthen, expand, and renew the national competence through new strategic recruitments, a challenging research program, a national graduate school, and collaboration with industry. The program will be conducted in close cooperation with leading Swedish universities with an aim to promote the competence of Sweden as a nation within the area of AI, Autonomous Systems and Software.

WASP is now announcing a call for collaboration projects open to the industry and WASP’s partner universities: Chalmers University of Technology, Linköping University, Lund University, KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Umeå University, and Örebro University. WASP is funding a total of 15 PhD students within these projects.

This is a two-stage call. In this first phase, projects are applied for and evaluated. Approved projects will continue to the second phase where each university will open calls for PhD positions according to their standard procedures. For industry, it is not mandatory to have the PhD candidate identified at the time for submission (in opposite to previous calls). If projects are approved in the first phase, industry representatives can begin the process to identify the industrial PhD student.


Time plan

September 2019 Call for projects open

2019-11-15 Call closes

2019-11-18 A final confirmation is sent to all applicants (if you don’t receive any confirmation at this date, please contact: info@WASP-sweden.org)

2019-12-04 WASP Board Grant Decisions for projects

2019-12-11 Information regarding the WASP Board decision is sent to applicants.

Spring 2020 Open calls for PhD students at the universities/industry. An evaluation committee approves suggested applicants continuously.

2020-09-11 Final decision from the WASP Boards regarding funding of PhD students.

2021-01-01 Latest day for starting the WASP Graduate school.

There will also be a separate call for WASP Industrial PhD students within broader AI (without requirements for the type of collaborations described in this call) opening in January 2020.


Aims and scope

The collaboration projects should be in the area of artificial intelligence with a specific focus on machine learning, more specifically:

Representation learning and grounding: deep learning, probabilistic models, statistical relational learning, auto-encoders
Sequential decision making and reinforcement learning
Learning from small data sets, GANs and incremental learning
Multi-task and transfer learning
More details regarding each of the areas can be found at: WASP Artificial Intelligence

The projects are expected to address fundamental research problems in the above areas and expect to have a strong visionary and novelty nature.

Collaboration constellations
The projects must include one of the following three collaboration constellations:

    • Academic PhD student / Academic PhD student

The PhD students should represent two different universities from the list given above.

    • Academic PhD student / Academic PhD student / Industrial PhD

The academic PhD students should represent two different universities from the list given above. The industrial PhD student should represent the same university as one of the academic PhD students.

    • Academic PhD student / Industrial PhD student

The two PhD students should represent the same university.


Application process

The application should be written in a dedicated application form and submitted jointly by the industry and university. The form together with requested CV’s should be submitted in one single pdf file to WASP application portal no later than 2019-11-15.


Evaluation criteria
Scientific excellence of the proposed project including novelty and visionary nature of the approach
Relevance to the specific areas, please see: WASP Artificial Intelligence
Quality of the project team (complementarity in expertise and resources, when relevant benefits from industrial participation)
Scientific excellence of the supervisors, capability to collaborate and supervise.


Guidelines for applicants
One of the PI’s should be responsible for submitting the application and for being the contact person for the project during the application and evaluation phase. Please note that PI’s to previously accepted WASP collaboration projects are not eligible to apply as main supervisors but are accepted as co-supervisors.

There is a set of Riktlinjer industridoktorander inom WASP (in Swedish) that is important to consider during the application process. For economic terms and conditions, please see the document Economic Conditions Collaboration Projects.

Please write the application according to the instructions below.

  • Aims, objectives and methodology (max 3 pages).
    Describe the planned scientific work and how it relates to the scientific areas listed in the call text, focusing on the novelty and visionary nature of the approach. The work should also be described in relation to the state of the art including references (references are not counted in the maximum 3 pages).
  • Complementarity and plan for collaboration (max 1 page).
    Describe the complementarity of the PI’s and how the collaboration will be practically conveyed. If the collaboration project involves an industrial PhD student, please describe how the project will benefit from the collaboration (i.e. why the university and industry need to collaborate in order to achieve the aims of the project, how will the industry partner benefit from this collaboration, how will the university benefit from this collaboration).
  • CV of the PI’s (max 1 page per PI)
    • Name, title and affiliation
    • PhD year
    • List of ongoing projects
    • List of current PhD students and postdocs
    • List of 5 most important publications since 2005
    • Link to Google Scholar profile
    • List of publications at: JMLR, AIJ, NIPS, ICML, IJCAI, ICLR, AAAI

When finished, you need to convert your application into a single PDF-file (max 1GB) and submit the file here: https://www.lyyti.in/Collaboration_Projects_within_AI_MLX
You should receive a confirmation email from WASP. If you don’t receive any confirmation from the application system after submitting your application, please contact info@WASP-sweden.org as soon as possible.

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