Emanuela Girardi

CLAIRE, the Confederation of Laboratories for AI Research in Europe, launched its COVID-19 Initiative in March 2020 as the first wave of the pandemic hit the continent. Its objective was to coordinate volunteer efforts from its members to contribute to tackling the effects of the disease. The taskforce was able to quickly gather a group of about 150 researchers, scientists and experts in AI organized into seven topic groups: epidemiological data analysis, mobility data analysis, bioinformatics, medical imaging, social dynamics monitoring, robotics, and scheduling and resource management.

A comprehensive article about the activities of this initiative in one of last month’s AI for Good series posts, by AIHub. You can read more about the outcomes and experience of this bottom-up approach in the article: The CLAIRE COVID-19 Initiative: a bottom-up effort from the European AI community.

Now, the CLAIRE Covid-19 Initiative would like to share with you a series of interviews called Meet the Team Leaders, in which the team aim to illustrate the significant work they have contributed to, lessons learned from this process and the outlook for the challenges ahead.

One of the taskforce coordinators, Emanuela Girardi, in her interview outlined the potential future development of this initiative: “We are thinking about the second phase of the taskforce focusing on one side on how to use AI technologies to analyse and improve the European vaccination plan and on the other side leveraging what we learned from this experience, we would like to develop a European initiative focused on AI in health.”


Davide Bacciu

In the second interview in this series of Meet the Team Leaders from the CLAIRE COVID-19 Initiative, we hear from Davide Bacciu (Università di Pisa).

Davide Bacciu is the leader of the Bioinformatics (protein and molecular data analysis) topic group in the CLAIRE Covid-19 Initiative. In this interview you can find out what his team does, how they use AI in their work, and how he has found the experience of working as part of the taskforce.


Ann Nowé

In the third interview in this series of Meet the Team Leaders from the CLAIRE COVID-19 Initiative, we hear from Ann Nowé, Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB), Belgium.

Ann Nowé is the leader of the Epidemiological data analysis topic group in the CLAIRE Covid-19 Initiative. In this interview you can find out why she decided to join the initiative, what her team do, and how they work with policy makers.


You will be able to watch the whole series on the CLAIRE YouTube channel.