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UvA spin-off Scyfer BV has been taken over by Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. (QTI), an international market leader in next generation mobile chips. Scyfer is specialised in machine learning and artificial intelligence solutions and partners in making intelligent software for the manufacturing, service and medical sectors. 

Max Welling FNWI, professor Machine learning
Max Welling, professor of Machine Learning at the UvA and one of the founders of Scyfer (Credits: Jeroen Oerlemans)

Machine learning focuses on the development of computer programs that access data and use algorithms to learn for themselves. Deep learning models are based on the workings of neural networks in the human brain. Smart algorithms have led to a breakthrough in automatic pattern recognition in images. Scyfer applies these algorithms in various domains and, for example, developed a quality inspection algorithm for Tata Steel to detect defects in steel surface.

Scyfer was founded in 2013 by Max Welling (professor of Machine Learning at the UvA), Taco Cohen (PhD researcher at the UvA’s Informatics Institute), Tijmen Blankenvoort (former Master’s student in Artificial Intelligence at the UvA) and Jorgen Sandig (CEO Scyfer). Jan Willem Klerkx also joined as shareholder in early 2016. The team at Scyfer will remain at Amsterdam Science Park.

Research collaboration

In 2016, the UvA and Qualcomm Techolologies, Inc., established the QUVA lab, a joint research lab that conducts world-class research on deep vision and is focused on advancing cutting-edge machine learning techniques for mobile and computer vision.

Second acquisition

Scyfer is the second UvA spin-off to be taken over by Qualcomm. In 2014, the company acquired Euvision Technologies BV, a specialist in image classification software (search engines for digital images).