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“By far, the greatest danger of Artificial Intelligence is that people conclude too early that they understand it.”

– Eliezer Yudkowsky

The concept of this course was first imagined in 2019 through the realization that materials research was shifting more and more towards the usage of Artificial Intelligence. Combining this with the overall evolution of the materials industry towards Smart Factories, it became apparent that specific education was needed to ensure both existing and future employees in the materials industry would be sufficiently prepared to face the changes to come. By then many public courses existed within Materials Science and Artificial Intelligence, but none specifically attempted to bridge the two fields in a way that was relevant for industry.

Building on existing collaborations Ghent University, ePotentia and OCAS set out to design a course which would fill this educational niche. The challenge would be to develop a course which was both accessible yet industrially relevant. Ghent University provided educational and research expertise, ePotentia knowledge of AI and IT development while OCAS provided first-hand materials industry expertise during development. To ensure relevance for a broad audience, materials industry companies Umicore and Agfa joined the consortium to provide a first line of feedback for the course content. 


This project would not have been possible without public funding provided by the European Social Fund (ESF) and Flemish Cofinancing Fund (VCF) within their 467th call aimed to prepare companies and their employees for the adoption of AI. Additional private funding was provided by the metals research center OCAS to ensure the industrial relevance of the course.