These workshops were organised by the Robotics and Artificial Intelligence unit of DG Connect at the European Commission, in cooperation with other units.
According to the "Draft Orientations for the preparation of the work programme(s) 2021-2022" (.pdf) the Digital Europe Programme will focus on developing an infrastructure which offers businesses and the public sector access to AI tools and components and data resources, as well as reference testing and experimentation facilities in some prioritised application sectors.
Actions will focus on developing world-class large-scale reference Testing and Experimentation Facilities (TEF) for AI hardware, software, components, systems and solutions, and underlying resources (data, computing, cloud) in a number of sectors.
These large TEFs should provide a common, highly specialised resource to be shared at European level and foster the deployment of trustworthy AI in the following areas:
- a common European platform to design and manufacture edge intelligence components and systems based on neuromorphic and quantum technologies;
- reference sites for applications in essential sectors such as health, agri-food, manufacturing, smart cities and smart mobility (including environment and climate perspective).
There will be strong links with the initiative to establish EU-wide common data spaces.
DG Connect invited experts and national delegations to a series of five workshops on TEFs for specific sectors and technologies. The five workshops were:
Workshop on AI TEFs for agriculture on 9 January – DG Connect A1 / DG Connect E4 / DG Agriculture and Rural Development (Unit B2)
Workshop on AI TEFs for manufacturing on 16 January – DG Connect A1 / DG Connect A2
Workshop on AI TEFs for edge AI on 17 January – DG Connect A1 / DG Connect A3
Workshop on AI TEFs for health and care on 23 January – DG Connect A1 / DG Connect H3
Workshop on AI TEFs for smart cities and logistics on 24 January – DG Connect A1 / DG Connect H5
In the workshops, the Commission presented its thinking and ambition for the future TEFs and asked for input from the experts and national delegations on the existing landscape and the needs and structure of the future TEFs.