Vicomtech and its role in the KINAITICS project

14 December 2023
Vicomtech business

Author: Francesco Zola / VICOM


Vicomtech is an applied research centre specialising in Artificial Intelligence, VisualComputing and Interaction located in San Sebastian and Bilbao (Spain). It is a non-profit foundation, established in 2001 as a joint venture by the Fraunhofer INI-GraphicsNet Foundation and the EiTB Broadcasting Group. Among its 240 employees, more than 170 are researchers. The role of Vicomtech in the market is to supply society with technology by transfer of primary research to industry. This is done through collaborative R&D projects. Vicomtech aims to respond to the innovation requirements of companies and institutions. To do
this, Vicomtech conducts applied research and develops multimedia visual interaction and communications technologies and closely collaborates with industry, universities and other technology centres, promoting mobility and training for its researchers. Vicomtech’s main research lines lay in the fields of computer vision, computer graphics and interaction applied in multiple
sectors, such as security, cyber-security, smart mobility, eHealth and wellbeing or manufacturing and process industry, among others.


Vicomtech participates in KINAITICS with a double role: as a technology provider and as the hackathon organiser. In the first case, Vicomtech will exploit its knowledge and experience to raise awareness and explore scenarios about using of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in critical infrastructures. AI systems’ usage has increased exponentially, thanks to their ability to reduce the amount of data to be analyzed, the user efforts, and the preservation of a high rate of accuracy. However, introducing this new element in the loop has converted them into attacked points that can compromise the reliability of the systems. This new scenario has raised crucial challenges regarding the reliability and trustworthiness of the AI models, as well as about the uncertainties in their response decisions, becoming even more crucial when applied in critical domains such as healthcare, chemical, electrical plants, etc. To contain these issues, in KINAITICS, Vicomtech will combine attack and defence strategies and explainability concepts to stress AI models and help non-expert staff increase their confidence in this new system by understanding the model decisions. Furthermore, from the technical point of view, Vicomtech is in charge of implementing a Decision Support System (DSS) able to help the final user make the appropriate decision and countermeasures in order to mitigate the effects of the detected cybersecurity or physical incident.


On the other hand, Vicomtech is the coordinator of the KINTAITICS Hackathon events. These events will be organized as a Capture-the-Flag (CtF) exercises. CtF is a type of well-known information security contest where participants are challenged to solve a range of tasks in order to obtain a designated item called a flag. In particular, there are many formats and strategies that can be implemented. However, in the KINAITICS project, the Jeopardy-style strategy will be used in order to promote the integration of multiple use cases and tools and also to facilitate management. This format is modelled as the popular game show Jeopardy, including various challenges with different scores. Users must accumulate as many points as possible in a scheduled time, addressing the challenges and finding the right answer. The game’s objective is to reduce the learning process time, i.e., facilitate the knowledge acquisition from end users using practical tasks. At the same time, this approach allows developers to speed up the validation cycles with respect to traditional innovation processes.


The first KINAITICS hackathon was successfully completed in July 2023. The next one is foreseen for June 2024, while the third and last will be about February 2025. Please follow the KINAITICS newsletter to stay updated.