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Shaping Europe’s digital future

AI excellence thriving from the lab to the market

The Coordinated Plan on Artificial Intelligence puts forward a concrete set of joint actions for the European Commission and Member States to create global leadership on trustworthy AI.

AI excellence
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The 2021 review of the Coordinated Plan includes proposals to make the EU the place where artificial intelligence (AI) excellence thrives from the lab to the market by promoting research in AI, encouraging its uptake, and funding innovation. The European Commission’s strategy for supporting the development and adoption of trustworthy AI solutions is a values-driven approach which covers the whole lifecycle and focuses on building an ecosystem of excellence. The key actions seek to:

  • foster collaboration between stakeholders through Public-Private Partnerships (PPP);
  • build and mobilise AI research capabilities;
  • provide facilities for developers and companies to test and experiment with their latest AI-based technologies in real-world environments;
  • develop a European marketplace for trustworthy AI solutions, connecting resources and services;
  • fund and scale innovative ideas and solutions for AI.

A European Public-Private Partnership on AI, Data and Robotics

The European Public-Private Partnership (PPP) on AI, Data and Robotics brings partners from the three communities together to deliver on some of Europe’s most pressing challenges and to leverage funding to boost new markets. This enables the European vision of human-centric and trustworthy AI to flourish. It establishes links to Member States and promotes coordination with national or regional initiatives. The PPP joins the forces of founding member public-private partnerships, major European associations and initiatives such as the Big Data Value Association (BDVA) , euRobotics , CLAIRE , ELLIS and EurAI.

Build and mobilise world reference AI research capabilities in Europe

The European AI lighthouse  brings together stakeholders from research, innovation and deployment, to become a world reference in AI that can attract investments and the best talents in the field. The lighthouse builds on key pillars, each of them being a network of AI excellence centres specialising in a given topic where Europe has the potential to become a global champion. The lighthouse mobilises the AI community to collaborate on key AI research challenges and to progress faster in joined efforts on safe, secure and trustworthy AI applications rather than working in silos. It builds on and complements the vibrant European network of AI excellence centres that was launched under Horizon 2020.

World-class testing and experimentation facilities

To bridge the gap between AI research and deployment, and foster wide uptake of trustworthy AI across Europe, together with Member States the Commission is co-funding new testing and experimentation facilities (TEFs). These facilities will provide companies with the means to test their latest AI-based technologies in real or close-to-real conditions before bringing them to market. The first TEFs focus on the high-impact domains of manufacturing, healthcare, agri-food, smart cities and communities, and edge AI.

The European AI-on-demand platform

Envisioned as a central European marketplace for AI solutions, the European AI-on-demand platform provides easy access to AI resources and services. These include algorithms, AI-based products and solutions, expertise, services, and access to data and cloud infrastructure. By bringing together stakeholders, knowledge and resources, the AI-on-demand platform will become an AI market driver in Europe, offering a critical mass of services, an engaged community and the rapid development of tools.

European Digital Innovation Hubs

A network of around 200 European Digital Innovation Hubs (EDIHs) covering all regions of Europe aims to stimulate the broad uptake of AI, HPC, cybersecurity and other digital technologies. EDIHs will help all companies seeking to use AI technologies to become more competitive with regard to their business/production processes, products or services. As “one-stop-shops”, EDIHs can promote locally the use of tools from the AI-on-demand platform to industry, including small and medium-sized enterprises, and the public sector. They will assist companies to innovate their new products and services with AI and stimulate adoption by helping to make them market ready.

Fund and scale innovative ideas and solutions for AI

Through the Horizon Europe and Digital Europe programmes, the Commission plans to invest €1 billion per year in AI, with measures to fund and scale innovative ideas and solutions. This will build bridges between Europe’s strong AI research community and innovators, in particular start-ups and SMEs both in their early stages and in the scale-up phase. The aim is to mobilise additional investments from the private sector and the Member States in order to reach an annual investment volume of €20 billion over the course of this decade. The Recovery and Resilience Facility, the largest stimulus package ever financed through the EU budget, makes €134 billion available for digital and allows Europe to amplify its ambitions and become global leader in developing cutting-edge trustworthy AI.

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